So here's one for the wonderful Mums in my life, for Mother's Day. I have been blessed with two: My mum Sue, and my mother in law Geraldine. (Now how many people can say they have a great mother in law?) They're the best mums a girl could have.
I cheated a little with the cake making as I knew I wouldn't have the time to whip one up from scratch and decorate. So I used a packet butter cake recipe, coloured soft pink. I made it in a oven proof bowl to get a more domed shape, but the original cake was made in a regular spring-form cake tin, and looked pretty much the same. I liked the dome effect though, so if you have an oven proof bowl, try it! The measurements of this bowl were 10cm high, 18cm wide across the top lip. The finished cake is on a 25cm round cake stand.
It honestly took me about 4-5 hours to complete this cake with frequent interruptions in between. Make sure you have a child free morning or afternoon when you attempt it. Also, just a note about feeling discouraged. The cake doesn't look like a rose until the very end, so keep working on those rows and rows of petals. The final touches are so exciting and satisfying!
What does it taste like? Heaven. Imagine subtle hints of Turkish delight in every sugar coated, crunchy bite. Imagine rose water. They're surprisingly delicious, and the sugared petals also make pretty additions to cupcakes and other desserts, placed individually as decoration. Roses are edible of course, but be sure that your roses have not been sprayed with pesticides. Home grown roses are the best to use if you are unsure.
|A special thanks to my husband, who brought me home roses and saw me tear the heads off and dismantle them with great gusto. You're a true gem.|
GIANT SUGAR ROSE PETAL CAKE
1 bunch of pink roses (about 10 heads)
1 egg white
2 cups caster sugar
1 butter cake packet mix
1 tsp. pink food colouring
2 cups icing sugar
1/8-1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp butter or margarine, softened
Preheat your oven a advised on the cake box. Grease and line your cake tin (20x20cm) or oven proof bowl. Make the cake batter as directed in your recipe, or on the cake packet instructions. Add the pink dye to the batter and lightly swirl through.Scoop batter into the prepared tin.
Cook as directed. Cool on a wire rack before commencing the decorating.
Place the egg white in a small bowl and lightly whisk to break up the albumen.
Place the caster sugar in a shallow dish. Line several trays with paper toweling.
Very gently remove the stems from your roses, so that you have just the heads. You can either take the rose petals off individually or pierce the very bottom of the rose with your nail where it joins to the receptacle, removing all the petals at once. Discard any blemished, broken or bruised petals. The more open the rose, the better, as the further in towards the centre of the rose, the more curled and small the petals become.
With a pastry brush, smooth egg white over the whole petal, then coat in caster sugar. Lay the sugared petal on the paper toweling and repeat with the remaining rose petals. Any petals which are too curled at the edges, lay flat on their faces so that the curved edges are pushed flatter. A little curve is nice and gives definition, but too much can ruin the way the petals sit together on the cake. Leave all the petals to dry. (Depending upon weather conditions such as humidity etc, petals may vary in drying time. I set my trays on the stove with a little heat in the oven and they dried within the hour.)
Place the icing sugar in a medium bowl with the butter or margarine. Add enough milk to get a good icing consistency (the consistency of lightly whipped cream). Smooth carefully over the cake, creating as smooth a surface as possible.
Working from the bottom edge upwards, begin to place the petals on the cake, slightly overlapping each petal with the one besides it. Keep working your way around and around the cake in this manner. As you get towards the top of the cake, the petals will naturally start to stand upright and begin to form the shape of the middle. Work your way into the centre, continuing the previously mentioned overlapping. Place a single, more curled sugared rose petal in the centre to finish off the cake.