I lived in France for many years and came across a ‘learn English’ book, which described an English afternoon tea. It was cake, tea and sandwiches, but it was presented in a cottage garden surrounded by climbing roses. I lived in the mountains, so the only way to try and recreate this idyll for some neighbours who came for tea was to add the rose to my cake! I have since sourced some wonderful edible rose petals on the internet and scatter my cake with these.
Makes one cake
butter and margarine, at room temperature
pinch of salt
50g poppy seeds
1 tablespoon rosewater
75g white chocolate
300g icing sugar, sifted
200g butter, at room temperature
a few drops of pink food colouring
3 teaspoons rosewater edible rose petals to garnish
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 23cm deep cake tin with baking paper.
Weigh the eggs in their shells and then weigh the same amount of sugar, flour and half the weight in butter and half in margarine.
Beat the butter and margarine together with the sugar in a bowl using a wooden spoon or electric whisk. Beat in 1 egg at a time.
Sift the flour and salt over, then sprinkle in the poppy seeds and rosewater. Gently fold in with a metal spoon.
Turn the cake mix out into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes or until risen, browned and springy to the touch, or a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Turn it out onto a wire rack, remove the paper and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, for the rose buttercream, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water then let it cool for at least 10 minutes. This must not be hot when you make the buttercream. Add the icing sugar, butter, colouring and rosewater and beat until light and fluffy.
Cut the cake in half horizontally and sandwich it back together with a third of the buttercream. Spread the rest over the top and around the side of the cake and scatter with edible rose petals.
This is an edited extract from Cooked: Food for Friends published by Hardie Grant, $24.99, available in stores nationally.
Recipe: Lucy Cufflin, Lucy’s Bakes / Photograph: Jacqui Melville