Rhubarb Friands Recipe

After the popularity of our recent Rhubarb & Lemon Cake recipe, we thought we would share another favourite rhubarb recipe of ours. Friands are bite sized delights – small enough that they are guilt free (unless you eat 3 or of them at a time like us!!) So, if you are wondering what else you can do with your rhubarb, here is our Rhubarb Friands recipe…

Rhubarb friands are a bite-sized delight!

Rhubarb friands are a bite-sized delight!

Ingredients

Makes 18

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Pop the chopped rhubarb on a baking tray and roast for 5 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Melt the butter.
  4. Use some of the butter to lightly grease the friand moulds or mini muffin tray.
  5. Let the butter cool slightly to use later in the recipe.
  6. Sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl and stir through the ground almonds.
  7. Place the egg whites into another large bowl and whisk until they are white and frothy.
  8. Gently mix the frothy egg whites into the flour mixture.
  9. Add the melted butter  and stir everything together.
  10. Fill the friand pan until each mould is full.
  11. Arrange 2-3 slices of rhubarb on top of each mould, pushing them lightly into the batter.
  12. Bake the friands in the oven for about 15-18 minutes, or until they are lightly golden and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  13. Let the friands cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  14. Serve the friands warm or cold with a dusting of icing sugar.

Blackberries make a delicious alternative to rhubarb later in the season. Hope you enjoy this rhubarb friands recipe.

Enjoy!

Vialii

Gardening During Lockdown – Week 9

Week 9 has been a week of extreme weathers, with scorching hot sunshine and paddling pools to battening down the hatches in the storms. We did manage to fit in some gardening, here is what we have been doing in Gardening During Lockdown – Week 9.

Preparing for Beans

Our bean seedlings are a good size and have been nicely hardened off. We could have had them in the ground already but with a storm forecast we decided to hold off a few days. We did get our canes in place in readiness with some string to wind themselves around. We are planting them alongside our potatoes as they are great companion plants and allow us to fit more into our home allotment.

 

Create supports for your beans to scramble up

Create supports for your beans to scramble up

Chelsea Chop

Whilst the Chelsea Flower Show has been cancelled this year, we have been enjoying the old footage on BBC and seeing designers’ gardens. It’s the time of year to do the “Chelsea Chop” which means cutting back some of your herbaceous plants to avoid them growing too big and flopping as well as controlling the flowering period. We do it to our sedum and centaurea and it makes a big difference.

Sedums will really benefit from the Chelsea Chop

Sedums will really benefit from the Chelsea Chop

Trim Your Topiary

If you have box balls (buxus sempervirens) or topiary plants in your garden, give them a trim to keep them in shape, adding structure to your garden. We have numerous box balls and cloud topiary and they are a lovely partnership to softer herbaceous planting and bulbs.

Give your topiary a haircut - no need for it to suffer like you!!!

Give your topiary a haircut – no need for it to suffer like you!!!

Protect Your Planters

With the high winds forecast we took some time to huddle our pots together to give them some more protection. It saved them from blowing over in the wind and hopefully some fruit will still appear on our various plants in coming months…

With high winds forecast its worth taking the time to huddle your pots together for protection

With high winds forecast its worth taking the time to huddle your pots together for protection

Start Harvesting

It’s getting to the exciting time that some veg can start to be harvested. First things to be picked include radishes, salad leaves, rocket and baby spinach. All organic and fresh from the garden. Perfect!

Some fast growing veg is starting to be able to be harvested already, yum!

Some fast growing veg is starting to be able to be harvested already, yum!

Weeding

The veg patch always has weeds popping up especially rogue potatoes from previous years. Don’t be tempted to leave those in and see how they grow. They will be susceptible to diseases and will just take up valuable space where your lovely new veg should be growing. Wheech them out as you see them popping up. If you are rotating your crops it will be easy to spot as they will be growing amidst different seedlings.

