Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Miniature Elderflower Cakes made with Elderflower Sugar

I had grand visions of picking great swarms of elderflowers and returning home to concoct some floral cordial. My imaginings were interrupted with the first (and now unrelenting) rain and my great plan was no more. I had heard that elderflower is not to be picked on a rainy day and I wasn't about to don my wellingtons and test that theory. So instead of making gallons of cordial I baked some elderflower in to my life.
These little cakes I suppose pay homage to the great elder tree; a plant that doesn't look like much until it is burgeoning with white flowers and then, if you manage to resist the flowers, festoons itself with beautiful berries. I needed both fresh elderflowers and some cordial for these cakes but try as I might I could not get hold of local elderflower cordial. The elderflowers were relatively easily obtainable, once you've negotiated your way through the many cobwebs that is. 
You will need:
1 egg
Butter
Elderflower Sugar (see below)
Self raising flour
Elderflower cordial
Icing Sugar
I have seen both rose and violet sugar successfully made and after a few twitterings (of both verbal and the social network kind) I wanted to attempt elderflower sugar. I wasn't too sure how many elderflower heads I would need but I ended up using four large ones. Don't forget to shake the flowers before you use them; sieving the sugar before use may not get rid of every unwanted creature that may be clinging to the flowers. I mixed the heads with 1kg golden caster sugar and left it for two days before using it.
Weigh the egg and then weigh equal amounts of butter, elderflower sugar and flour into a bowl. Beat them together until light a fluffy; I find this always takes longer than I think it will. Put the mixture into mini cake cases until they are about two thirds full. My mix made 18 mini cakes. Bake at 180C for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
To make the icing beat 75g butter, 50g icing sugar and 1 tbsp elderflower cordial together until creamy. I did get the piping bag out for this one; piping icing is extremely therapeutic. As much as I don't think I'll ever have the dexterity or skill to ice a perfect wedding cake I like to crack out a nice star shaped nozzle once in a while.
The cakes were subtle in flavour with just a hint of elderflower. The icing was comparatively intense but glorious. Delicate, floral and sweet these cakes are a must try. As they are mini cakes they cool down slightly quicker so they can be iced sooner and enjoyed promptly. I don't think many cakes are better than when they still have a slight crust on the outside with the faintest trace of warmth within. Melted icing is no one's friend but if you ice these at just the right moment a slight trickle of ever so slightly liquid icing is exquisite.

36 comments:

  1. What stunning cupcakes my friend - elderflower sounds beautiful and exotic :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  2. What a coincidence, you are just publishing this. Only today I finished making elderflower cordial. So ... only need to put some remaining flowers together with some sugar and I can have a try later this week ...

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  3. What wonderful little cakes! And great idea to make your own elderflower sugar--I am thinking of doing that with fireweed, a wildflower that goes, well, wild near where I live, and I wasn't sure of the proportion of flowers to use.

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  4. This is brilliant! A very original recipe. I like elderflowers they have an amazing smell!

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  5. Love these! Such a seasonal and summery recipe, will be trying :)

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  6. Lovely looking cup cakes-I can almost smell them from here!

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  7. They look lovely - my experiment with elderflower wine last year was a complete failure - babies nappies come to mind...you have restored faith in this exquisite flavour, the elederflower that is...Putting the buttercream on a bit soon, yep may have done, yummy tho'

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  8. These look lovely. Love that you used elderflower. I am fascinated!

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  9. Gorgeous! I have never baked or tasted elderflower so I am very intrigued. Well done!

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  10. Wow! What gorgeous photos! I've experimented with lots of sugar flavours in my time but elderflower is a fantastic idea, if only I could get my hands on some elderflower! Beautiful cakes, I bet they were delicious.

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  11. Beautiful flower and love to try elderflower sugar.Pretty cakes.

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  12. How beautiful these are!! Gorgeous - I love how delicately decadent you make these.

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  13. What a gorgeous idea - and so pretty! I have two big Elder trees in my garden so am always trying to think up creative ways to use the flowers - shall give this a go!

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  14. Gorgeous and looks so good. I seem cant get over the cakes because the pics are so tempting. Love it all the way.

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  15. I love this!! I have never had access it Elder flowers but use the dry Black Elder Berries in my kitchen. Terrific post. I love new and interesting as well as creative ideas like yours. Thanks for a great post.

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  16. what an interesting use for elderflowers! these look beautiful =)

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  17. Another lovely recipe with Elderflower which I'm really looking forward to try; Never tried Elderflower but I'm sure I can find them over here in France! Lovely cupcakes that looks so yummy! :)

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  18. I too have been awaiting sunny weather before gathering the elderflower... want to get my annual batch of elderflower pop started!
    Might try your elderflower suger while I am awaiting the sunshine... cakes sound lush too!

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  19. Lovely , thanks for including in the #elderflowerchallenge campaign

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  20. I have never eaten or drunk anything elderflower -- I don't know if we have elder trees here where I live (Northern California). I have made flavored sugars though, with vanilla beans and citrus rinds, and have eaten floral sugars.

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  21. I love these foraging exploits of yours! It's always fun to compare what you have at hand vs. what I can find locally. This is lovely; reminds me of fairies somehow. Just magical!

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  22. ooh elderflower sugar, what a good idea!

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  23. beautiful cupcakes! sound so lovely!

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  24. Elderflower Sugar seems very easy to make. I should give it a try. A new interesting flavour to add to the usual cupcakes. I always find great tips on your blog.

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  25. Thx for connecting with me on foodbuzz. I just subscribed to your blog feed and can't wait to see what your next post will be!

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  26. Dedicated, aromatic and beautiful!!!!

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  27. Mmmmm....what yummy looking cupcakes! I don't think we can get elderberries around here, but I'd love to try them :)

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  28. Your cupcakes are fantastic, I can smell the elderflower through the screen! Gardener's weed can become a cook's treasure! Well done! :)

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  29. This looks so so delicious!!I've never tried elderflower sugar and I'm very intrigued!!Would love to have a bite right now :)

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  30. Ah yes, these look gorgeous too. I was thinking I might try some white chocolate and elderflower cupcakes using last year's elderflower syrup - worried I'm going to miss the elderflower season again!

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  31. They tasted so lovely.
    Oh, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award.

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  32. How exciting, I so want to make elderflower sugar now!

    I wonder what it would taste like added to tea...?

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  33. I am going to make elderflower sugar right now.

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  34. Must try elderflower sugar... hmm... and I'd better hurry!

    Also, just thought I'd say your photography is getting better and better - the pictures on the last few posts are marvellous.

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  35. I noticed some Elderflowers growing through our hedge, not enough for most things, but enough to make Elderglower Sugar! If it would just stop raining.

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  36. Thanks for linking this in, Caroline. Have a good one

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