This lovely plain genoese recipe has a rose flavouring, inspired by the gorgeous roses growing around our cottage door which have sprung to life and are giving off the most wonderful aroma. With this in mind, I made a delicious celebratory layered rose sponge cake. It's lighter and softer than your average sponge, and needs a lot of eggs and a good whisk to make up for the lack of any raising agent.
Serves 8 - 10
To make 2 sponges:
8 eggs, room temperature
250g caster sugar
2 tsps rose water
250g plain flour or gluten free mix (M&S or Dove's Farm recommended for gf flours)
2 pinches of salt
120g butter, melted and warm
Rose petal jam or Raspberry jam
1. Turn the oven to 180C (160C for those like myself using a fan oven). Start by greasing two 23cm x 7cm sandwich tins (or 20cm x 8). Cut 2 circles of greaseproof paper, put them in the bottom of the tins, and grease with more butter. Flour the base and sides of the tins.
2. Whisk the eggs, sugar and rose water flavouring in a large bowl over a bain mairie, which is a pan of almost simmering water, until the mixture is foamy and thickened. Remove bowl from pan and continue beating the mixture until it has cooled.
3. Sift the flour with the salt. Then sift half on to the egg mixture. Fold it in with a metal spoon, lifting gently.
4. When combined, sift the rest of the flour on top and next add the melted butter, stirring gently until combined.
5. Pour the cake mixture evenly into the 2 prepared tins. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 35 - 40 minutes.The cakes are done when the tops are brown, and springy to touch.
6. Cool in the tins for 15 minutes, turn out onto a wire rack and let them cool.
7. Then cover the bottom of one of the cakes with rose petal jam before sandwiching the two together. Being an idle sort, I used shop bought local jam and recommend you do too. Rose petal jam is ideal for the rose theme, but if you can't find any then raspberry, cherry or strawberry will do the job just as well. I'll include a recipe for home made rose petal jam in my next post if you'd like to make your own.
For the icing:
200g icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsps rosewater
70g white chocolate
1 whole rose head and approx 18 rose petals, unsprayed and dry
7. Gradually add the rosewater to the icing sugar in a large bowl, stirring it becomes well combined and the icing is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
8. When the cake is cool, carefully pour the rosewater icing over the top of the cake; it will also run in a charmingly haphazard fashion down the sides.
9. Instead of making chocolate curls, I chose to simply grate the white chocolate over the cake instead, before adding fresh a rose and lots of petals from the garden.
This cake was idly baked to the sounds of BBC Radio 4: Gardener's Question Time, Last Word & Front Row.