With Coconut Flapjack Topping
After a slow start this year, my rhubarb has started producing stalks again - it's keeping us in occasional desserts while I wait impatiently for my gooseberries to ripen. The usual midweek dessert is just cooked fruit with natural yogurt, but the weekends are always a little more relaxed as far as calorific treats are concerned.
This recipe was devised with two of the regular baking challenges I enter in mind. This month's AlphaBakes challenge is the letter R (and I make no apologies for using rhubarb again, it's that time of year!) and the Tea Time Treats challenge is to make flapjacks and traybakes.
When the shortbread was cooked I sprinkled two tablespoons of ground rice evenly over the surface - I find this excellent at absorbing excess juice when raw fruit is used in this sort of baking. I then topped this with 350g rhubarb, diced into cubes of 0.5-1.0cm in size. Practically speaking, this meant splitting two large rhubarb stalks in quarters, lengthways, then chopping each length into 0.5cm pieces.
Apart from the fragile base, I really liked these bars. The sweet and sticky flapjack topping was balanced nicely by the tart fruit and the crisp shortbread. I had worried that the fruit might need sweetening, but the balance between the layers was just right. The addition of coconut to the topping added an extra flavour element that worked surprisingly well - I don't think I've ever tried rhubarb with coconut before!
AlphaBakes (see the rules here) is hosted alternately by Caroline Makes and The More Than Occasional Baker, who is running this month's challenge. Tea Time Treats (see the rules here) is hosted alternately by Lavender and Lovage and The Hedge Combers, who is running this month's challenge. Both hosts post a round-up of entries to each challenge at the end of the month.