As today is World Baking Day and we’re still waiting for Summer to appear, I thought it might be pertinent to offer a little summer scented sunshine. These fragrant fairies are reminiscent of a garden in summer and perfect with a cup (fine china of course dear) of Earl Grey tea and a Jane Austen novel.
Rose Scented Fairy Cakes
115g or 4 oz butter
115g or 4 oz caster sugar
2 free range eggs
115g or 4 oz self raising flour
1 tablespoon rose water
12 pretty pink paper cases
200g or 7 oz Icing Sugar
4 tablespoons rose water
12 freshly plucked rose petals
1 egg white
1 tablespoon caster sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 180°c/350°f/Gas Mark 4 and fill a cake pan with 12 large paper cases – or 24 small ones (for the less robust). Now beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time and keep beating. Now sift the flour and fold it into the mixture. Open the rosewater and stop and smell the roses for a minute ah...that’s better. Now stir in the rosewater and put the heavenly scented batter into the fairy cases and pop into the oven for about 20 minutes until golden and springy to the touch.
As the cakes bake, filling the kitchen with divine fragrance, imagine you’re in a rose garden and pluck petals from a (preferably pink) rose and brush each rose petal with the egg white, covering it completely, but lightly (don’t soak it.*) Now with a fragrant flourish, sprinkle with caster sugar and leave to dry.
NB* I find garden roses are great for crystallizing but tend to wrinkle more than bought, cut roses so be very light with the egg white.
For the icing
Once the cakes are cooled, begin on the icing. Mix the sugar and rose water together to form a thick paste and add the tiniest drop of pink food colouring (to match the rose petal colour or perhaps a little lighter). Apply icing to the cooled cakes and top with a sugared rose petal. Dig out your best china, place exquisite rose-topped fairy on the china, make a pot of pale golden Earl Grey and enjoy a little Jane Austen under a willow tree in the garden.