With the Irish rhubarb season now in full swing this cake is centred around a sweetly delicious rhubarb and rose petal jam. This has to be my all-time favourite jam and any leftover tastes delicious slathered on warm scones for a weekend treat! Here the jam is paired with a fragrant orange and almond cake, covered in a light Italian meringue icing. The result has to be tasted to be believed…divine! This orange almond cake is all about flavour and is perfect for making on a lazy weekend as a delectable treat to share with friends and family. If you wish to simplify the process the Italian meringue icing can be omitted altogether in favour of a pared back cake, or indeed can be replaced by a simple vanilla or orange buttercream. Enjoy!
– 175 unsalted butter
– 175g caster sugar
– 175g self-raising flour
– 75g ground almonds
– 3 eggs
– Grated zest 1 orange
– 3-4 tbsp milk
Rhubarb and Rose Petal Jam
– 450g rhubarb
– 225g caster sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
– 1½ tbsp rose water
– ½ cup dried culinary rose petals
– Squeeze lemon juice
Italian Meringue Icing
– 150g caster sugar
– 4 tbsp tap water
– 80g egg whites
To make the cake:
1. preheat the oven to 150°C/315F.
2. Grease and line two 5” cake tins (or for a shallower cake use two 6” cake tins).
3. Cream together the butter, sugar and orange zest by hand or in a mixer.
4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
5. Sift in the flour followed by the ground almonds and mix together on low speed.
6. Add the milk and more if required to achieve a good dropping consistency.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for approximately 30-40mins until cakes are springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
8. Leave to cool in the tins for 10-15mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the rhubarb and rose petal jam:
1. place the rhubarb and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the rhubarb begins to release its juices.
2. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5-10 mins until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
3. Add in the vanilla paste, rose water, rose petals and a squeeze of lemon juice and stir.
4. Pour into sterilized jars, seal and leave to cool.
To make the Italian meringue icing:
1. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and attach a sugar thermometer to the side.
2. Place the egg whites in the clean bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment and begin to mix on slow speed.
3. Heat the sugar to boiling point and continue to heat until temperature reaches 120°C. When the sugar passes 105°C increase the speed of the mixer to form stiff peaks in the egg whites. When the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature remove from the heat and slowly pour into the egg whites while whisking at low speed. Take care not to pour onto the whisk attachment or edge of the bowl.
4. When all the syrup has been added continue whisking on high speed for a further 5-10 mins until the bowl is cool to the touch and the meringue is stiff and shiny. Leave to cool completely before using.
To assemble the cake:
1. Level the cakes and cut each cake in two to create 4 layers (or if making a shallower 6” cake you may wish to leave cakes whole).
2. Fill each layer with a little of the meringue icing and a generous filling of rhubarb and rose petal jam.
3. Coat the cake in the meringue icing to give a rough rustic finish.
Cove Cake Design was founded in 2013 by Suzanne Brady. A former scientist, with a PhD in Biochemistry followed by a career working for Cancer Research UK, Suzanne discovered a natural love of baking after becoming a full-time mother in 2008. A keen student, she completed a Professional Masters Certificate in Cake Decorating, Royal Icing and Sugar Flower Techniques at Squires International School and a PME Knightsbridge Diploma in Sugar Flowers. With an eye for perfection Suzanne subsequently honed her skills with online and self-taught techniques. And so in 2013 Cove Cake Design, a nod to the stunning Sandycove area of Dublin where Suzanne and her family call home, began its baking journey.
From the outset Suzanne’s ethos has been to work closely with each client, drawing on a wide source of inspiration to create a bespoke cake unique to each occasion. With a delectable menu reflecting the quality of ingredients sourced and the design precision with which Suzanne decorates each cake it is unsurprising that Cove Cake Design has flourished into a thriving home business whose cakes have been recognised and featured in numerous magazines and blogs from around the world.