I made these two gorgeous cakes for 'Forget-Tea-Not', an afternoon tea in aid of the Alzheimer's Society held by Jules and Bailey from Good Gobble last Sunday at Didsbury Parsonage Trust. As you may know I have been trying to get more involved in local events, particularly charity events. I'm always happy to make cake or help out for a charity. I wasn't able to be there for the whole event, but Jules told me it was a fantastic success, and they've raised around £600 so far. If you'd like to donate please visit JustGiving.com
I used this recipe to make the first cake, only changing it by doubling the quantity of rose water. I wasn't 100% happy with how it turned out. It said to bake on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3, which I did but after an hour, nothing was happening. So I turned it up to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. It took another 50 minutes before it was done! It was a hefty mixture and expected it to be a big cake, but when it came out and cooled it was the size of a normal sandwich cake. It tasted nice (I made cupcakes with some of the batter for taste testing), but had a huge crack across the top and quite a dense cake, so I decided to do some editing for the second cake...
First I greased and lined my 9 inch cake tin.
I started the mixture by creaming together 170g butter and 300g golden caster sugar. I then added 150g full fat natural yoghurt and mixed in.
I whisked in 4 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 1/2 tsp rose water. Then folded in 300g self raising flour and 1 tsp baking powder.
This was the rose water I used, I got it in a promotional pack, but I've seen rose water in Tesco and I think it's quite easy to find.
I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes, then turned down to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for 20 minutes. It looked much better this time and no nasty crack, although I forgot to take a photo!
Seen as I had ended up with two cakes I decided to decorate them both in different ways. It gave me a chance to be creative!
I was sent these gorgeous pink chocolate cigarellos from the Chocolate Trading Company. They are the first company in the world to produce cigarellos in pink! Most of us have probably seen the white, milk and dark chocolate versions on wedding and birthday cakes before. I always think they produce a really stunning and elegant effect.
They are made from fine Belgian chocolate and you can only get them from the Chocolate Trading Company, a box of 50 is £7.95. You will need two boxes to cover a 9 inch cake. They are an extremely eye catching decoration for any special occasion cake!
I cut the cake in half and made a raspberry buttercream for the filling by mashing up 10-12 raspberries, and mixing with 40g butter and 200g icing sugar.
The cigarellos stick to a buttercream or ganache covering. I made a white chocolate buttercream by mixing 280g butter, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 350g icing sugar. Once it was smooth I mixed in 200g melted white chocolate that had cooled slightly.
I covered the cake and began sticking the cigarellos around the side. They are very sturdy and stick upright easily. It's best to do this on a cake board or the plate you will be serving the cake on. Moving cakes once decorated is difficult enough, but I wouldn't advise moving one with cigarellos stuck to it as it could damage the position and appearance of them.
Once the cake was covered I iced the top with the white chocolate buttercream.
I added fresh raspberries, upright and in circles until the top was full, and then finished the cake with a pink ribbon. I am so pleased with how it looks! The pink cigarellos are really stunning and the red raspberries compliment the dusky pink chocolate perfectly.
For the second cake I filled the middle with the white chocolate buttercream, then placed fresh raspberries flatly over the buttercream. For the topping I mixed together the leftover raspberry buttercream and white chocolate buttercream, I added 100g icing sugar to thicken it up and covered the top of the cake.
I decorated the top with white and pink wafer roses, which I got off ebay. They are edible, and really delicate and pretty. They stuck easily to the buttercream and I arranged them haphazardly on top.
I thought both cakes looked really good, I can't decide which one I like best!
I took them along to the afternoon tea so they could be eaten and enjoyed by the customers. I've heard that a picture of my cake may appear in a local newspaper covering the event...watch this space! I'm very excited and have my fingers crossed!
These are the cute 'taster' cupcakes I made so I could tell you about the flavour of the cake as I wouldn't be eating the cakes. They also showcase another way to use cigarellos. You can do more with them than place them around cakes. It sounds strange to have something flavoured with rose as it's associated with soaps and other beauty products. But the flowery flavour is really delicious! It's hard to describe, it's like eating a nice smell - if that makes sense! The sponge was sweet and floral, the first bite is quite powerful but it becomes milder as you keep eating. Both the buttercreams were delicious and mixed together even better! The fresh raspberries compliment the delicate rose perfectly. The sponge was moist due to the addition of the yoghurt and I may adapt it with other flavours. Finally the chocolate cigarellos are delicious. They are made from proper quality chocolate and you can tell the difference!
Gorgeous photos taken by photographer Terry McNamara - see more beautiful photos of the other delicious treats at the afternoon tea on Good Gobble's Facebook Page. Be prepared for your mouth to water!
I still can't decide which cake I prefer the look of... So tell me, which cake do you like most?