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  • Pippa Hutcheon

Let's bake...lemon and elderflower sponge

Have you watched Julie and Julia? It’s a great film about blogging and cookery with Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. Anyway, this film has given me an idea as I know I should blog more but I never know what to blog about – any suggestions would be greatly received though so just fire them over.


I have decided to take a cake recipe from either one of my baking books, the internet or from a fellow baker and try it out. I am looking for new flavours for my wedding cakes so I thought this would be a good way to try them all out and write about it so I hope you enjoy reading.


I’m going to give lemon and elderflower a try first because it feels spring like and I’m looking forward to the warmer weather.


I’m using Bottlegreen Elderflower cordial in the sponge with fresh lemon zest and then I’ll make it even more Elderflower-ee by making an elderflower buttercream.

Elderflower cordial, sugar, eggs, butter, lemons, flour

First beat the butter which should be room temperature. I popped mine in the microwave for 10 seconds as it was still quite hard. Then add in the sugar and beat it all together. I then added in the zest from two lemons, the flour, eggs and the elderflower cordial. Mix it all together, scrape down the sides and mix again. Already it’s smelling amazing!


Once mixed I poured the batter into two 6” tins and popped into the oven for an hour at 160 degrees.

Lemons and cake batter

When the time comes to take it out get ready for the most delicious smell ever! Because of the cordial the sides have caramelised more than they would for a normal lemon sponge but don’t worry this is ok. I let it cool down and then made the buttercream.


I always use unsalted Lurpak for my buttercream and silver spoon icing sugar. Beat the butter, add the icing sugar and then thin it out with a couple of teaspoons of elderflower cordial. That’s what the recipe said and it was nice but it’s a really subtle flavour. What I should have done was make an elderflower sugar syrup and put that over the sponges as I think it would’ve brought the flavour out more but you live and learn.


I cut the top off both cakes and then cut them in half so that the layers are 1” thick and there are 4 layers. Fill with lemon curd and the buttercream and then chill. After chilling for 20 minutes you can cover the sides in buttercream and use a scraper to smooth them off. I’ve put pretty swirls on the top of mine with slices of lemon and blueberries but you can put anything you like on yours.


So the verdict. I think I was a little surprised because it’s such a subtle flavour. I thought you’d really be able to taste the elderflower. I will be offering this as a cake flavour for my wedding cakes but I will definitely be making an elderflower syrup for the sponges too.




Here's the recipe so give it a go and let me know in the comments how you get on.

Recipe

300g self raising flour

300g unsalted butter

300g caster sugar

6 eggs

2 lemons


Buttercream

500g icing sugar

250g unsalted Lurpak

Splash of Elderflower cordial or enough for a smooth consistency


I hope you've enjoyed reading and if you'd like to read any of my other blogs just click here.


Peace, love and buttercream



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