I had a pretty good weekend. The weekdays have been not so great, but my weekend was lovely. And this weekend it was my Mum’s birthday. She was in the country to celebrate it too! You may recall that this time last year was when my Mum’s birthday cake was dropped on to the middle of the road. I didn’t mention in that post that it was actually my husband that turned that poor cake into roadkill. I was being all nice about it and not letting him take the blame for it but screw it, it’s been a year. It was his fault! Poor guy, he’s so traumatised from that experience that he now refuses to carry any of my cakes.
So my Mum’s only request for this year’s cake was that it wasn’t too sweet or heavy and that I didn’t drop it on the ground again. I went with an oldie but a goodie. A classic vanilla sponge cake, sandwiched with raspberry jam and cream. I could have left it there as a traditional Victoria sponge, but I couldn’t resist adding a few embellishments to change it up a little. I decided to incorporate some rose and lychee flavours, a la Pierre Hermé’s ispahan creations. After seeing some rose meringue inspiration on instagram, I knew I had to make some mini rose meringues.
The mini meringues take a little longer to bake because of the added moisture from the rose water, and they will get soggy from sitting next to the lychee and raspberry pieces, so make sure you don’t put all the toppings on to the cake until you’re ready to serve it. I’ve made a few desserts involving the combo of rose, raspberry and lychee and it is always a winner. My sponge was slightly overbaked (which you might be able to tell from its colour in these not so great photos) so it was a little bit drier than I preferred, but luckily the mountain of cream and jam ensured that this wasn’t a problem.
- 225g unsalted butter , softened, plus extra for greasing
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 225g golden caster sugar
- 225g self-raising flour , sifted
- 4 medium eggs , beaten
For the rose cream filling
- 4 tbsp raspberry jam
- 1 tsp rosewater
- 150g raspberries , slightly crushed
- 150ml double cream
For the rose icing
- 1/2 tsp rosewater
- 175g icing sugar , plus extra for dusting
- handful raspberries
- dried rose petals
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
- Lightly grease two 20cm cake tins and line with baking parchment. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
- Gradually add the eggs a little at a time, scraping down the side of the bowl after each addition.
- If the mixture starts to curdle, add 1 tsp flour.
- Add the vanilla extract, mix in half the flour, then fold in the rest.
- Divide the mixture between the cake tins and bake for 20-25 mins – a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes should come out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tins for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the filling.
- Whisk the cream to soft peaks, adding the rosewater as you go.
- Then fold in the jam, being careful not to over-mix.
- Place one of the sponges on a serving plate and top with the cream mixture.
- Scatter with the raspberries, then top with the other sponge.
- For the icing, mix together the icing sugar, 2 tbsp water and the rosewater, and stir in the juice from a few crushed raspberries.
- Drizzle over the cake, arrange the rose petals and the remaining raspberries on top and dust with icing sugar.