Without getting too horticultural on you, 2015 has been a VERY good year for the roses in the UK. Fact. With a mild winter and a gentle spring, rose blooms are everywhere and have inspired me to get experimental in the kitchen. [Read more…]
I have wanting to bake with rose for quite some time now.
September is a big birthday month for me. Lots of friends and family celebrate their special day so now is my opportunity to give it a go. I wanted to bake a cake that was both light, fragrant, dainty and special – in fact a ‘grown up’ birthday cake. I think this Rose and Raspberry Cake fits the bill.
I love the whiteness of this cake. It not only tastes delicious but I think it gives a bit of added sophistication.
The frosting is a Swiss Meringue Buttercream that, rather surprisingly, I have only come across in the past year, whilst embarking on this baking journey. To be honest, it is now my frosting of choice. It is beautifully light, as the name suggest, meringue-like and can be flavoured to your choice. Unlike a regular buttercream, it is not sickly sweet and in my mind, is well worth a little more effort in the making. I flavoured my frosting here with rosewater and a little rose syrup which gives a beautiful hint of a sweet, floral flavour.
I used fresh raspberries in the cake as they work well with rose and they are the birthday girl’s favourite.
I have adapted the method in a few ways. Firstly, as I am no good at cutting cakes horizontally to form thin layers, I prefer to bake the layers separately. Indeed, it is a bit more work (baking in two batches if you only have two tins) but I find it preferable to uneven, jagged layers and a disappointing result. Also, I have used 8inch / 20cm pans as I wanted to achieve a taller looking cake. However, these quantities work with two 9 inch /23cm pans (or four, if you don’t want the cutting option).
As this was a celebration cake, I wanted to make it special by crystallising some rose petals. Although this sounds fiddly, it really is rather straight forward. Basically, the petals, ideally grown without being sprayed with pesticide are brushed with egg white, coated with caster sugar and dried. This is much more preferable to me for decorating a cake as my sugar craft skills are none existant (have you noticed this blog is rather lacking that department?) and I think it is a chic and sophisticated finish.
I am really pleased with how this cake turned out…Happy Birthday Mum! x
- 300g plain flour
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 300g caster sugar
- 110g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 280ml whole milk
- 4 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 230g granulated sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 350g butter
- 2 teaspoons rosewater
- 1 teaspoon rose syrup
- 250g fresh raspberries, rinsed and quartered
- 2 Rose heads (ideally organically grown, having not been sprayed), say, 20 petals
- 1 egg white
- 50g caster sugar (approximately)
- Prepare the crystallised rose petals ahead of time. See instructions below.
- Prepare two 8 inch (20cm baking tins) by greasing and lining with paper. Cut an additional two rounds of baking parchment (unless you have four tins, in which case you can bake all four cakes together).
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, or Gas Mark 4.
- Sift together in a bowl the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a freestanding mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until it becomes light and fluffy. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites, milk and vanilla paste until well combined.
- Add half the flour mixture to the butter and sugar and thoroughly incorporate. Whilst mixing on a slow speed, add the milk, egg white and vanilla paste mixture to the freestanding mixer bowl and mix. Once incorporated, add the remaining flour and allow the mixture to beat for a few minutes until it is light and thoroughly mixed.
- Divide the mixture equally among four bowls (if baking two tins as a time), or pour equal amounts directly into the four prepared tins. If baking with two tins, pour the contents of one bowl into each tin and distribute throughout the pan. Bake for approximately 15 minutes until the cake is baked. Remove from the oven. Run a knife around the pans and allow the cakes to cool on a wire rack. Wash the pans and prepare again by greasing and lining and repeat the baking process until you have four baked cakes.
- Put the sugar and egg whites into a heat proof bowl over a simmering saucepan. Constantly whisk together, over the heat, for approximately 5 minutes until a meringue-like mixture forms and it is hot to touch with the your finger.
- Pour the mixture into the bowl of a freestanding bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk constantly for about 5 minutes until the temperature of the mixture cools down. Switch to a paddle attachment and on a medium speed, add the softened butter, spoonful by spoonful. Continue to whisk until very light and fluffy and all the butter is completely incorporated. Add the rosewater and rose syrup and mix thoroughly. Chill for 15 minutes before frosting the cake ( I find this makes the frosting more workable).
- Rinse, dry and cut the fresh raspberries into quarters. Frost the bottom layer of sponge and then arrange some raspberries evenly onto the frosting. Layer the next sponge cake, spread the frosting, add the raspberries and repeat. Once the fourth sponge cake is in place, give the cake a thin 'crumb coat' of frosting to the sides and top. Chill the cake for 20 minutes and then use the remainder of the frosting to complete the cake.
- Decorate with the crystallised rose petals. Serve.
- Dismantle the rose heads to separate the petals. Holding a petal with a pair of tweezers, brush gently with beaten egg white. Drench the dampened petal on both sides with caster sugar, ensuring good coverage and allow to dry on baking parchment for a couple of hours. If you have a warming drawer, leave here on a low setting for about an hour.
Contains raw egg (Crystallised Rose Petals)
Source: Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s ‘Baking From My Home To Yours’