Preheat the oven to 180°Cand grease a 30cm ring tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and leave aside. Cream the butter, cottage cheese, castor sugar and vanilla essence until light and creamy.
Beat in the eggs one by one and beat thoroughly after each addition. Sift the flour into the mixture and fold it in with a large, metal spoon. Transfer the batter into the ring tin and bake for about 1½ hours or until done when tested with a skewer.
Prepare the icing: Pour the castor sugar and water into a saucepan and heat over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook, without stirring, until it reaches 120ºC on a sugar thermometer.
In the meantime, beat the egg whites until stiff, preferably with an electric beater. Gradually pour in the warm syrup, beating continuously. Remember to let the syrup run directly onto the egg white, to prevent it from sticking to the sides of the mixing bowl.
Continue beating until the meringue is completely cool (this will take about 5 minutes). Add the rose water. Tip:
The icing can be made the day before and kept in the fridge until needed.
Turn out the cake and ice it. Scatter torn or sugared rose petals on top.
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