Raspberry and Rose Cake

raspberry rosewater cakeMy daughter has really got into the idea of baking. She sees both my wife and myself cooking and is pretty into the culinary exploits of the contestants on the Bake Off. Recently she decided she should have a go making a cake by herself (well the placing in the oven bit aside). This recipe is adapted from one in the cookbook of Bill’s Restaurant; for those of you unaware of this small chain of restaurants which started in Lewes, they produce good seasonal food with an emphasis on fresh fruit and veg. The resulting cake is a bit of a show stopper, perfect for a summer tea party.
You will need
Cake
225g caster sugar
225g unsalted butter, softened
4!medium eggs, beaten
1 knife tip of vanilla paste
1.5 tsp baking powder
225g self-raising flour, sifted
Rose cream filling
150ml double cream
1/2 tsp rosewater
4 tbsp raspberry jam
150g fresh raspberries
Rose glacé icing
175g icing sugar
2 tbsp warm water
1 tsp rose water

This makes a two-tier cake, but Matilda made a three tier version by using half as much ingredients again.

Preheat oven to 180°C, lightly butter two cake tins 20cm in diameter and line with baking parchment.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and butter together till they are pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla paste before slowly adding the beaten egg a little at a time. The mixture may start to curdle, but if you add a teaspoon of flour, it should bring it back together. Mix in the baking powder and half the flour, then fold in the rest. Share out the batter between the cake tins. Smooth the tops, then bake for 20-25 minutes until they are golden, risen and have shrunk away slightly from the sides of the tin. Leave the cakes in their tins for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire cooling rack.

Whilst you wait, whisk the double cream until it stands in soft peaks, adding the small amount of rosewater as you go. Fold in the raspberry jam, and when the cakes are completely cool, turn one of them flat base uppermost, spread with the cream mixture and scatter with slightly crushed raspberries. Top with the second cake. If you’ve made three cakes, spread more cream and raspberries over the second layer and top with the third.

For the pink glacé icing, mix together the icing sugar, water and rosewater, and stir in the juice from a few crushed raspberries. Drizzle the icing across the cake and top with roses, rose petals and the remaining raspberries.

From the Bill’s Produce cookbook, Cook, Eat Smile.
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Gluten-free Lemon Ricotta Cake

The other day, I was given a load of ricotta which was going to be thrown out. Its use by date was about to pass and therefore was unable to be sold, but essentially it was fine. Given this ricotta mountain, I set myself the task of turning it into delicious food. Ricotta is an Italian whey cheese made from the whey left over from the production of other cheeses like mozzarella, hence its name (ricotta literally means “cooked”). It is a versatile cheese, being used in both sweet and savoury dishes, like the traditional Italian Easter pie, Torta Pasqualina. Given the family’s need for a cake this week, and one which could be used as an impromptu pudding too, I decided to start off by making a ricotta cake; not quite a Sicilian Cassata, but a cake of ricotta, eggs, sugar and a little flour.lemon ricotta cake

You will need
150g softened butter
150g granulated sugar
Zest of 2 large lemons
1/2 tsp. vanilla paste
3 large eggs, separated
250g ricotta cheese
65g gluten-free plain flour, plus a little for dusting
2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
Dash of Salt
To Serve:
Fresh strawberries, raspberries, blackberries (any berries available and in season)

Preheat oven to 170°C and lightly grease and flour a 20cm spring-form pan.  Beat the butter and sugar, or use the food processer, until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest, vanilla extract, egg yolks and ricotta cheese and beat until smooth. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt, before beating into the butter mixture until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff, then gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Pour the batter into the tin, then bake for about 45 minutes, or until a cake tester stuck into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool, then top with your selection of seasonal berries.

Favourite Five Raspberry Recipes

We have been overrun with raspberries at the allotment this year. The summer fruiting varieties are providing us with a delicious crop at the moment, and the autumn canes are looking like they will continue the harvest when they come to fruition in late August/September. The taste of raspberries is a very evocative one for me, harking back to picking raspberries at my Grandpa’s house; but its also a great one to put into foods, somehow being both sharp and sweet at the same time.favourite five Raspberry Smoothie – Raspberries go brilliantly in a smoothie. Just whizz a large handful of berries with a banana, a few spoons of yoghurt and a drizzle of honey. The resulting drink is perfect for breakfast, snacks, or as a speedy pud for kids’ teas.

Raspberry Friands – I’ve only just discovered these recently, but they’re a great little cake. What’s more, they use raspberries from the freezer, so you can use up a glut you’ve frozen earlier in the year. Basically a mix of egg whites, ground almonds and sugar, they are also gluten free! To see the full recipe read the post I blogged earlier in the month.raspberries and coffee Raspberry & Blackcurrant Ripple Frozen Yoghurt – I love ice-cream and I’m a fan of frozen yoghurt too. Not possessing an ice-cream machine, I’m always reluctant to make it, but this recipe is a doddle. Combine  500g thick yoghurt, a knife tips worth of vanilla paste and 50ml maple syrup in a freezable container and freeze for 2 hours. Remove and pulse in food processor with 125g raspberries. Refreeze for a further 2 hours. Pulse the frozen mix again and pour back into the container, before drizzling blackcurrant cordial (I made my own last year, but you want a concentrated one) over the frozen yoghurt. Take a fork and move it through the mix, creating a ripple effect. Return to the freezer for another hour or so, remembering to remove it from the freezer 30 minutes before you want to devour it.

Raspberry & Rosewater Cake – Inspired by a cake featured in Bill Collison’s great book, Cook, Eat, Smile, this is a real summer treat, and my daughter’s favourite cake to make. Bake your usual Victoria sponge recipe, and then sandwich with a layer of raspberries and whipped cream (flavoured with a dash of rosewater). Ice the cake with a simple icing made of icing sugar and raspberry juice, allowing it to dribble down the sides. Top with a roses from the garden, or in our case from the allotment.raspberry rosewater cake Raspberry Cheescake Tart – Make or buy a sweet pastry tart case. Whip up a combination of mascarpone and cream cheese and use it to fill the pastry case. Top with raspberries and place in the oven to chill and the cheese to set.

How do you like to use raspberries? What about in savoury dishes?

 

 

Raspberry Friands

We always end up having egg whites left over from cooking. Apart from meringue, which can be used to make a favourite of our family, Eton Mess; I struggle to find uses for these leftover whites. I recently discovered friands; a version of the classic French financier which is popular in the antipodes. These little cakes use almond flour and lightly whipped egg whites to form a delicious sweet morsel, which compliments the acidity of raspberries brilliantly.

raspberry friands and coffee

You will need (makes 24 small friands)
4 egg whites
120ml milk
A dash of Rosewater
60g margarine melted
125g ground almonds
250g cups gluten-free icing sugar
70g gluten-free plain flour
A dash of sunflower oil
150g frozen raspberries
50g flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 180°C.  Beat egg whites for 1 minute or so until they are frothy, but not firm. Add the milk to the melted margarine and dash of Rosewater, before combining with egg whites. Fold ground almonds into mix using a wooden spoon, before sifting the icing sugar and flour into the bowl, then gently folding it all together. The less the mixture is moved around at this point, the lighter the friands. Grease a 12-cup mini muffin (or friand )tin with a little oil, then spoon equal amounts into 12 holes. Press 2 raspberries in each friend, so they are covered with mixture and then top with a few flaked almonds.

Bake for 20 minutes or until firm to touch on the centre. Leave in pan for a few minutes before turning friands out onto a wire rack to cool.

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friands and coffee