frankie fodder: flowering raspberry torte

by elisa koor

Flowers in spring may be somewhat of a cliché, but you know what? Clichés be damned. This pretty little torte is a showpiece for the daintiest of al fresco lunch tables, or even a lovely picnic rug feast. With the blooms sealed in jelly, there’s little chance of unsightly wilting – plus it’s pretty easy on the palate, too.

flower cake 1

INGREDIENTS:

2 layers store-bought sponge cake
20 frozen raspberries

pastry cream layer
500ml milk
vanilla
120g sugar
50g cornflour
6 egg yolks
3 gelatine leaves, 5g

raspberry mousse
300ml double cream
3 egg whites, room temperature
130g sugar
400ml strained raspberry purée
6 gelatine leaves, 10g

jelly layer
400ml Sprite (or any other crystal clear drink with a citrus flavour)
6 gelatine leaves
edible flowers such as violets, cornflowers, poppies, hollyhocks, pansies, begonias etc.

flower cake 2

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Start by making the pastry cream. Combine sugar and cornflour in a bowl, then add six egg yolks and mix until the sugar starts to dissolve. Don’t let it become too fluffy and pale!

flower cake 3

2. Pour the milk into a saucepan, add vanilla and bring to the boil. Whisk one-third of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, then add the rest of the milk and return it all to the saucepan, straining it through a sieve. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly. While this is happening, bloom some gelatine leaves in plenty of cold water. Take the cream off the heat as it starts to thicken and whisk in the gelatine sheets. Cover and let the mixture cool down.

flower cake 4

3. Prepare the tin. We used a bottomless 19cm diameter cake ring, 10cm tall, that was lined with cake foil for easy release. A strip of greaseproof paper can be used as an alternative.
Using your cake tin as a guide, cut a circle of sponge cake to fit into the tin as the base layer.

flower cake 5

4. Pour room temperature pastry cream on top of the base layer. Cut a second smaller circle of sponge cake about 6cm smaller than the base layer, and place it onto the cream, right in the middle. Cover the tin with cling wrap and place it into the fridge.

flower cake 6

5. The next task is the raspberry mousse. Bloom more gelatine sheets in plenty of cold water. Heat a quarter of the raspberry purée in the microwave, squeeze the gelatine sheets of excess water and mix them into the hot purée until melted. Add the rest of the purée and mix thoroughly.

6. Put egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk them with a pinch of sugar until they become fluffy, then gradually start adding the rest of the sugar and whisk to soft peaks. When it’s nearly ready, trickle the raspberry purée into the egg whites, mixing on medium speed.

7. Whisk the double cream to soft peaks, then fold all three parts together: the egg white, the cream and any purée that is left in the container. Make sure it is all evenly mixed through.

flower cake 7

8. Take the tin from the fridge and place 20 frozen raspberries around the rim.

flower cake 8

9. Pour raspberry mousse on top, making sure it flows into every nook and cranny, then smooth out the top. Put the cling wrap back on top and let chill in the fridge for a few hours.

flower cake 9

10. To make the jelly layer, bloom gelatine sheets in plenty of cold water. Heat a third of the Sprite in the microwave, squeeze the gelatine sheets of excess water and mix into the hot beverage. Add the rest of the Sprite and stir, then cover and let cool down to room temperature.

11. Pick out the flowers you want to use and trim the stalks. Gently press the flowers onto the mousse layer and ladle the Sprite on top, so that the flowers are covered. We recommend using flowers that are fairly flat, for easy assembly (and it just looks a whole bunch prettier!). Cover the lot and let it sit in the fridge until it’s fully set.

flower cake 10

See more of Elisa's scrummy cooking over on her blog.

flower cake 11


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