Making a birthday cake is the perfect occasion to give the creative inner you free rein. As this cake contains fresh butter, cream and eggs, it must be eaten the day it is made. If you leave out the candles, this cake could double up as a wedding cake.

Serves 12, Prep: 40 minutes, Cook: 30 minutes, Chill: 3 hours

175g softened butter
175g sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
3 eggs
175g self-raising flour
25g ground almonds
2 tbsp rosewater
1 quantity White chocolate ganache flavoured with the seeds of 1 vanilla pod

White chocolate and rose liqueur ganache

175g white chocolate
100 ml double cream
1-2 tbsp rose liqueur

Rose icing:

2 large egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
¼ tsp salt
125ml rose syrup
125g sugar
a few drops of red food colouring
1 tbsp rose liqueur
50g edible silver balls
50g coarsely chopped crystallized rose petals
petals from 1-2 un-sprayed pink roses
pink candles, to decorate (optional)

  1. Cream the butter, sugar and ground cardamom in the mixer bowl with the flat beater on speed 4 until pale and fluffy. Gradually mix in the beaten eggs, adding a tablespoon of flour and beating well after each addition.
  2. Add the remaining flour and ground almonds and mix briefly. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to give a soft dropping consistency. Spoon the batter into the prepared tins and smooth the top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until risen, golden brown and springy to the touch. Cool slightly, then turn out onto a wire rack. Sprinkle the rosewater evenly over both cakes. Leave to cool, then peel off the grease proof paper.
  3. Make the white chocolate ganache by grating the chocolate with the coarse shredding drum on the rotor vegetable slicer/shredder on speed 4. Place in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to the boil on a low heat. Pour onto the chocolate and leave for 2 minutes, then stir gently until the chocolate has melted. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of rose liqueur when the ganache is still warm but not hot. Leave to cool, then chill for 3 hours, or until the ganache has reached a spreadable consistency.
  4. Spread the ganache on top of one cake and place the second cake on top. Press lightly together. Make the rose icing. Whisk the first 3 ingredients in the mixer bowl with the wire whisk on speed 8 until soft peaks form. Gradually add the rose syrup, sugar and red food colouring until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Fold in the rose liqueur and spread the icing all over the cake, creating swirls and peaks which will make the cake look beautiful. Sprinkle the silver balls, crystallized and fresh rose petals over the icing. Wait until the icing has set before adding the candles, if using.

    Tip: if you are worried about eating raw eggs, the icing can also be cooked. Put the first 5 ingredients in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk vigorously with a hand-held mixer for 5 to 7 minutes until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Continue with the recipe.