lemon elderflower drizzle cake

A few years ago influenced by Harry and Meghan's lemon and elderflower wedding cake, I bought a bottle of elderflower cordial. 
The only trouble was I wasn't sure how to use it so the bottle stayed unopened until now. I did a hunt online and found a few cake recipes which paired elderflower with lemon so I decided to make a lemon and elderflower drizzle cake.

added a few spoons of elderflower cordial to my favourite lemon cake recipe; drizzled the cake with a lemon syrup after baking then topped the cake with a lemon and elderflower flavoured icing. To make it look a little more festive I candied some lemon rind and toped the cake with a few strands.

Here’s the recipe for you which makes a small loaf or a 17cm cake. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Lemon Elderflower Drizzle Cake
Candied lemon rind (optional but you’ll need to make the candied rind the day before baking the cake to allow the rind time to set).
1 lemon, washed
30g caster sugar (1 and 1/2 tbs)
30 mls water 
(1 and 1/2 tbs)

125g unsalted butter, softened
100g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 lemon, zested and juiced 
2 large eggs
100g self-raising flour
Pinch of salt 
½ tsp baking powder
50g almond meal 
30mls elderflower cordial

1 tbs caster sugar
30mls lemon juice

1 tsp melted butter
½ cup (75g) sifted icing sugar
1-2 tsp each lemon juice and elderflower cordial

Candied Lemon Rind
Remove the zest from the lemon in wide strips, making sure there is none of the bitter white pith attached. Slice into very fine strips then drop the strips into a saucepan of boiling water and leave them for 30 seconds before draining in a sieve.

Place sugar and water into a small saucepan. Heat over high heat, stirring all the while until the sugar has dissolved. As soon as it has, stop stirring and bring the mixture to the boil. Tip in the drained lemon strips and reduce the heat to low so the syrup bubbles gently. Cook the zest strips for 10 minutes, then remove the saucepan from the heat and leave the strips to cool in the syrup. Once cool, drain the strips through the sieve again. 

When the zest is well drained, tip some caster sugar onto a plate and toss the strips of zest so they’re coated in the sugar. Lay them onto a sheet of baking paper to set - they don't become brittle but remain pliable. Use them as you need them and store any leftover strips in a small airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Preheat the oven at 180°C, conventional. Grease, flour and line 
the base of a 17cm round tin with baking paper or grease and line a small loaf tin with a sling of baking paper.

To make the cake, combine the butter, vanilla, lemon rind and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Now sift together the flour, salt and baking powder into a small bowl then stir in the almond meal. Fold through the batter alternating with the cordial (don’t worry if the mixture looks like it’s curdling a little). If the batter is looking a little dry you can add a little lemon juice or reserved lemon syrup from candying the rind to the mixture.

Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for about 45 minutes until risen and golden. Insert a metal skewer into the cake to see if it is ready. If it comes out clean, the cake is done; if it has mixture sticking to it, then it needs a few minutes longer. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside.

Right towards the end of the cake’s cooking time, combine the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and bring just to simmer, cooking until the sugar has dissolved. Spike the top of the still warm cake then spoon over the lemon and sugar mixture. Leave to cool completely before icing.

In a small bowl combine all the ingredients to make a smooth thick icing. Top the cake with the icing allowing it to drip down the sides. Allow to set a little before topping with a few strands of candied lemon rind.

I took the cake into work for morning tea and it was declared 'delicious' and it was. It's a nice moist simple cake, gently perfumed with lemon and elderflower, one I'll definitely be making again.

See you all again next week. 

Bye for now,



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