- 150g (5oz) butter, softened
- 150g (5oz) caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1tbsp rose water
- 200ml (7fl oz) buttermilk
- 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
- 25g (1oz) unsalted shelled pistachios, chopped, to decorate
- Crystallised rose petals (see recipe in 'top tips' below)
FOR THE ICING:
- 250g (9oz) icing sugar, sifted
- 1tbsp rose water
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4) and line a 12-cup muffin tray with 12 paper muffin cases.
- Cream the butter until soft in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Whisk the eggs together with the rose water in a small bowl for a few seconds or just until mixed, then gradually add this to the creamed butter mixture, beating all the time. Next beat in the buttermilk, then sift in the flour and fold in gently to combine.
- Divide the mixture between the muffin cases, filling each three-quarters full, then bake for 20-25 mins or until golden on top and lightly springy to the touch. Allow to cool for 5 mins before removing from the muffin tin and placing on a wire rack to cool down completely.
- Meanwhile make the icing. Mix together the icing sugar and rose water with 1tbsp of water until you have a thick icing, adding a tiny extra splash of rose water or water if it seems to thick to spread. Spread the icing using the back of a teaspoon or with a palette knife dipped into hot water - or drizzle over the icing - and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios.
- Transfer to a serving plate and scatter with the crystallised rose petals, if using, to finish.
- 1 egg white, lightly whisked
- About 75g (3oz) caster sugar
- Edible flowers, such as primroses, violets or violas, or rose petals
- Dip a small paintbrush into the egg white and carefully brush the flowers, using just enough egg white to cover the surface of each flower. Sprinkle the sugar over the petals, being careful to cover every petal.
- Gently shake off any excess sugar and arrange carefully on a tray lined with baking parchment. Place somewhere dry (and even slightly warm, such as near a radiator or in an airing cupboard) and leave to dry for a few hours or overnight. Remove from the tray and use to decorate your cake. Sotred in an airtight box, these will remain at their best for up to 1-2 weeks, after which time their colour begins to fade.
Taken from Cake by Rachel Allen (Collins, £25)