I created this cake for a competition I entered. I had in mind a cross between a cheesecake and a Victoria sandwich, and I must admit I am rather happy with the result!
It took a little bit of work to get the texture right for the filling, as it needs to be dense enough to support the sponge on top and keep its shape, while still being creamy and light.
I am no cake decorator, hence the simple topping of fresh fruit with a dusting of icing sugar (almost anything looks fancier with icing sugar!).
I didn’t win the competition, by the way, and I realised that I am actually quite a bad sport: never mind the taking part, I really wanted to win!
You will need:
About 150 g mixed raspberries and strawberries
1 pink rose
1 egg white
2 tbsp granulated sugar
For the sponge:
225 g caster sugar
225 self-raising flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
225 g butter, at room temperature, diced
50 g raspberries
For the raspberry coulis:
50 g raspberries
2 tbsp icing sugar
3 tbsp rose water
For the cheesecake filling:
150 g double cream
50 g crème fraîche
250 g cream cheese
200 g cottage cheese
100 g caster sugar
30 ml rose water
8 g gelatine (leaves)
The day before:
Gently peel the petals off the rose, rinse and pat dry with kitchen paper. Lightly wisk the egg white. Dip the petals in it one by one, shaking off any excess and arrange them on a tray lined with greaseproof paper. Sprinkle with the granulated sugar, and leave to dry for 24h.
On the day; make the sponge.
Switch the oven on to 180⁰C/ fan 160⁰C/ gas 4. Grease and line 2 x 20 cm Ø sandwich tins.
Whisk the eggs, butter and sugar together until just combined, then fold in the flour and baking powder, being careful not to over mix. Finally, add the raspberries.
Divide the batter between the two prepared tins and bake for about 25 min, or until golden and springy in the middle, and the edges are coming away from the tin. Cool in the tins for 5 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
Make the coulis:
In a small pan, put the raspberries, icing sugar and rose water and bring to the boil over a low heat, lightly crushing the raspberries with a spoon. Leave to simmer for about 5 mins or until slightly reduced and syrupy. Leave to cool.
Make the filling:
Soak the gelatine leaves in a small bowl of cold water.
Mix the double cream and crème fraîche and whisk to stiff peaks.
In another bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, cottage cheese, sugar and rose water.
Squeeze the softened gelatine to release excess water. In a small pan, boil 1 tbsp water, add the gelatine and stir to melt, then pour straight away into the cream cheese mix and stir through. Gently combine the cream cheese mix with the whipped cream.
Mix 1 tbsp of the filling into the raspberry coulis, then pour the coulis into the filling, stirring once or twice to get a marble effect.
Assemble the cake:
Place one of the cakes on a serving plate, and top with big dollops of the filling; keep going until the filling is all used up. Use a palette knife to straighten the edges and flatten the top, but don’t worry about being too tidy at this stage. Refrigerate for about an hour, then top with the other sponge and use the palette knife to neaten the filling up a bit. Chill for another hour.
Just before serving, top the cake with the raspberries and strawberries, dot with the candied rose petals, and sprinkle with icing sugar.