DIY pre­serve

El­der­flower syrup is the ul­ti­mate taste of spring... espe­cially when driz­zled over a cake!

NZ Gardener - - Contents -

El­der­flower syrup cake

HOMEMADE EL­DER­FLOWER SYRUP has a rep­u­ta­tion for its del­i­cate, flo­ral flavour. Its al­most-vanilla flavour is loved by food­ies, who add it to ev­ery­thing from cor­dials to pan­cakes and desserts.

But gar­den­ers are di­vided on el­ders due to their weedy ten­den­cies. They are not such a prob­lem in the North Is­land, but in the South these suck­er­ing, shrubby trees grow wild, and are for­ever spread­ing due to their seed-laden berries beloved by birds. Which does mean that South Is­land food­ies could prob­a­bly for­age for the flow­ers essential to make this charm­ing cake (al­though do con­firm any flow­ers you find have not been sprayed be­fore us­ing).

In­gre­di­ents for el­der­flower syrup • 20 el­der­flower blos­soms (trim off branches and leaves) • 3-4 lemons • 2 litres of water • 1.5kg su­gar In­gre­di­ents for cake • 100g brown su­gar • 200g but­ter (soft­ened) • 2 eggs • 200g self-rais­ing flour In­gre­di­ents for ic­ing • 1½ cups ic­ing su­gar • 1 ta­ble­spoon milk or water • 25g but­ter (soft­ened)

To make the syrup: Com­bine lemon juice and water in a big pot. Put in el­der­flower blos­soms, then cover. Leave in the fridge for 2-3 days. Strain and dis­card blos­soms. Over low heat, stir in su­gar un­til dis­solved.

To make the cake: Pre­heat oven to 170°C. Whisk to­gether but­ter and su­gar. Whisk the eggs with 2 ta­ble­spoons of el­der­flower syrup, then add to the but­ter-su­gar mix. Gen­tly fold in the flour, and stir un­til smooth.

Pour the mix into a well-greased cake tin. If you have an ex­tra sweet tooth, sprin­kle the top with a lit­tle more brown su­gar. Put it in the oven for 30 min­utes, or un­til a knife or skewer stuck into the mid­dle of the cake comes out clean. Drizzle more el­der­flower syrup over the cake while still hot.

To make the ic­ing: Us­ing a wooden spoon, mix all in­gre­di­ents in a medium bowl un­til smooth. You can add ex­tra milk or water for a glossier shine.

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