- FOR THE ROSES:
- 4 unsprayed pink roses
- 2 egg whites
- 150g (5oz) caster sugar
- FOR THE CAKE:
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 125g (4oz) caster sugar
- 150g (5oz) self-raising flour
- 60g (2oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2tsp finely grated orange rind
- ½tsp rose water
- 500g (1lb) lemon curd
- FOR THE ICING:
- 650ml (22fl oz) double cream
- 3tbsp icing sugar, sifted
- Prepare the rose petals the day before the cake. Separate the petals from each rose. Line two flat trays with baking paper, then lightly whisk the egg whites with a fork. Place the caster sugar in a wide bowl and, using a paintbrush, brush each petal with egg white, then toss lightly in the sugar. Place the petals on a baking paper-lined tray to dry.
- For the cake, heat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4). Grease two 15cm (6in) cake tins and line the bases with baking paper. Combine the eggs and sugar in a medium-sized heatproof mixing bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat for about 5 minutes until the mixture is pale and thick. Remove from the heat and continue to beat until the mixture has cooled slightly and increased in volume.
- Sift the flour into a bowl and add the melted butter, orange rind and rose water. Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold the flour and butter into the eggs until just combined. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cakes are golden and start to shrink from the side of the tins. They should bounce back when lightly touched in the centre. Leave in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cut each cake in half horizontally. Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread the lemon curd over the top. Continue layering the remaining cakes and curd, finishing with a cake layer on the top.
- To make the icing, carefully whisk the cream and icing sugar until just firm, then spread it over the sides and top of the cake. Starting at the centre of the cake and working outwards, arrange the petals to look like a rose.
As long as the roses haven't been sprayed with pesticides and other nasties, they can be eaten along with the rest of the cake. The petals can be sugared up to 48 hours ahead of making the cake.