Firstly, I need to gush about today’s weather. Yes, I really need to. We haven’t been blessed with such gorgeous sunshine for quite a long time now. I had almost forgotten what it was like to bask in the sun and feel the warmth coming through. Yes, it is a gorgeous day today.
Now, in some ways, Dinesh and I could not be more different. The typical situations where the wife needs the radiator and the husband feels too hot and wants it off, is quite common in our house. And when it comes to cakes, Mr Bhuyan loves the plain vanilla flavoured ones, and probably would give lemon or orange flavours a go too, but with no frosting as such; whereas I love them all dark with chocolate, the more the better.
It’s Dinesh’s birthday today, and knowing the flavours he goes for in his cakes, I kept his birthday cake the way he liked them. A light lemon and almond sponge was made, halved and filled with a little mascarpone cream and topped with a bouquet of sugar frosted roses. Well, a little filling won’t hurt, I guess
Did I tell you that Dinesh is a full fledged roses man, and probably thinks that is the only flower worth giving attention to. Well, he loves roses, so they are what he will get, I thought.
I’ve been wanting to try making sugar frosted flowers for a long time, and now seemed to be the perfect opportunity. They are so ridiculously easy to make, and give a beautiful frosted look to edible flowers.
This is one of those cakes that require minimum of effort but has a simplistic charm and elegance to it. And, of course, it tastes good too. The lemon and almond sponge recipe is one that I made up earlier, but never got round to posting. So, here’s the recipe for the cake as well as the sugar frosted flowers.
The flowers need to made in advance as they need a few hours to dry.
For the sugar frosted flowers-
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 C of caster sugar
6 roses ( make sure that they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides) with 2-3 inch stalks , washed and dried with a kitchen towel.
For the lemon and almond sponge-
1/2 C of whole wheat flour (atta)
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1/4 C +1 tblsp of ground almonds
3/4 C of icing sugar
For filling the cake-
250 gms of mascarpone cheese, whisked with 3 tblsp of lemon juice,3 tblsp of icing sugar, and grated zest of 1 lemon.
The sugar frosted flowers-
- Beat the egg white lightly.
- With a paintbrush, brush the petals with a little of the egg white, making sure to reach inside the petals and on the stalks too.
- Sprinkle some caster sugar over the rose and into the grooves. Shake off excess sugar and leave it to dry for at least 2 hours. I covered a plate with foil and let the roses dry on them. Repeat for the rest of the roses.
- I also sugar frosted a few rose leaves in the same way (although, I believe they can be eaten too, I added the leaves, more for the aesthetics than for the eating).
- Other edible flowers can also be sugar frosted in this same way.
The lemon and almond sponge-
- Pre heat the oven at 180 deg C and line an 8 inch round pan with foil.
- Place the flour, ground almonds and lemon zest in a bowl. With the fingertips, rub the mixture till everything is well mixed together.
- Beat together the eggs and the icing sugar for about 5 minutes or till fluffy and pale.
- In batches, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and fold in, preferable with a rubber spatula, till everything is just moistened.
- Tip the mixture into the prepared pan. Lightly tap the pan against the counter to get rid of air bubbles.
- Place the pan in the centre of the pre heated oven ad bake for about 25-27 minutes or till the top is golden and the middle is springy to the touch.
- Cool the cake in the pan for a minute and peeling off the foil, transfer to a rack to cool completely before filling and topping.
Filling and topping-
- When cooled completely, slice the cake horizontally into two portions.
- Spread the filling on one half of the cake and place the other half on top.
- Arrange the sugar frosted flowers and leaves on top.
I really enjoyed sugar frosting the flowers, something I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time. We really like the sponge when I made it earlier and this time round it was no different. The lemon mascarpone filling complemented the cake.
Happy birthday Dinesh!!