Saturday, 30 July 2011

Issy's 21st Birthday Cake- Raspberry and Rosewater.

My lovely friend Issy turned 21 in June, and this cake recipe was made especially for her. We both love rose flavoured things, and I'm very keen on rosewater with raspberries. I like to think the combination evokes the feel of an English garden, something summery and fragrant.

The cake itself is simply a victoria sponge recipe with rosewater in place of vanilla essence. I prefer making the sponge by hand instead of a food processor, just because I always have done and I find the ritual of it comforting. But if you go down the modern route (and there is no shame in it) all the ingredients go in the processor together with the addition of a teaspoon of baking powder.

For the cake:
225g butter,at room temperature
225g caster sugar
4 medium eggs, room temperature, beaten
1 tbsp rosewater
225g self raising flour
approx 2 tbsp milk

Get the boring parts out of the way; preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4, grease and line 2 x 18cm/7in cake tins with baking paper. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in a quarter of the egg mix with a tablespoon of the flour, repeat until all the egg is used. Stir in the rosewater. Sift the flour into the bowl and fold in with a large metal spoon until well combined. The mixture should be a soft 'dropping' consistency- i.e. it should fall off the spoon in thick lumps. Divide between the two cake tins, smoothing the top with a knife or spatula. Back for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer pierced in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

For the filling:
284ml tub of double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
1tbsp rosewater
good quality raspberry jam
small punnet of raspberries

Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks, then fold in the sugar and rosewater. Turn the less attractive cake upside down onto a plate and spread with the jam, and place the raspberries on top. Spoon over the rose-cream mix, even out the spoonfuls with a knife. Sit the other cake, right way up this time, on top. Decorate with rose petals if you are so inclined.

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