Valentine’s Rose and Raspberry Ripple Cake

I realise that I am slightly late, but if you have forgotten or haven’t had time to make your valentine something yet, a homemade cake could be romantic? Ok, so maybe not as much as a red rose or something, but still. Before you ask, no, I have no valentine… Sad I know, but hopefully one day! I made this just to look pretty and taste even better.

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I used that flavour, which is sometimes associated with Valentine’s Day – rose. But I didn’t want a sickly rosy posy cake, so I’ve made it what I have christened a rose and raspberry ripple sponge, with rose icing on top. Rose water can be bought at any good supermarket, however, I recommend buying one with a decent strength (I use Star Kay White rose water).

This really is a simple cake, but as it is Valentine’s Day, you can make it look as fancy as you want… I got creative with a heart stencil, cocoa powder and edible glitter for that bit of shazaam.

Valentine’s Rose and Raspberry Ripple Cake
You need:
SPONGE
175g/6oz butter
175g/6oz sugar
3 eggs
175g/6oz self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 – 1 tsp rose water (to taste)
2 tbsp raspberry jam

ICING
50g/2oz butter (softened if possible)
50ml/2floz milk
1/2 – 1 tsp rose water
200g/8oz icing sugar
red food colouring

1) Turn the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Grease an 8″ cake tin, or a heart tin like mine (http://www.marksandspencer.com/Professional-Heart-Springform-Cake-Pan/dp/B00444UOM2).

2) In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Crack in the eggs and mix thoroughly (scraping down the sides)

3) Mix in the flour, baking powder and rose water (see how rosy you like it – remember you can always add more. Don’t add too much or it will taste like a rose garden!) Using a tablespoon, swirl in the raspberry jam (note the SWIRL, NOT MIX). This should have a lovely ripply effect.

4) Pour the mixture into the tin, and bake for 35 minutes in the oven (a skewer should come out clean). Don’t worry if it’s slightly darker than a normal sponge, this is just the jam.

5) When the cake is cool, turn it out onto a plate. Now – icing! In a bowl, cream the butter, milk and rose water with the icing sugar (add the icing sugar slowly). If the icing starts to get too stodgy and thick, stop and adding the icing sugar and add another drop of milk to smooth it again. If, on the other hand, it’s too runny, add more icing sugar. It should be thick, but not too thick to spread. Add the food colouring a drop at a time, until the right pink is achieved.

6) Spread evenly over the cake and then go crazy with love themed decorations. I made my own stencil and sifted cocoa powder into it. Glitter, real flowers, crystallised petal or piping work all look fab too.

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I hope that your valentine will enjoy this cake as my loved ones (my family) have. It is basically a sponge with buttercream, but shhhh! No one need know this – this could be some complicated recipe (they will never know). Hope you enjoy it, I have some really good recipes to come… One word – COOKIES. Please do not hesitate to ask, and I would love to see pictures or recipes of other ‘love’ themed bakes.

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