Rose Petal Heart

An exquisite combination of white chocolate, cardamom, rose water and raspberries, this cake is temptingly strewn with crystallized petals and white chocolate curls. Both can be made a few days ahead, then stored in dry conditions in a cardboard box at room temperature.

Courtesy of "Bake & Decorate" by Fiona Cairns. Excerpted by permission of Rodale. All rights reserved.

Rose Petal Heart

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    20 green cardamom pods 1 tsp vanilla extract
    3 1/2 ounces white chocolate, chopped 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
    2/3 cup superfine sugar 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
    9 tbsp unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan 12 crystallized pink rose petals
    1 cup plus 3 tbsp self-rising flour 3 1/2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
    2 large eggs, beaten about 3 tablespoons rose water


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    • 1

      Preheat the oven to 350°F

    • 2

      For the White Chocolate and Cardamom Rose Water Cake: make this cake in a heart-shaped pan measuring 91/2" at its widest point and 21/2" deep. Butter the pan very well, then line the bottom with parchment paper.

    • 3

      Grind the cardamom pods: split them with the point of a knife, empty out the little seeds and grind them to a powder in a mortar and pestle. There may be a few pieces of husk mixed in, so sift the cardamom powder together with the flour to remove them.

    • 4

      Place the chocolate in a food processor with half the sugar. Process until as fine as possible. Take 2 tablespoons hot tap water and let cool until you can just dip in your finger. Dribble it into the chocolate, processing until most has melted. Add the remaining sugar and the butter, cut into tablespoons, and process well. Add the eggs, flour, and vanilla and mix again. Don’t worry if there are tiny pieces of chocolate left in the batter.

    • 5

      Pour into the pan and bake for 25–30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for a few minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack, removing the papers. Let cool completely.

    • 6

      Meanwhile, make the ganache filling. Place the chocolate in a bowl. In a saucepan, bring the cream and rose water to the boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate, let stand for a few seconds, then gently stir until smooth. Let cool. Chill slightly, then whisk until it thickens.

    • 7

      For the Rose Petal Heart Cake: Split the cake horizontally, spoon in the filling and the fresh raspberries, then turn it upside down on to a cake stand. Place the confectioners’ sugar into a bowl and gradually add the rose water, mixing all the time until the icing is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour over the cake and let it drizzle down the sides. Let set for an hour or so.

    • 8

      To make the chocolate curls, place a small heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Add the white chocolate to the bowl and heat until it melts, stirring only very occasionally. Pour it on to a plastic board or a piece of marble, and spread out with an icing spatula. Let set; a short spell in the refrigerator will help.

    • 9

      Run a sharp fine knife at a 45-degree angle across the chocolate (or use a vegetable peeler) and it will curl. Too cold and it won’t work; too soft and it will need 15 minutes or so back in the refrigerator. You’ll have to experiment.

    • 10

      Scatter the cake with the chocolate curls, then with the rose petals.

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