Keep on top of the weeding so that it's your veg and plants that are flourishing in your garden

Keep on top of the weeding so that it’s your veg and plants that are flourishing in your garden

Enjoy Your Garden

With the tulips now faded, the alliums are the stars of our garden at the moment. The graceful purple pom poms nod all around the garden, providing repetition and height. When their colour fades, keep the seed heads to provide interest in the garden. Take a moment (or ten) to enjoy the loveliness of your own garden.

Alliums are looking amazing in our garden at the moment

Alliums are looking amazing in our garden at the moment

Other jobs to do:

Stay safe

Vialii

Gardening During Lockdown – Week 8

The beauty of lockdown is that we get to spend a lot more time in our gardens! Ours has never looked so good (if you don’t look at the grass!) with every weekend allowing us to potter away. Nothing feels like a chore either as weeding is done quickly and not allowed to build up. From pottering in the veg patch to adding new edging we have had another busy week – here’s what we have tackled in “Gardening During Lockdown – Week 8″…

More Thinning

As seedlings sprout up and fill out we have been doing more thinning – this week the beetroot got our full attention. Gently pull out smaller seedlings leaving space for your bigger seedlings to grow nice and strong.

Thin your veg seedlings to give them space to grow
Thin your veg seedlings to give them space to grow

More Deadheading

Keep on top of your deadheading. We’re always sad to see our tulips going over but at least we can enjoy our alliums which are now bursting open across our garden. Snip away the dead flowers but keep the foliage so that the energy goes back into the bulbs for next year.

Dead head your tulips as they start to go over
Dead head your tulips as they start to go over

More Earthing Up

Keep on top of those tatties – it’s important to keep earthing them up as the shoots push up through the soil. This will stop your tubers turning green and inedible as well as protecting them from frost and encouraging more growth.

Add edging

Edging to borders and lawn is both practical and pretty. It stops grass growing into your borders, makes grass cutting easier with no edging to be done and generally gives your garden a smarter finish. We had already edged most of our lawn but with our new archway in place we created a larger border around it which we have now edged.

Add edging to your borders to stop grass from spreading into borders
Add edging to your borders to stop grass from spreading into borders

Potting on

We spent time this week potting on some of our seedlings. Tomatoes have been potted into large pots and popped in place in the greenhouse. We moved beans into larger pots this week. Probably in the next week or so we will plant them into the veg patch but we wanted to make sure the risk of frost had passed before we took the final leap to planting them outdoors.

Pot on your veg as they get too big for their pots
Pot on your veg as they get too big for their pots

Feeding

It’s important to feed fruit and veg that you have growing in containers so they get all the nutrients they need. We are giving our strawberries a weekly tomato feed. We also gave our blueberries an ericaceous feed this week – this should be done in early Spring and late Spring.

Feed blueberries in early and late spring with an ericaceous feed
Feed blueberries in early and late spring with an ericaceous feed

Other jobs to tackle just now:

As always, enjoy your gardens and stay safe

Vialii

Rhubarb & Lemon Cake Recipe

We discovered this recipe several years ago and has been a firm favourite ever since. At this time of year we have plenty rhubarb in the garden and are always looking for interesting things to do with it. By popular demand here is the Rhubarb and Lemon Cake recipe – enjoy!

Our rhubarb patch
Our rhubarb patch

Rhubarb & Lemon Cake

Ingredients:

For the Lemon Glaze:

Method:

Preheat oven to 350/180 degrees.
Butter a 10-cup bundt pan or a 22cm spring-form tin. (See note 3)

To make the cake, sift the flour, the baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Using a handheld mixer with beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest together on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition, then stir in the lemon oil.

Stir in the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the buttermilk in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. The batter will be very thick.

Toss the rhubarb with the 2 tablespoons of flour and fold half into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining rhubarb on top.

Bake for 30 minutes, then rotate the pan and cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until the centre springs back when lightly touched. Cool the cake in its pan on the wire rack for 30 minutes before inverting and removing the pan.

To make the lemon glaze, whisk the icing sugar, lemon juice and butter together. The mixture should be thick. If it’s not, whisk in another tablespoon or two of the sugar. Spread the glaze over the cake as soon as you remove it from the pan.

I hope you enjoy this cake as much as us.

