Saturday, January 25, 2014

An Edible Flower Workshop & Salted Caramel Rose Cake


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.



Ingredients:


Rose Cake


2 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
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 cup full-fat vanilla yogurt or 1 cup whole milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon rose water

Honey Vanilla Buttercream


3/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey
3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Salted Caramel


2 Tablespoons Water
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream, at room temperature
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1/4 Cup Butter, at room temperature
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Candied Rose Petals (optional)


Petals from 10 organic roses
1 egg white, lightly whisked
1 cup ultra fine caster or baker's sugar
pastry brush


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.





42 comments:

  1. Yum, I am so pinning this, I love eating flowers, I eat them every day (it is summer in New Zealand) and they make me happy :-).

    Beautiful photos too!

    Ciao
    Alessandra
    http://alessandrazecchini.blogspot.co.nz

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    1. Ohhh I can only imagine how beautiful the summer in New Zealand must be!! If Lord of the Rings taught me anything, it's that New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world :) That is so awesome that you eat flowers very often, they're so delicious but people in the US don't eat them too often, unfortunately. Hopefully in the next few years this will change, since they're becoming a bit more commonplace and easier to find :)

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  2. Aww man, this even sounds like a blast!! I would freaking love to attend, but of course, I live like forever away. Have fun girl!!

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    1. Awwww well if you're ever in LA I'd love for us to meet us sometime for sure :) And thanks my dear!!

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  3. LOVE the new look, Eva! And this cake... just stunning.

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    1. Awwww thank you Stephanie!!! I am so happy you're enjoying the new look and the post :) I'm pretty excited with the way it came out.

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  4. Love this new website! It is so gorgeous and this cake is just about as gorgeous as they come!

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    1. Thank you so much!! It took a while to put together but I'm so happy to have it finally up and running :)

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  5. If I were in your neck of the woods, I'd be all over that event. Sounds like so much fun!
    The new digs look great, as does the cake. Pinning the recipe, for sure. Love the cupcake idea, too.

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    1. Thank you, Mindy!! Hopefully it will only be a couple of years until we move back up to Oregon :) and thank you for your kind words!!

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  6. Such a beautiful cake and blog. Have just discovered you through Pinterest and I'm now a follower. Can't wait for more posts!

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    1. Thank you so much Laura! I am so happy you found my blog and are having fun reading through my posts :D

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  7. Oh my gahh I haven't actually clicked through to your site for a while (just been reading through feedly!) and now I've seen the redesign!! So pretty, I LOVE it :) Just as beautiful as this flowery cake, woaahh. So cool. All the colours work so well together and those photos of the back lit roses are just stunning.
    These are the times when I wish I could just be living in the US then I could come to your flower workshop - it sounds like so much fun (plus a four course meal with edible flowers?? I want that.)

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    1. Awwww thanks Izy!! I am SOOOO stoked for the event, I love gardening + food so it just made sense to combine them in a workshop, especially one that deals with beautiful-yet-delicious flowers :D It would be awesome to have you there, but sadly an ocean separates us and the width of a country as well! I really want to visit the UK sometime in the next couple years (my only visit was a bout with London Heathrow when I missed a connecting flight and had to stay the night at a dingy hotel right outside the airport. I must actually see the real England!) And of course if you ever did get the itch to visit the west coast of the states you have a place to stay in Los Angeles :)

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  8. Oh my word, THIS CAKE. We're still in the midst of cold, cold winter here in VT, and I'm desperately craving balmy spring weather. I wish I could spend the next couple months out in LA so I could wear dresses and flats, and go to your edible flower workshop! But making this cake would definitely be a close second best, because it sounds absolutely divine. It's almost too pretty to eat! (Almost.) ;)

    And the redesign looks beautiful! Loving all the white space. (I've been wanting to do the same for mine, and this is inspiring me to seriously get to it.) :)

