I made this cake for Tui’s first birthday. It’s adapted from Julie Le Clerc’s Favourite Cakes (Penguin, 2011). She decorated hers with crystallised rose petals – fancy – but I just did ganache for another chocolate hit.

125g butter, really really softened

1 c caster sugar

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 c sour cream

1 Tbs rosewater

1 c self-raising flour

¼ tsp baking powder

½ c cocoa


200g marscapone

¼ c pouring cream

¼ c icing sugar

½ tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla bean seeds

½ jam (rose petal jam or berry jam)


1/3 c pouring cream

150g dark chocolate

Heat cream in saucepan until almost boiling. Take off heat and add chocolate. Wait a few mins until choc starts melting, then mix until it’s all melted and smooth. Leave to cool and the ganache will thicken.

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease 2 x 20cm round cake tins. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream and rosewater in a bowl until pale and creamy.
Sift in flour, cocoa, baking paper and beat just enough to combine.
Divide into the 2 cake tins. Bake for 25-30 min until cooked through. Allow to cool in the tins.

Spread top of one cake with jam and marscarpone mixture. Top with second cake. Ice with ganache.