You will need

  • 340g plain flour, sifted
  • 525g golden caster sugar
  • 125g Food Thoughts Organic Cacao Powder, sifted
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 375ml milk
  • 185ml oil (a flavourless oil such as sunflower or rapeseed oil)
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250ml boiling water
  • butter for greasing
  • 15g caster sugar
  • 5g pectin
  • 100g raspberry purée
  • 100g raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 115ml egg white (approx. 3-4 large egg whites)
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 280g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 2 drops of rose extract
  • food colouring, pink or red
  • rose petals, to decorate


To make the chocolate cake, preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3.5.

Grease and line the base of three 20cm sandwich tins with baking parchment and set to one side.

Place all of the chocolate cake ingredients in a bowl, except for the boiling water. Evenly combine the mixture using a wooden spoon.

Slowly whisk in the water a little at a time, it is evenly combined. The mixture will be really runny, this is fine. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins, you should have approximately 610g of batter per tin, but do double check.

Bake the cakes in the oven for 25–30 minutes until the cakes are cooked through and a skewer comes out clean.

Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 15 minutes before removing. Remove the paper from the base and allow each sponge to cool on a wire rack.

To make the raspberry compote, combine the raspberry purée and raspberries in a saucepan and heat gently, bringing the mixture to a boil.

Mix the sugar and pectin in a small bowl and add this to the saucepan. Stir to mix it in evenly and cook the mixture for 3–4 minutes. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool.

To make the rose Swiss meringue buttercream, place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and place over a pan of gently simmering water.

Whisk until the temperature reaches 65°C – this will take around 10 minutes, the mixture should become thick. Remove the bowl from the heat, attach to your stand mixer and whisk until it cools to room temperature and has thickened.

Add the cubed butter in batches until it has fully combined, then add a few drops of rose extract, adding more to taste if necessary. Add the food colouring until you reach the desired shade of pink, then place the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round nozzle.

Take the cooled cakes and if necessary trim the tops to make them flat. Place a blob of buttercream on a plate or cake stand and put the first layer of cake on top of it – the buttercream will keep the cake in place.

Pipe blobs of buttercream around the edge of the cake in a ring and spread a layer of compote inside the ring.

Place the other piece of cake on top and repeat, piping a ring of buttercream around the edge of the cake and spreading a layer of compote inside the ring.

Add the third and final layer of cake and pipe a ring of buttercream around the outside edge of the cake. Draw across the blobs with a small stepped palette knife, working towards the centre of the cake. Then pipe another ring of blobs covering the tails of the previous ones and draw across them again with the palette knife.

Continue until the whole top of the cake is covered, and finish with a final blob in the centre of the cake. Sprinkle with rose petals and serve. The cake can be stored at room temperature and is best eaten within 3 days of baking.