For the rose syrup
Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan over a medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and add the roses, stirring to coat them in syrup. Leave, covered, to infuse and cool for at least half an hour.
For the cake
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Whisk the eggs and sugar together (for best effect use a stand mixer or electric beaters) until a little mix trickled over the surface leaves a trail, and the mixture has doubled or tripled in
Sift in half the flour and fold in. Sift in the remaining flour and fold in. Finally trickle the butter into the batter, folding as you go to minimize the loss of volume, and continue folding until everything is incorporated.
Divide between the two tins and bake for 25–30 minutes until golden, firm and springy to the touch. Do not open the oven door before 25 minutes have elapsed or the cake will sink.
Remove from the oven and turn over on to a wire rack but leave the tins over the top of the sponges for 10 minutes, then remove the tins.
Once cool, drizzle each sponge with 2 tbsp of rose syrup.
For the buttercream
Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the butter. Beat until combined, then, still beating on slow speed, trickle in the rose syrup and a few drops of food colouring. Beat at high speed for 5–10 minutes until light
Use one-third of the buttercream to sandwich the two sponges together. Spread the remaining buttercream over the top and sides. Arrange rose flowers or petals on the top and stick the
foliage sprigs around the edge.
Grow Your Own Cake by Holly Farrell is published by Frances Lincoln, £16.99. Photography by Jason Ingram.
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