So I tried something tonight and it worked really well! This weekend, I made dried fruit soaked in rose syrup to start the final iftar of Ramadan which I was celebrating with my sister and her family. The fruit was awesome and I started to think of other uses for it.
I ended up filling a vanilla cake with the fruit then frosting it with buttercream. It worked really well! The cake recipe is not overly sweet so it allowed the fruit flavors to come through.
I suck at frosting, so please forgive the simplicity of the decoration on the cake!
Fruit in Rose Syrup
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c water
1 T rose flower water
10 cardamon pods, crushed
1/2 c golden raisins
1/2 c dried apricots, chopped
1/2 c pitted dates, chopped
Put the sugar and water in a microwavable dish. Microwave on high for 90 to 120 second. The water should be steaming. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
Place the cardamom pods, rose water, and chopped fruit into the syrup. Allow to sit for at least 2 hours.
Moist Vanilla Cake I use this recipe. The one change I made was to swap out the 1.5 c milk for 3/4 c milk and 3/4 c buttermilk to add just a little tang to the batter.
1 c unsalted butter at room temp
2 T cream
1 t vanilla extract
About 3 c powdered sugar
In a stand mixer, beat the butter with a whisk attachment until light and fluffy- about 5 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar 1/4 c at a time, making sure to fully incorporate the sugar between additions. Scrape down the bowl as necessary. After 2.25 c of sugar has been incorporated add the vanilla and 1 T cream, beat. Adjust the sugar and cream as necessary to get the desired consistency for the frosting.
[Note: The slow incorporation of the sugar is annoying. However, it produces much better results than dumping all the sugar in at once.]
Fish out the cardamom pods from the syrup. Strain the fruit through a fine mesh sieve, reserving the rose syrup.
Place the first layer of the cake on the plate or cake pedestal you will be using. Using a silicone pastry brush, brush the top of the cake with the rose syrup.
Place a thin layer of buttercream on the first layer (it is useful to let the syrup sink in and dry a bit before trying to add the butter cream.
Top the buttercream with a layer of the fruit.
Place the second layer of cake on top of the fruit. Brush the top of the second layer with the rose syrup and allow to dry a bit. Frost the top with butter cream.
Optional: You could frost the sides of the cake. I was worried it would be overly sweet if I did that. After trying my version, frosting the sides with a thin layer of buttercream would not be overkill.
I used an organically grown rose to top my cake. You could add dried fruit, piping decorations or more as desired.
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