Thursday, 12 July 2012

Rose & Strawberry Victoria Sponge

Initially, I thought I might have to make my own birthday cake for my tea party, but as it happened, one of my splendid aunts stepped in and made a scrumptious brandy soaked chocolate cake. However, as I already had something in mind, I thought I'd go ahead and make a cake anyway - you can never have too much cake - in my humble opinion.

Last month, I made rose syrup and rose sugar so I was keen to utilise these - the sugar smelt divine. The natural progression, it seemed to me, was to use them in a Victoria sponge, one filled with cream and strawberries. At about this time I was asked if I'd like to participate in a British Baking competition from Baking Mad. This consisted of baking something from the street party recipes section of Baking Mad, using primarily British ingredients. I was sent some of the required ingredients. Amazingly, Victoria sponge filled with cream and strawberries was one of the recipes offered. Unusually for me, I had made the rose sugar (fragrant rose petals left in a jar of caster sugar) using Silver Spoon sugar, so I had just what was needed. The great thing about this sugar is that it it is made from British grown sugar beet, thereby not only being relatively local, but also supporting British growers and British manufacturing.


"Silver Spoon sugars are made from sugar beet which is a large pale brown root crop, similar to parsnip which grows in the temperate climates of Europe and North America. The sugar beet that goes into Silver Spoon sugars travels a short distance to the factory (an average of only 28 miles) direct from the fields around Bury St Edmunds in East Anglia. Silver Spoon work with 1,200 local farmers to grown the beet, which is then made into their range of homegrown sugars for families all over the country.
 Silver Spoon are committed to reducing energy use, emissions and waste at every stage. All raw materials in the factory are aimed to be transformed into sustainable products."


In addition to the British sugar and British flour I was sent, I also used British icing sugar, butter, duck eggs, cream and roses. In fact, it was only the white chocolate that wasn't British. Does this mean I might be in with a chance of winning the prize of a hamper of British produce? Probably not, but it's all good fun.

My version of the recipe not only used rose as a flavouring, rather than the suggested vanilla extract, but also white chocolate in the filling. I increased the quantities as I wanted a large cake and used my usual half wholemeal, half white flour mix. Intriguingly, the recipe used steam, presumably to help the cake rise. I haven't come across this method of making cake sponge before, so I was interested to see if it made any difference. Ideally I had wanted to fill the cake with plain cream and strawberries, but as I had to make it all up the day before the party, I opted for a white chocolate and rose cream filling instead and just hoped the strawberries would survive.

This is what I did:
  • Creamed 275g unsalted butter with 275g rose sugar (using Silver Spoon Homegrown) until very light.
  • Beat in 4 duck eggs, one by one.
  • Sifted in 275g Allinson self-raising flour (half wholemeal, half white).
  • Splooshed in a little milk to lighten the mix.
  • Spooned into two 22 cm cake moulds.
  • Placed a tin of water on the bottom of the warm oven floor & baked the cakes at 180C for 40 minutes.
  • Left to cool for 15 minutes then turned out onto a wire rack.
  • Having, err, accidentally made butter from what was meant to be the cream, rose and white chocolate filling, I had a rethink and went for a buttercream filling instead.
  • Melted 50g white chocolate in a bowl over hot water and left to cool a little.
  • Creamed 60g unsalted butter with 120g icing sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the chocolate and a tbsp of cream.
  • Beat in 2 tbsp of rose syrup.
  • Spread the buttercream over both cakes.
  • Laid slices of strawberries over one cake and put the other (buttercream side down) on top, sandwiching the strawberries between the buttercream.
  • Mixed 50g icing sugar with a tbsp of double cream and 2 tbsp rose syrup.
  • Poured this over the top of the cake.
  • Decorated with shimmer pearls and ladybirds.
The day after the afternoon before
The cake was wonderfully light, despite the wholemeal flour. I put this down to my muscle power with all that creaming, but I suspect it was more likely to have been the addition of steam in the oven. The rose flavour was subtle, but definitely present. It was a little too sweet for my taste and really needed unsweetened cream in the middle to offset the sugar. But it was pronounced thoroughly delicious by all who tried it and I was happy to accept that.

As this recipe uses both seasonal strawberries and roses, I am linking this up to Ren's Simple & In Season challenge, hosted this month by Homemade by Fleur.

56 comments:

  1. That cake looks delicious...I'd happily have that as my birthday cake, rose is one of my favourite flavours of all time...lovely recipe! x

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    1. Thanks Sue, I had a feeling you might approve of this one :D

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  2. I love the look of this beautiful cake and also I like the ingredients you have used. Thumbs up!

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    1. Thanks Alida - this was a particularly good one.

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  3. That looks beautiful.your decoration is perfect!

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    1. Thank you - love it when people say that ;-)

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  4. It looks like the cake turned out beautifully, Choclette...I love how the sugar frosting set up on the cake - the pattern is so eye-catching.

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    1. Thank JW, it did have a bit of a helping hand ;-)

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  5. This cake looks so pretty. Such a lovely presentation!

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    1. Thank you Ellen - sometimes I can pull it off and I think I managed it with this one!

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  6. I love Strawberry victoria Sponge and this look absolutely beautiful!!

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    1. Thanks Gloria - it's even better flavoured with rose :)

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  7. That's a lovely Birthday cake and I like the decoration.

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  8. The cake sure looks delicious and I love the decorations :D.

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    1. Thanks, I love the flavour of rose and was just sorry I didn't have any rose petals to scatter over the top.

