For the cake
10 medium free range eggs
600g unsalted butter, softened
600g caster sugar
600g self-raising flour
finely grated zest 3 lemons
50g poppy seeds
3 tbsp Belvoir Elderflower Cordial
For the icing
500g unsalted butter, softened
1kg icing sugar, sifted
3tbsp Belvoir Elderflower Cordial
1 tbsp hot water (I use just boiled water from the kettle)
handful of rose petals
1 egg white, lightly beaten
4 dowel rods
1 x 16cm thin cake board
- Preheat the oven to 180c/Fan 160c/ Gas Mark 4.
- Grease and line 1 x 16cm deep cake tin and 1x 23cm deep cake tin.
- Weigh the eggs in their shells then measure out the same weight of butter, caster sugar and self-raising flour.
- Beat the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer or with a hand whisk until really light and fluffy. Beat the eggs in a jug, and gradually add them to the butter, as you whisk, adding a spoonful of flour to stop it curdling.
- Add the rest of the flour then stir in the lemon zest, poppy seeds and cordial.
- Spoon 1/3 of the cake mixture into the smaller tin then spoon the remaining 2/3 into the large tin. Smooth out and bake in the middle of the oven for 60-85 minutes (the small cake will be ready after about 1 hour) until risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tins for 10 mins then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
- To crystallise the rose petals, brush each petal with beaten egg white and pop into a bowl of caster sugar, turning until coated. Shake off any excess and leave to dry on a wire rack. The crystallised petals will keep for 24 hours in a dry cool place, they can be left on the decorated cake for up to 8 hours.
- Beat the butter until really light then gradually add the icing sugar until you have a stiff butter icing. Add the cordial and 2-3 tbsp of boiling water and beat until light, fluffy and smooth.
- Use a serrated knife to split each cake in half horizontally. Spread a 1cm thick layer of buttercream inside the cakes and sandwich them back together.
- Place the large cake on a cake stand and use a palette knife to spread an even 1cm thick layer of icing over the sides and top of the cake, smoothing it as you go.
- Place the smaller cake on the thin cake board and cover the top and sides with buttercream in the same way.
- Push the 4 dowel rods into the cake, in a square in the middle. Mark on them the top of the cake line with a pencil. Remove the rods and cut to length then push back into the cake. Sit the little cake on top of the big cake, with a little blob of icing to secure it.
- With a palette knife use a little more icing to smooth over the seam between the two cakes. The cake is now ready and can be stored in a cool place (but not the fridge) for 24 hours. When ready to serve, scatter over the crystallised rose petals.