If you follow this blog at all, you may realise I’m pretty keen on rosewater as an ingredient. I love its floral, heady flavour, with mysterious overtones of the exotic Middle East.
A great pairing with rosewater is raspberries. This recipe is something quite simple that anyone can make.
I got the idea for the recipe by adapting a great recipe from the “Queen of Baking” Mary Berry. Mary has a recipe for a Victoria Sponge that is ultra simple. Mary uses baking spread, not butter in her sponge. As a butter aficionado, I would have said “Oh no!” But I trust Mary, and I made the cake with baking spread. And it works! As Mary says it makes a really light sponge.
So I have been adapting and tweaking the recipe for different cakes in different sizes. This version uses three quarters of the original quantity.
But if you don’t like baking spread, by all means use butter. Just make sure it’s soft, or it won’t cream properly.
170g baking spread (I use Nuttelex, an Australian brand)
170g caster sugar
3 free-range eggs
170g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon rosewater
125g frozen raspberries
2 teaspoons plain flour, for the raspberries
Juice of half a lemon, or enough to make a soft icing
150g icing sugar
A few drops of pink food colouring, enough to make a rose pink icing
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C fan forced. Butter a 22cm spring form tin and line the base with baking paper.
Cream the baking spread and caster sugar in an electric mixer. Add the eggs and 1 tablespoon of the flour, and mix well. (This is to stop the egg, sugar and butter curdling).
Add the rest of the flour and baking powder, and mix until incorporated. Don’t overmix, or the cake will be tough.
Stir in the rosewater. Sprinkle the raspberries with the flour and gently fold through.
Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and smooth the top.
Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before carefully turning out onto a cake rack.
For the icing, add the lemon juice to the icing sugar in a small bowl and mix well. You may need less or more lemon juice. You want a soft icing that will stay on the cake and not drip off. Add the food colouring carefully, you don’t want a lurid cake!
Serve in its own, or decorate with whatever you have to hand, in my case some dried rosebuds and rose pink glitter powder. Probably fresh raspberries would be just as nice!