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  9. Looks delicious. You can never have too much cake. I love the subtle floral flavour of rose. Wonderful pairing with strawberries.

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    1. Thanks Katie. I've been using rose with quite a few different fruits recently and so far they've paired up wonderfully well.

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  10. I've made rose and white chocolate icing before and while it was delicious, I found the combination ever so slightly cloying, which it sounds like you did with the sweetness above. Nonetheless it sounds like an absolutely gorgeous cake and fitting for a birthday celebration! Sounds like you had a wonderful day :-)

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    1. You are absolutely spot on. Cream with some rose syrup whipped in would have been much nicer, but still, it proved to be popular and was one of the best sponges I've made.

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  11. Really beautiful cake!!!
    Have a nice week end

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  12. What a lovely sponge cake with amazing flavor that i LOVE! The sugar frosting was so gorgeous! Love it! Have a wonderful weekend :)

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    1. Thanks Kit. You have impeccable taste - the flavours were just fantastic.

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  13. Strawberries and roses go beautifully together as I found out for the first time this year! Your cake looks so pretty and I love the little ladybirds! Hope you enjoyed your birthday:)

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    1. Thank you Rachel. Glad you approve of the combination. I've used it before and it's a good one. I had a fantastic birthday, thank you.

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  14. I haven't had rose in cake before... I think it would be a little too sweet for me too but the flavours sound wonderful.

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    1. Hi Hazel. Yes it was a bit too sweet, but the flavours were wonderful. Rose goes really well with lots of fruit.

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  15. What a beautiful cake! This is a perfect dessert for summer. I love the idea of rose syrup...I'm sure this was just delightful! Blessings, Catherine

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    1. Thank you Cathering. I'm beginning to wonder how I've managed until now without rose syrup. I've been using it in all sorts of things and it's delightful.

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  16. Such a cute cake! Love the ladybirds! I hope you had a wonderful birthday, Choc! :)

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    1. Thank you Celia, I did indeed have a wonderful birthday. I became quite fond of those ladybirds and was sad to see then go ;-)

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  17. This sounds like a perfect variation on the traditional Victoria sponge theme. I have lots of rose petald sitting in my cupboard and think at least some of them need to be made into rose flavoured sugar. I totally agree with the simple filling of unsweetened whipped cream & fresh strawberries. To me, the buttercream would be a step too far and sorry your cream to over whipped. I now never ever leave my cream but stand over it as I am amazed at just how quickly it turns into butter! Your sponges are perfect so I think the steam method must be a very wise move! xx

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    1. Thank you Laura. I think I'm a little in love with rose flavouring now and just wish I had more roses so I could make lots of rose sugar and syrup. The rose sugar smells absolutely fabulous.

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  18. Such a pretty pretty sponge with that decorative sugar frosting!

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    1. Thank you Angie. It always gives me such a thrill when words like pretty are used in relation to my bakes :)

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  19. Divine! (although I am really taken with the brandy-soaked chocolate cake...) I am intrigued by the steam idea.

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    1. Thanks Alicia, the brandy soaked chocolate cake was wonderful. I shall have to try and wheedle the recipe.

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  20. That steam technique is interesting, I've never heard of that being used for a sponge before. And those shimmer pearls are beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Lucy, yes the steaming was a new one on me, but I think it worked. The sponge got lot of comments for being very light.

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  21. MY favourite combination! I LOVE rose and strawberry and what a FABULOUS cake too! GOOD LUCK with the contest, I picked a hard recipe.....silly moi, but, I am making it for a friend's dinner party, and that's what she wanted! JUST lovely! Karen xx

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    1. Thanks Karen, I was rather pleased with this one and it tastes delicious. Did you notice I used your shimmer pearls? But yours looks just fabulous and just perfect for a dinner party. I very nearly went for that one too.

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  22. I love the way this cake looks! It's a shame to cut into it but I know it must taste as lovely as it looks.

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    1. Thaks Debs - yes it's always hard to spoil the look of good food, but it would be awfully sad not to eat it!

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  23. Very belated happy birthday Choclette! It looks like a gorgeous cake - beautifully decorated, I'm sure it was very popular! Love those little ladybirds!

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    1. Thank you C. Yes, I just this minute got a card through the post waking lyrical about what a delicious cake it was - that's put a smile on my face :D

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  24. I adore rose in cakes and have made a few myself. I'm going to bookmark this for the next time I have a tea party as I think it would be perfect. Good luck with the competition and thank you for entering Simple and in Season. X

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    1. Thank you Fleur - spreading the rose love has got to be a good thing ;-)

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  25. That looks absolutely beautiful! I can imagine how light and airy it is - lovely decoration too. Hope you had a super birthday. xx

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    1. Oh thank you Nic, you can visit again :)

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  26. stunning VS... looks so pretty and I love the added rose, bet it smelt heavenly and the raw cake batter must have been divine!

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    1. Thank you Dom. Raw cake better is usually divine I find. But yes this one tasted particularly good and smelt wonderful.

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  27. I hope it's not too late to wish you good luck in the Baking Mad competition! I love the way you've decorated the top, it looks really pretty :)

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    1. Thank you and never too late Xinmei. Having seen some of the competition I don't think I'm in with much of a chance, but I can keep hoping!

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  28. Gorgeous cake and I love how you've decorated it! I bought some rose tea recently and am trying to work out if I can incorporate it into a cake. I love baking with rose flavours - so aromatic and delicious!

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    1. Thanks Ros. Rose is one of my favourite flavours too. Will be interested to see how you use your rose tea.

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