Well hello there. It feels like years since I last wrote a blog post. The last few months have been very busy in our house but I’ve been baking away just the same, only not writing quite so much about it. If you follow my Instagram feed you’ll see plenty of baking, cooking and the odd bottle or two of wine (francesbakes).
My friend asked me to make a cake for her mum’s special birthday and I just knew you guys would want to see more of the process, so I documented its production to share with you today.
My brief was “she likes Turkish Delight and best to avoid chocolate”…immediately I thought to ask if she likes raspberries: they go so well with rose. Thankfully, she does, and so I started planning what I’d make.
Straight away I decided to use The Pink Whisk’s Raspberry Ripple cake as the basis for the celebration cake. I have used this recipe a lot and it is simply delicious. So many people that I know love it too, so if you haven’t tried it, then I urge you to give it a bash this summer as soon as you can get your hands on some raspberries.
I also knew that I wanted to make my own Turkish Delight. Only recently did I make Marshmallows for the first time. It was a lot of fun and so deeply satisfying to make something that we so easily pick up off the shelves in the supermarket without a second thought. And for the record, homemade, as with most things, is *so* much better. I searched online for some recipes and decided to use the one on the Good to Know website.
It was actually very straightforward and required very little for me to do once it was bubbling away for 20 minutes. The tricky part was peeling it away from the paper once it had set. It is still pretty soft and *very* sticky once set, so patience is required.
But what fun playing with this wibbly wobbly treat.
I don’t think I can emphasise enough how satisfying this was to make. Or to play with. I even made a video.
Enough of that for now…on to the cake itself.
I baked the cake in two 8″ sandwich tins, as directed by the recipe.
Then, to add more layers of flavour to what was to be a celebration cake, after all, I soaked the cakes in a Rose water sugar syrup. I made this by warming through 45ml of water in a pan with 45g of caster sugar until the sugar had dissolved, then I stirred through 1/4 teaspoon of Rose water.
Once cool, I filled the cake with the raspberry Cream cheese filling that Ruth uses, but I mixed the raspberry purée through thoroughly. I also added three drops of raspberry flavouring from Lakeland. This ensured that the cake stayed moist and that the flavour of raspberries wasn’t drowned out by the rose.
I then chilled the cake right down for a while to allow the filling to firm up a little.
I made a regular buttercream, but added Rose water to taste and a drop of pink food colouring. I crumb coated the cake, chilled it, then gave it a final smooth and sharp finish before returning it to the fridge to completely set.
Then, came the fun bit…
I used a stencil to create a pretty pattern on the top of the cake with icing sugar to start with.
I then began to arrange the cubed Turkish Delight around the top of the cake, adding fresh raspberries (with a little soft buttercream to help them “stick”), freeze dried raspberries, edible rose petals and some pink sprinkles. It can be hard to know when to stop! And when people say how pretty my cakes like these are, I always direct them to how beautiful the ingredients are. How wonderfully beautiful, vibrant and juicy do these raspberries look? How could a cake not look good with these on top?
Here are some of my tips for making and decorating cakes like these: let the best of ingredients speak for themselves; take your time assembling the decoration on top; keep stepping back and turning the cake round to check for balance (both from above and from the side); and think about and consider the balance of colours, textures and shapes that you are using to decorate it with.
I am very pleased with how the cake turned out. If I was to make this one again, I would maybe cube the Turkish Delight smaller, but that is just a minor detail. If you want to make it, you might want to use Swiss Meringue Buttercream for an even lighter exterior. If you really don’t like the taste of rose (and I never used to but have grown to love it) you could make this simply with the raspberry flavours, even make a thick raspberry syrup to drizzle down the sides of the cake. As I always say, make it your own.
It was a pleasure to make a cake for my friend’s mum: she is a very special and amazing woman.