Monday, 13 October 2014

White rose cake with crystallised rose petals & Decorated book giveaway

White Rose Cake from Decorated. Photo: Danielle Wood
Today my new book, Decorated: Sublimely Crafted Cakes for Every Occasion, has officially been released in the UK, US and Australia! To celebrate, I wanted to share one of my favourite recipes and decorating techniques from the book and I also have a signed copy to give away.

Decorated giveaway
For a chance to win a signed copy of Decorated, all you need to do is leave a comment below, tweet or post on instagram and let me know what your favourite cake flavour is (use the hashtag #DecoratedCookBook). Just to inspire you, here are some of the flavours from the recipes in Decorated: chocolate sea salt caramel, coconut, fig and almond, lemon poppyseed, lavender, dark chocolate, burnt butter hazelnut, apple rosemary, gingerbread whiskey caramel, red velvet, chesnut pear, pistachio... The winner will be chosen at random on Friday, good luck! x

How to crystallise rose petals. Photo: Danielle Wood

White rose cake recipe & how to crystallise rose petals

I love this dip-dye ombre look. Inside is a rose flavoured cake that uses mostly egg white, giving the sponge a pale shade which lends itself well to being coloured (check out the book for tips on how to turn this into a rainbow cake). 

The rose cake is topped with crystallised rose petals. This technique works with other edible flowers like violets and yellow primroses.
 As with using fresh flowers, the important thing to remember 
is that your rose petals should be pesticide free.

For the crystallised rose petals:
1. Remove the petals from the flower head, trying to keep them in one piece. Pick out the freshest looking petals.
2. Working in batches, brush a thin layer of egg white on to both sides of each petal and sprinkle over enough caster sugar to give each petal an even coating.
3. Set aside on baking parchment or a wire rack to dry with a crisp shell, uncovered, for several hours or overnight. Store at room temperature and use within a day or so of making.

For the cake:
125 g (41⁄2 oz) unsalted butter
250 g (9 oz/generous cup) caster (superfine) sugar
1 medium egg and 3 medium egg whites, lightly beaten
225 g (8 oz/scant 2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
60 0 g (1 lb 3 oz/scant 5 cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar
150 ml (5 fl oz) double (heavy) cream
pink paste or gel food colouring
21⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
180 ml (6 fl oz) whole milk
1 teaspoon rose extract

For the rose buttercream:
375 g (13 oz) unsalted butter
2–3 teaspoons rose extract

To decorate:
pink and white crystallised rose petals

2 x 13 cm (5 inch) round, deep cake tins

Preheat the oven to 170°C (335°F/Gas 3). Grease the cake tins and line with baking parchment. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs to the mixture a little at a time, until they’re well incorporated.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into bowl.  Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just combined. Add half of the milk and the rose extract, continuing to beat, and then add the remaining flour and milk.

Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared  cake tins. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in their tins, then turn them out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

While the cakes are cooling, make the rose buttercream. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter for 3–4 minutes until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar and cream and continue to beat for another 2–3 minutes until smooth. Add the rose extract gradually to taste.

Level the cakes by cutting off the domed tops and split each layer in half so that you have 4 layers in total. Fix the bottom layer to the cake board or stand with a small amount of buttercream and spread with a generous amount of the buttercream. Add the second layer and repeat, and repeat again with the third layer, finishing with the final cake layer. Cover the cake with a thin layer of buttercream and chill for 30 minutes or until firm.

Split the remaining buttercream into 3 bowls, leaving half of the buttercream white and colouring a quarter deep pink and a quarter pale pink. Spread the white buttercream over the top and halfway down the sides of the cake. With a clean spatula, spread the deep pink buttercream around the bottom quarter of the cake. Spread the pale pink buttercream between the white and deep pink colours, clean your spatula and smooth the cake, removing excess buttercream as you go. Decorate with the crystallised rose petals.

White Rose Cake from Decorated. Photo: Danielle Wood

Saturday, 11 October 2014

My new book, Decorated: Sublimely Crafted Cakes for Every Occasion

It's finally here! My new book, Decorated: Sublimely Crafted Cakes for Every Occasion, is officially released on Monday 13th October. It features over 20 cake projects with delicious flavour combinations like sea salt caramel and chocolate, citrus with blood orange, lemon and pink grapefruit, burnt butter hazelnut and creative decorating techniques like fresh flowers, fruit dipped in edible glitter, painted golden pecans, scalloped Swiss meringue buttercream and crystallised rosemary. 

I've been so lucky to work with the photographer Danielle Wood and the team at Hardie Grant again and as well as gorgeous photos of each cake we've included loads of step by step shots. There are basics like how to level, split, fill and cover a cake with ganache or buttercream and more advanced (but totally achievable) steps from how to create tiered cakes like the Stacked Victoria Sandwich on the front cover to fancy piping, ombre colour schemes and making your own fondant confetti sprinkles.

I'm going to be sharing more from the book during the launch week but in the mean time, there are some of the beautiful photos from the book on my instagram, twitter and facebook feeds (look out for the hashtag #DecoratedCookBook). Decorated is available to pre order on Amazon and it will be in shops like Waterstones and Foyles from Monday. Yay!!


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