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FRESH FLOWER SUMMER CAKE by

serves 8

Ingredients

130g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the tin
20 green cardamom pods
170g self-raising flour
100g white chocolate (ideally Swiss), chopped
130g white caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract

FOR THE GANACHE:
100g white chocolate, finely chopped
100ml double cream
2 tsp rosewater

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. I make this cake in a heart-shaped tin measuring 23cm at its widest point and 6.5cm deep, but otherwise use a 20cm diameter, 7.5cm deep, round tin. Butter the tin well, then line with baking parchment. Deseed the cardamom pods. Split and grind the seeds to a powder in a pestle and mortar. There may be a few pieces of husk mixed in, so sift the cardamom powder together with the flour to remove them.
Place the chocolate in a food processor with half the sugar. Process until as fine as possible. Take two tablespoons of hot, not boiling, water and leave it until you can just dip in your finger. Dribble it into the chocolate, processing until most has melted. Add the remaining sugar and the butter, cut into knobs, and process well. Add the eggs, flour and vanilla and mix again. Donít worry if there are tiny pieces of chocolate left in the batter.
Pour into the tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Rest in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack, removing the papers. Leave until absolutely cold.
Meanwhile, make the ganache. Place the chocolate in a bowl and, in a pan, bring the cream and rosewater to the boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate, leave it for a few seconds, then gently stir until smooth. Leave until cold, chill slightly, then whisk until it thickens.

DECORATION :
100g shelled unsalted pistachios
200g Swiss white chocolate, finely chopped
200ml double cream
3 tsp rosewater
250g fresh raspberries
40-50 whole edible flowers (any seasonal edible flowers could be used: I used cornflowers, pinks, nasturtiums, marigolds, borage and very small sunflowers)
Preheat the oven to 170C/gas mark 3. Scatter the pistachios on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, shaking once and watching carefully to make sure they donít burn, then remove and chop. Turn the cake upside down and split it in half. Spread the now bottom half with a layer of the ganache, then with the raspberries, and top with the second layer of cake. Spread the top and sides with the remaining ganache. Press the roasted pistachios all around the side of the cake and, when ready to serve, decorate the top with the edible flowers tightly packed together.

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