- Associated Press - Thursday, May 5, 2011

Instead of giving your mother a bouquet of flowers for Mother’s Day, consider a flowered cake. This beautiful and easy-to-make cake features the flavors of lemon and honey and is swathed with a cloudlike blanket of honey meringue. It then is crowned with masses of edible sugared flowers.

Be sure to buy flowers that are safe to eat, as many flowers are sprayed with pesticides. Many grocers sell edible flowers with the herbs in the produce section.


For the cake:

2 cups sugar

1 cup honey

6 eggs

Zest of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, melted and cooled

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 cups ginger ale

For the filling:

1 cup water

1 bag Earl Grey tea

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 eggs yolks (reserve the whites for the frosting)

2 tablespoons butter

For the honey meringue frosting:

1/2 cup honey

4 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

For the sugared flowers:

1 egg white

Pinch of salt

Edible flowers or petals

Ultrafine sugar

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Coat three 9-inch cake pans with baking spray, then line the bottom of each with a round of parchment paper.

To make the cakes, in a large bowl use an electric mixer to combine the sugar, honey, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and salt. Beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the butter and beat again.

In another bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. With the mixer on, beat the ginger ale and flour into the honey-sugar mixture in 2 additions, alternating. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack.

To make the filling, in a small saucepan over medium-high, combine the water, tea bag, lemon juice and honey. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat and steep for 3 minutes. Discard the tea bag.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and the 3 egg yolks. While whisking, add a small amount of the hot lemon water to the egg yolks. Continue until half the lemon water is incorporated. Pour the yolk mixture into the pan and whisk to combine. Continue to cook until the mixture returns to a simmer and thickens. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate until cold.

Once the cakes and filling have cooled, assemble the layers.

Use a serrated knife to slice the top dome off each layer horizontally to create 3 level layers of cake. Be sure to remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cakes. Place one layer of cake on a serving platter, then spread half of the filling over the cake. Add a second layer and repeat with the filling. Top with the third layer of cake, overturning the final layer so the bottom is up. Set aside.

To make the meringue, in a small saucepan over medium, heat the honey until simmering. In a large bowl use an electric mixer to beat the 4 egg whites and the cream of tartar until very foamy. Slowly add the hot honey while continuing to beat. Continue to beat the whites until they form stiff, glossy peaks. Frost the cake with the meringue, swirling it with the back of a spoon.

To sugar the flowers, in a small bowl beat the egg white and salt until frothy. Using a small, clean paintbrush, paint the flowers with the egg white. Sprinkle with sugar. Decorate the cake with the flowers. Serves 12.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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