The finished cake
The finished cake

Vialii

  1. We didn’t have lemon oil so we just used the zest of another lemon. You could use the juice but then you would need to reduce the amount of buttermilk you added.
  2. If you can’t find buttermilk you can substitute it with full fat milk mixed with natural yoghurt.
  3. If you are using a spring form tin, line the base with some greased baking parchment.

Gardening During Lockdown – Week 7

The weeks keep on ticking past. We are so lovely to have a garden to help pass the time, to relax and eat in and to just enjoy nature. The weather continues to be kind allowing us plenty opportunity to both work and relax in the garden. And with a birthday to celebrate in the garden during this past week there has been LOTS of eating and relaxing! Here’s what we have been doing in “Gardening During Lockdown – Week 7″…

Thinning seedlings

The seeds we planted a few weeks ago in our veg beds are starting to shoot up and now is the time to start thinning the seedlings. This will allow the veg you are keeping more space to grow and to be healthy. You can try transplanting your seedlings into another row for twice the harvest. Or plant another row of seeds now for successional planting, giving you salad throughout the summer.

Lulu thinning out some radish seedlings, allowing them plenty space to grow
Lulu thinning out some radish seedlings, allowing them plenty space to grow

Earthing up potatoes

Our potatoes are starting to pop up through the soil so it’s important to “earth them up”. This basically means covering them up with more soil which will stop your potatoes from turning green and becoming inedible, protect the leaves from frost damage and encourage bigger crops.

Earth up those tatties for healthy, large crops
Earth up those tatties for healthy, large crops

Keep on weeding

The warm weather along with some spells of rain have meant the weeds are growing as fast as all the other plants. So make sure you head out to do a bit of weeding each week and you will easily keep on top of it.

Keep checking your garden for weeds to keep on top of it
Keep checking your garden for weeds to keep on top of it

Keep deadheading

It’s important to keep on top of deadheading your flowers as they start to go over. This week we have been busy cutting back the dead flowers on daffodils, camellias and primulas. You will encourage more growth and keep your garden looking lovely.

Dead heading allows plants to focus on new growth and keeps your garden looking lovely
Dead heading allows plants to focus on new growth and keeps your garden looking lovely

Plant up spare pots

We have had a couple of very old troughs lying about so we got round to planting them at the weekend. We managed to salvage some alpines, strawberries and herbs to fill them. When planting alpines remember they like poor quality of soil so add plenty grit to the compost and then add a fine layer to the surface to finish.

The girls helped plant up our troughs and dress the top of the compost with grit
The girls helped plant up our troughs and dress the top of the compost with grit

Have a water fight

A water fight is a must-do job on sunny days! The watering of the plants quickly got side-tracked into a full on water fight. The hose won! (Excuse the state of the lawn – first job post lockdown is replace it!)

A water fight is a must on a sunny day!
A water fight is a must on a sunny day!

Have birthday celebrations

Jill joined the many people celebrating their birthday in lockdown and actually said it was the best one ever. What’s there to not like about spending a gloriously warm day in the garden with your family, eating and drinking lots of lovely things. Think this might be the new tradition!

Afternoon tea in the sunshine - it doesn't get much better than that!
Afternoon tea in the sunshine – it doesn’t get much better than that!

Other things to do:

Enjoy your gardens and stay safe.

Vialii

Gardening During Lockdown – Week 6

Another week and lots more sunshine (and thankfully for the gardens a wee bit rain!) Everything is sprouting at quite a rate so there are plenty of jobs to keep us busy in the garden. Here’s what has been happening this week at Vialii Towers in Gardening During Lockdown – Week 6…

Keep on top of the veg beds

All this sunshine along with some rain showers will get both your seeds and weeds growing fast! So make sure you keep on top of your weeding and watch out for your seedlings popping up. You will need to start thinning out your seedlings soon to make space for your veg to grow properly.

