Few people know this about me, but I love anything & everything having to do with roses. Rosewater to wear, rosewater to drink, roses in a vase & in my garden, roses in my hair, roses in my soap & candles, roses in my baklava & tea. Heck, I even add rose essential oil to my homemade laundry detergent from time to time. The sniff, the velvety soft petals, the hundreds of varieties & the simple fact that they are a gorgeous medicinal edible which happens to come in all shapes, sizes & colors are just several of the reasons I find this delicate (yet not so delicate) blossom simply enchanting.
I’ve had Georgia Pellegrini’s Rose Petal Hazelnut cake on my mind for a while now & I decided Mother’s Day would be the perfect time to whip it up. After all, we have at least half a dozen rose bushes bursting with color (& flavor) all around the homestead. It’s high time to start incorporating them into our country cookery.
There are lots of wonderful attributes to this cake. First, it’s a great option for breakfast. It’s not too sweet & in my opinion the hazelnuts are perfectly complimentary to a dark roast coffee. Strong, strong coffee. The kind of coffee that upon your first sip your eyes widen, your soul opens & the energy of the universe at large fills your vessel & makes you want to write novels, paint masterpieces & clean things super fast. Yes. That’s how we do coffee up in here. It’s clearly the only way 40-something-year-old parents can possibly keep up with their 3-year-old child. So the nut factor gives you that “healthy-full” feeling, while the combination of the almond & vanilla extract serves up an after taste that – for some peculiar reason – reminds me of my childhood. I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s like a warm delicious memory from my footloose & fancy-free years of big wheel riding, mud pie making, Mr. Roger’s days.
I won’t lead you down the primrose path (pun intended); the cake would be just as satisfying without the roses. As a matter of fact, I felt like I could easily make up the same cake at summer’s end & sneak a few figs into the batter instead. It might even be tastier, actually. But I genuinely love the idea of cooking, baking, concocting & sharing recipes with floral ingredients. Feeding yourself roses for breakfast just seems like a whole new way to make yourself feel pretty! Am I right ladies? So I did it. And now you should try it too! Or not. Whatever. But in case you do… Here’s the “how to”….
In love & light,
ROSE PETAL HAZELNUT CAKE – by Georgia Pellegrini
1.5 cups hazelnut flour (or finely ground hazelnuts – I ground them up in coffee grinder, but you could easily use a food processor instead.)
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup fresh rose petal (preferably organic)
– Preheat oven 350.
– Butter 8 inch cake pan.
– Combine hazelnut flour & baking powder in medium bowl. Set aside.
– Vigorously whisk egg yolks & sugar in large bowl. Add almond & vanilla & cream. Whisk again until fully combined.
– Add dry ingredients to yolk mixture. Mix completely.
– In separate bowl (large) whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form.
– Fold third of egg whites into batter with spatula, then incorporate res of whites all at once & then gently fold in rose petals.
– Pour batter into cake pan. Place on middle rack & bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
– Remove from oven, let cool for 10 minutes & then remove from pan & let cool to room temperature.
– Sprinkle cake with powdered sugar or slather it with homemade whip cream – which is what I did instead.
Happy baking & have a rosy day! xoxo