Summer afternoon tea – rose geranium cake

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This recipe is perfect for a summer afternoon tea. I baked it recently for a herb-themed lunch party.

Thanks to Lesley Bremness and her wonderful book ‘The Complete Book of Herbs’ for providing the inspiration. For this dish you will need a plant of the gorgeous scented geranium Attar of Roses, the leaves contain a beautifully scented rose geranium oil which gives a subtle rose flavour to cakes during baking.

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Prepare a standard Victoria sponge cake mix. Line the base of each of the sandwich tins with 8-10 Leaves of Attar of Roses scented geranium. Bake the sponge cakes then turn onto a cooling rack. Carefully remove the leaves and discard. When cool spread one of the cakes with whipped double cream flavoured with rose water. Spread the other cake with rose-petal jelly (I found a wonderful artisan version in a local supermarket) and sandwich the sponge cakes together. Place a few scented geranium leaves on top of the cake. Dust with icing sugar then carefully remove the leaves so that an impression of their outline remains. Decorate with rose petals and scented geranium leaves. Serve at room temperature and enjoy watching your guests clear the plate!

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