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    1. Thank you so much, my friend!! It took so much trial and error to get it the way I wanted it, blogger's format is not very customization-friendly but I have so many archives posts here its pretty much too late to transition to Wordpress. Feels good to have a fresh look on it, though! And yes, the weather here has been weirdly warm the past few weeks, so much so that my tulips have come out already D: So weird!!! I just hope we don't get some random cold spell that kills all the spring plants I already transplanted outside. A little rain would be amazing, though, we're having an awful drought right now. I wish I could trade you some California sun for some Vermont sprinkles! Or at the very least get you a plane ticket to come out and enjoy the sunshine and the arid climate :)

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  9. Oh, Eva, your redesign is beautiful! Did you do it yourself? I'm doing some tweaking with my site--trying to lighten it up and streamline it--and coding can be so frustrating! Gah, and this cake is beautiful, too! I've been thinking about baking a cake lately. I've made only a few, and just one of those was any good. Cake is not really my thing, I guess. But I'd love to practice, you know? I love your talent with edible flowers. I so wish I could join you in LA for your workshop; it would be awesome to learn from you in real life!!

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    1. Thanks so much Brianne!! I did indeed do it myself, it took SO LONG to design everything in photoshop and InDesign but I am really loving the way it looks, too, so at least all the effort was worth it :) I wish you could come, too! What fun we would have talking about flowers and bees and eating tasty things like lavender iced tea and hibiscus-glazed lamb. And you could definitely make an awesome cake, you make such amazing and crazy-tasty sounding things on your blog I *know* you could master cake baking. It's a lot like pancake batter, really, and you've certainly got that down to a blueberry-tee :)

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  10. Absolutely stunning redesign, Eva! As is this gorgeous cake. Wish I could come to your lovely workshop, too! (Not least because I'd also be in LA, which sounds a trillion times better than being over here in frigid NY.) Love this. :)

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    1. Thank you so much m'lady!!! I wish you could come, too, you would definitely enjoy the warm and cozy sunshine that's been shining down on us :)

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  11. such GREAT photos! what a delicious looking cake! I haven't been to you blog a little while and i love the new design!!!

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  12. What beautiful photos! and how lucky are the folks that get to attend this class! i will just have to satisfy myself with this recipe. Thanks, Eva!

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    1. Awww thanks Abbe! I am super excited for it, it's going to be so much fun :D Let me know how you like the cake if you give it a try :)

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  13. I really wish I was out your way so I could attend! Your photography is such an inspiration to mine.

    Quick Q: Do the candied petals need to be eaten same day? If brushed and coated completely would they last longer?

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Sheila! :)

      The petals will last for a couple days if kept on their own, if you place them on the cake the fats in the frosting will cause them to soften within 24 hours. So if you want them to stay nice and sparkly and crisp, it's best to keep them separate until serving time :)

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  14. Eva, this blog is such a ridiculously beautiful gem in the sea of food blogs! Your food is as sculptural as it is delicious, I'm sure. Wish I could attend, but the photos are almost good enough a substitute ;) I hope you're doing well, and I love the new website layout.

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    1. Awwww I am blushing!! Thank you Irina :) I am so happy you like the new look, and I wish you could attend, too! I hope the new year has been treating you well as well :D

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  15. i've never eaten a flower so i can't speak to the taste, but they certainly make a cake look beautiful and festive! i'm on board the bandwagon--LOVE salted caramel!

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  16. Lovely new design Eva, everything looks beautiful and this cake is just out of this world! I need to use more flowers in cooking.

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    1. Thank you so very much!! I am so glad you like it :) Definitely try and experiment with using them in food, they're so tasty!!

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  17. Stunning & Absolutely Jaw-Dropping Gorgeous ~ Would love to see this submitted to FoodFotoGallery.com so I can share with all my foodie friends :-)

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  18. nice design Eva i flower your cake its looking so beutiful

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  19. Would you come to New York and held the same class here? I wanna to learn it much! Please~

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  20. Eva te ha quedado exquisita la torta y muy lindos los pètalos me encanta sobremanera,te felicito,abrazos.

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  21. Hi Eva, I love your blog and photos. I Will be using Peruvian Lilies ( Alstromeria) instead of roses as the flower shop does not have organic roses. I was wondering if that would work as well.

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