Early spring is rearing its head in my balmy side of the woods, (the seasons just kind of go from fall to spring in LA), and I’ve done some rearranging around the blog, with a bright and bushy new design. I wanted a little something different to go with the changes of the new year, one of which I am very excited to share with you today. I’m hosting an edible flower workshop this spring on Saturday, March 8th here in Los Angeles and registration is now open. Instruction will include propagating and growing edible flowers, discussing how they can be incorporated into meals, and some light hands-on edible flower preparation. The workshop will be followed by a four-course dinner prepared by yours truly, with an edible flower variety incorporated into each dish. Each guest will be given one trowel and three young edible flower plant varieties to take home with them after the course, as well as course print outs and recipe cards for all the dishes they enjoyed at supper. Friends, I could not be more excited about this event and would love for you to join me. The event fee is $80 per attendee and you can register via the link below.
I’ve been readying my garden for the event and in a few weeks it should be full of greenery, blossoms, and wonderful floral smells. New growth is just starting to come through on my rose bushes, so I wasn’t able to use their flowers for this cake, but I was able to snag some organic roses from the farmer’s market to incorporate into it. The cake itself is a wonderfully light vanilla cake, flavored with rose water, and with salted caramel thickly spread between the three layers. I made a honey vanilla buttercream to coat the outside, and candied some rose petals for the exterior (this is totally optional, candying this amount of rose petals takes a realllly long time, and while they do add a great presentation factor, the cake would taste just as awesome without them).
The result was a cake that was both sweet and salty, floral and creamy. It was the perfect combination of complimenting flavors, and much like the salted rose and honey pie I made a while back, so unique in it’s taste that it was truly unforgettable. I’m going to be making little cupcake versions for dessert at the workshop, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I made it so I figured that would be the best time to share the rosy, salty wealth. I hope you are all enduring the cold weather that’s been bearing down around most of the globe, and if you’re looking for a little ray of spring on your plate, I can’t recommend this cake strongly enough. Seriously. Please go make this cake.
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 egg whites
2 whole eggs
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream, at room temperature
First, make the caramel. In a small thick-bottomed saucepan mix together the water and the granulated sugar until well blended. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat and continue boiling until the mixture turns a light caramel color, only stirring once every four minutes. This took me about eight minutes, but the speed will depend upon the heat of your stovetop. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the heavy cream, butter, and brown sugar until incorporated. Be careful as the mixture will spit and hiss a bit. If the sugar begins to clump up when you’re stirring do not fret, just stir as best as you can for about 30 seconds and then put the pot back on the heat and bring it back to a boil again over medium-low heat. Once it is boiling again stir until the sugar chunk dissolves and the mixture is smooth. Once it smoothes out, stir it every two minutes and allow the mixture to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until it has thickened. Remove from the stovetop and stir in the salt. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
Now you can begin making the cake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease and flour (3) 8-inch baking pans. In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt and then set it aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Add the egg whites and mix until incorporated, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract, rose water, and half the milk and mix until blended. Then alternate between adding half the flour mixture and the remaining milk until everything is incorporated and the batter is smooth.
Evenly distribute the batter between the cake pans and place them in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pans and allowing them to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling, you can begin candying the rose petals (optional). Lightly brush each petal with the egg white until it is completely coated in a thin layer of egg wash. Take a small spoon and gently sprinkle the caster’s sugar over the petal until it is coated with the sugar all around. Place on a wire rack to dry until crisp, repeat with the remaining rose petals.
Now you can prepare the buttercream. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and honey. Add the powdered sugar and continue mixing until smooth, then add the vanilla extract and cream and mix at medium-low speed until the buttercream is smooth and fluffy. Set aside.
Spread the salted caramel between the layers of the cake, then frost the outside of the cake with the buttercream. Garnish with the rose petals by gently pressing them onto the buttercream, and serve immediately.