If you have un-sprayed roses in bloom right now, use them to make this delicious and spectacular cake. Any colour roses will do, so long as they are fragrant.
- 250g/9oz softened butter
- 250g/9oz caster sugar + extra for the rose petals
- 3 large eggs + 1 egg white
- 200g/7oz pistachios + a handful
- 1 orange
- 2 teaspoons rosewater
- 60g/2oz plain flour (use rice flour to make gluten-free)
- 150g/5.5oz icing sugar
- Juice of half a lemon
- A dozen washed and dried fragrant rose petals (free of bug-spray)
If possible, start the night before by lightly whisking your egg white, gently brushing each side of your rose petals, then lightly sprinkling them with the finest caster sugar you have. Place them carefully on a drying rack and leave to dry.
Right…..for the cake! Start by greasing and lining a 20cm (8″) cake tin and preheating your oven to 160 deg C/320 F
Grind the pistachios to a fine flour in your food processor.
Using an electric hand whisk, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Beat each egg in thoroughly one at a time, then beat in the ground nuts.
Finely grate the zest of the orange and add this, with its juice, and the rosewater.
Fold in the flour with a large metal spoon.
Spoon the mix into the tin and bake for 50 minutes.
Loosely cover with foil and return to the oven for 10 more minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Put a handful of pistachios into the oven on a tray to lightly toast during this last ten minutes, then set aside to cool.
As soon as the cake has cooled a little, turn it out onto the plate and allow to cool completely. Mix together the lemon juice and icing sugar until you have a thick, syrupy icing and pour it over. Before it sets (approx. half an hour) sprinkle over the toasted pistachios and your rose petals.
And there you have it. Possibly one the prettiest cakes you’ll ever make (unless you’re one of those crazy bakers who can fashion the Taj Mahal and orchids from sugar and water…not me, no sir).