Violet flower cake

Violet flower cake

Torta di fiori di violette

By
From
The Italian Baker
Serves
12-14

I’m simply in love with edible flowers, and have been using them recently in cakes, puddings and cookies; I encourage you to do the same. They are pure magic, pure beauty and pure taste. My friend L is a so-called “nose”, someone who studies and makes perfumes using only the best ingredients and lots of flowers and spices. I love her bespoke fragrances and she loves my cakes. This cake is dedicated to her, for always surrounding me with wonderful floral aromas.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the vanilla syrup

Quantity Ingredient
120ml water
120g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 vanilla pod, seeds

For the sponge cake

Quantity Ingredient
little softened butter, for greasing
120g plain flour
4 eggs
pinch salt
120g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1 lemon, Grated zested

For the filling and topping

Quantity Ingredient
250g fresh mixed fruits of the forest, plus extra to decorate
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon caster sugar
500ml double cream
generous handful edible violets, plus extra to decorate

Method

  1. To prepare the vanilla syrup, put the water and sugar into a pan and set over a medium heat until the sugar is fully dissolved. Increase the heat and, as soon as it comes to a boil, remove from the heat, add the vanilla and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter two 20-cm cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Sift the flour three times.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a mixing bowl and using hand-held electric beaters, beat the eggs, salt and sugar until quadrupled in volume. This will take 15–20 minutes but is a crucial step, so be patient. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest.
  4. Very gently fold in the sifted flower in small additions, using a spatula and trying not to deflate the mixture. Once fully incorporated, divide the mixture between the prepared tins and bake for 25–30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tins before inverting on to a wire rack.
  5. Put the fruits of the forest into a bowl, add the lemon juice and sugar and gently stir to avoid breaking them up. In a separate bowl, whip the cream for the frosting to a stiff consistency.
  6. To assemble, place one of the cakes on a plate. Prick the entire surface with a skewer and brush with a generous amount of vanilla syrup. Spread over an even layer of whipped cream, place the fruits in the centre and push them just a little towards the sides (not too near the edge or they will leak out when you stack the cake). Top with violets and stack the other cake on top. Spread the remaining whipped cream over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with extra violets and some more fruits.
Tags:
baking
cakes
biscuits
Italian
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