Orange, Rose and White Chocolate Cake

Orange and rose flavoured sponge, sandwiched together with orange jam and white chocolate buttercream, decorated with sugared violas and pelargoniums.

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This was my first attempt at using flowers from my edible balcony garden, to decorate a cake, and I am really pleased with the result. It looks beautiful and summery to match the lovely sunny weather!

I wanted to make a cake that could complement the flowery decorations, so I chose to flavour my sponge with orange and rose, and I used white chocolate in the buttercream, to give it some extra flavour.

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Its amazing how much some flower decorations can do for a cake, that otherwise might have looked a bit boring and uninspiring. So what better way to wow your friends and family this summer than to make a stunningly decorated cake for desert, with flowers you can grow in your own garden?!

Variations: You could use any kind of jam to flavour the sponge, and fill the cake, strawberry or raspberry would be lovely. Also, if you don’t like rose, then just leave it out and the cake will still be delicious!

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Ingredients: Serves 8

The Sponge:

  • 200g Butter
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 150g Orange Jam
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1tsp Rose Water
  • 200g Self Raising Flour

The Buttercream:

  • 150g Butter
  • 300g Icing Sugar
  • 200g White Chocolate
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract

The Crystallised Flowers:

  • 12 Viola flowers
  • 2-3 Pelargonium Flours
  • 1 Egg white
  • Icing Sugar

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To Make:

The Sponge:

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line two 20cm cake tins.

Cream together the butter, sugar and jam until pale and fluffy. Mix in the eggs one at a time then fold in the flour and rose water.

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Spoon into the prepared cake dishes, and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Leave to cool on a wire rack before assembling.

The Crystallised Flowers:

Snip the flowers of your choice from the plants, making sure not to snip too close to the base, or the flowers will fall apart!

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Use a paint brush to coat each flower with egg white and then dust with icing sugar, leave to dry on a wire rack before using – this should take about 1 hour.

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The Buttercream:

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave and leave to cool.

Cream together the butter and icing sugar until smooth and glossy, then whisk in the white chocolate and vanilla extract.

Assembling:

Spread the bottom cake layer in a few tbsp of orange jam and a dollop of the buttercream.

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Then place the second layer of sponge on top. Coat the outside of the cake in a thick later of buttercream, using a knife to smooth it out.

Decorate with your edible flowers! I put the pelargoniums in the middle of the cake, and used the smaller violas around them.

Serve and enjoy!

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Edible Garden

Filling my little balcony with herbs and edible flowers!

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As the weather has improved so much, I decided that it was time to sort out my balcony and make it look pretty for the summer! I decided to stick with some low maintenance plants, that would look pretty, but still be useful in the kitchen, so I have planted a selection of herbs and edible flowers.

I got the idea for growing some edible flowers, from a Mary berry baking programme. where she sugared the flowers and then used them as decoration for cakes. It looked beautiful, I thought I’d give it a go myself! I had a look on pinterest for some edible flower ideas and there were tons! You can freeze then in ice cubes to make your summer drinks look extra special, decorate cakes, or even add them to summer salads to give a burst of colour.

I found some really great comprehensive lists of edible flowers online. So I went to the gardening centre with my list and returned with a mix of herbs and edible flours, which have made my balcony look beautiful and ready for the summer!

Edible Flowers:

Chamomile:

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The flowers of the chamomile plant look like large daises and could either be used to decorate cakes etc. or to make a chamomile tea. I had read they it is very low maintenance, so I bought myself a little pot of it from the garden centre.

I have transplanted my chamomile into a bigger pot now, and hopefully I will get some flowers over the summer!

Scented Violas:

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The entire viola flower can be coated in sugar and used to decorate cakes. It has a lettuce-like taste, so could also be thrown into a salad to brighten up the plate.

I’ve chosen a mixture of yellow, purple and lilac violas, which are already flowering, and making my balcony look beautiful.

Nasturtium:

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I bought these as seeds because they are supposed to be really easy to grow and they should flower all summer. The flowers and leaves of nasturtium can be eaten, and have a peppery, rocket-like flavour, so they should be delicious in salads, or even as an ingredient in pesto or butter.

Corn Flower:

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I bought cornflower seeds as well, because they are also supposed to be very easy to grow and should flower from june-september. The flowers are edible and can be used for decorating cakes.

Pelargoniums:

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I bought the pelargoniums as an already flowering plant, because it looked so beautiful, with its deep purple flowers, and it already adding lots of colour to my balcony!

Both the leaves and flowers of the pelargonium can be eaten. The leaves have a citrus fragrance, and so can be used in cakes or salads, and the flowers have a less powerful citrus flavour, so will be delicious sugared, for cake decoration, or as a floating decoration to a summer cocktail!

Herbs:

Mint:

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Mint is super easy to grow, if you’ve ever planted it in your garden you’ll know it spreads everywhere, so it should be really easy to keep alive in a pot!

Lemon Thyme:

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Lavender:

I couldn’t resist buying a lavender plant to flavour shortbread or cakes, hopefully my plant with grow some pretty purple flowers soon!

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