Sunday, 3 June 2012

Recipe: Simple Summer Supper (part three) - Rose and Lemon Sponge

I love roses. In the gardens, front and back, I've planted ten different types of rose and I try to garden organically, without the use of any sprays. The major benefit to this is being able to use rose petals in cooking - I adore the taste of rose in all its forms and this cake is a pretty special way to showcase some of the more fragrant blooms.

Rose and Lemon Sponge Cake

125g softened butter
1 cup (225g) caster sugar
3 eggs
1.5 cups (125g) plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
1/2 unwaxed lemon, grated zest
1 tbsp rosewater
A handful of rose petals, 'heels' removed (the section nearest the stem, they taste bitter)

For the cream:
284ml double cream
100g raspberries
1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted, plus more to decorate
Rose petals to decorate

1. Preheat the oven to 150C. Grease and line two loose-bottomed 15cm (6") cake tins.
2. Place all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and combine, stick to a low speed here.
3. Once combined, increase the mixer speed until the mixture is smooth.
4. Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins, and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
5. Test with a skewer, which should come out clean.
6. Leave for five minutes to cool on a rack, before turning out of the tins.
7. When the cakes are completely cool, you can assemble the final masterpiece.
8. Whip the cream until thick, then fold in the raspberries and icing sugar.
9. Use this to sandwich the two cakes together.
10. Dust the top with sifted icing sugar, and scatter with rose petals.

This one's a show-stopper - the perfect finale to a simple summer supper.
Part one (chargrilled veg with feta and mint) is here, and part two (tortilla espanola) here.

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