Keep on top of weeding your veg beds and thinning seedlings

Keep on top of weeding your veg beds and thinning seedlings

Protect your hostas

Hostas and other fleshy leaves are favourites for slugs and snails so make sure you give them some protection. There are lots of ways to do this from eggs shells and horse hair pellets to copper tape and nematodes. For more tips read our blog all about slugs and snails. 

Keep your prized plants protected from slugs and snails

Keep your prized plants protected from slugs and snails

Feed your plants

Tomato feed is not just for tomatoes. Lots of your favourite fruit, veg and plants will benefit from being fed some tomato feed. As soon as your strawberries start to flower, give them a weekly feed and you will get some lovely fruit as a thank you.

Your strawberries plants will be needing fed as soon as they flower

Your strawberries plants will be needing fed as soon as they flower

Beautiful bulbs

Now is the perfect time to take a moment and enjoy your Spring bulbs. Our tulips looks beautiful just now and our alliums are almost set to bloom. It is our most favourite time of year to spend in our garden – lucky huh?!

Enjoy uour spring bulbs - our tulips look beautiful just now

Enjoy your spring bulbs – our tulips look beautiful just now

Feed the birds

Keep your bird feeders topped up to maximise your feathered visitors to your garden. We added some niger seeds to our garden this week in the hope of attracting some finches to the garden. Be sure to add a variety of seeds and fatballs to get a lovely mix of visitors to your garden. They may even help you tackle those slugs and snails!

Add different types of seeds to get a wider variety of birds to the garden

Add different types of seeds to get a wider variety of birds to the garden

Fill gaps in rockeries and borders

Now is a great time to fill gaps in your rockeries, walls and borders. You may be able to split existing plants to make them go further and fill gaps. Neighbours may be happy to donate or swap some plants. Or you may be lucky enough to get some new plants delivered. Happy planting!

Fill gaps to keep your garden looking lovely and lush

Fill gaps to keep your garden looking lovely and lush

Treat greenfly

Keep an eye on your roses to make sure they are not being infested with greenfly. If they do appear, try not to reach for chemical treatments straight away. You can rub them off with your thumb or make up a soapy solution and spray your plants regularly to keep them at bay. Much better for the environment.

Make up a soapy solution to treat greenfly

Make up a soapy solution to treat greenfly

Pot on seedlings

We spent a busy morning potting on our seedlings as they grow stronger and need more space and nutrients. Be careful not to damage the stem or roots when you are potting on and keep them well watered.

You need to take care when you are potting on your seedlings

You need to take care when you are potting on your seedlings

Deadhead primulas

We love the pom pom flowers on primula denticulata (the drumstick primula) but as they go over remember to deadhead the flowers in order to keep them looking lovely and encourage more growth.

Deadhead your primulas to keep your garden looking lovely

Deadhead your primulas to keep your garden looking lovely

Add a new parasol

The amazing weather has certainly made lockdown a lot more bearable. We have even needed some shade from the sun! We have added this lovely yellow parasol to our outdoor dining are to make it look even more colourful! It will add some sunshine even on grey days!

Add a parasol for a splash of colour to your garden

Add a parasol for a splash of colour to your garden

Add focal points & lighting

We are BIG fans of garden focal points and have lots in our garden, from rusty globes to golden chickens! We love this red lantern which we have added to a shepherds crook to add interest to our border. It looks beautiful glinting in the sun and we can add a tealight when it gets dark for a beautiful glow.

Add a lantern for interest in your border and lighting at night

Add a lantern for interest in your border and lighting at night

Finish a project

We always have a LOT of ideas and often several projects on the go. Getting round to finishing them can sometimes be a challenge. So we are delighted to get our archway finished this week. It has been an idea for over 10 years and we are very happy with the finished article!

The archway is finally complete and we LOVE it!

The archway is finally complete and we LOVE it!

Put up some shelving

Our sheds (like everyone’s) are crammed full of all sorts. So additional shelving is always welcome! Michael fitted this shelf in less than half an hour this week and it makes life a lot easier getting bikes in and out! Stop procrastinating, go fit yours!

Get round to putting up those shelves in the shed

Get round to putting up those shelves in the shed

So that’s what we have been up to this week! What about you?

Vialii