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.
You will need:
Elderflower Sugar (see below)
Self raising flour
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.