A birthday cake for my wonderful, special Mum.
I wanted to make a grown-up cake and to make it obviously different from my usual kid's birthday cakes! The result was this extremely light fluffy cake, a bit like an american "white" cake. The airiness of the sponge along with the light whipped cream, topped with dreamy, sweet rose petals makes the whole cake taste heavenly and indulgent. Perfect for my Mum.
white almond birthday cake
Organic Rose Petals (unsprayed and pesticide free)
50g Sugar, for sprinkling
12 Egg Whites, large
4 teaspoons Almond Extract
Pink Food Colouring (optional)
760g Cake Flour
200g Caster Sugar
40g Baking Powder
340g Unsalted Butter, softened
500ml Whipping Cream
1 tablespoon Icing/Confectioners Sugar
1 teaspoon Almond Essence
The night before make a simple syrup by putting the sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile clean the rose petals gently then delicately dip the rose petals into the simple syrup and let the excess drip off. Place the petals on a wire rack and lightly sprinkle with sugar. Leave to dry out on a wire rack placed in a cold oven overnight.
When ready to bake the cake, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. (Not fan assisted if possible) Make sure you’ve removed the dried rose petals!
Prepare two 8in/20cm cake tins with butter and flour.
Mix together the milk, egg whites, almond extract and put to one side. If using the pink food dye mix it in now.
Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a mixer bowl mix together on slow speed. Gradually add the butter and then mix on low speed until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
Turn off the mixer and add three quarters of the egg/milk mixture on medium speed for 90 seconds.
Add the rest of the egg/milk mixture and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds, and then high speed for 30 seconds.
Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.
When completely cold, whip the cream, sugar and almond essence together to a consistency where it can be spread.
Place one of the sponges, flat side up onto the serving plate you are using, and spread a layer of cream on it. Top with the other sponge, flat side up again, and then cover the whole cake in cream. Decorate with the rose petals.