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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Lemon and Thyme Shortbread, Dipped in White Chocolate

Buttery, crumbly shortbread, flavoured with citrus lemon and floral thyme, dipped in sweet, creamy white chocolate. 

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Yesterday was the Comic Relief Bake Off at work, and the challenge was biscuits! I couldn’t turn down the excuse to do yet more baking and raise some money for a good cause, so of course, I made a batch of biscuits to give in!

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Shortbread is one of my favourite types of biscuit, because I love the buttery and crumbly texture it has. But, while it is delicious just in its original form, I wanted to bake something a little bit more exciting for the bake-off.

I decided to use lemon and thyme to flavour my shortbread, because I thought the combination would make a really light and refreshing biscuit. But just to add a little extra indulgence and sweetness, I’ve dipped them in white chocolate.

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I don’t make biscuits very often, so I was a little bit worried about how these would turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised! The biscuits have a lovely texture, the flavours work well and they really catch peoples interest!

Variations: The Lemon could be swapped for orange or lime, and the thyme could be changed to mint.

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Ingredients: Makes 40 Shortbread

  • 300g Plain Flour
  • 200g Butter
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • Zest and Juice of 2 Lemons
  • A Handful of Lemon Thyme Leaves
  • 200g White Chocolate

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To Make:

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and grease some baking trays.

Rub the butter into the flour and sugar, until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.

Mix in the lemon zest and thyme leaves.

Squeeze in the lemon juice, then mix through, and form into a ball.

Turn out onto a floured work surface, and roll out until 1cm thick.

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Cut out the biscuits in flower and heart shapes (or whatever shaped cutters you have!), and transfer to the prepared baking trays.

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Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack.

Melt the white chocolate in a bowl.

Spoon some melted chocolate over one half of each biscuit and smooth out into a thin layer.

Leave the chocolate to set, then serve and enjoy!

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