BBC Good Food Magazine

Poppy seed cake with elderflowe­r & strawberri­es


I’m not sure whose fault this is, but in Ukraine, elderflowe­r has been thought of as coming from ‘the bush of the devil’ for aeons. Because of this, even progressiv­e people still hesitate to use it in cooking, which is a real shame, as Ukraine has an enormous number of elder trees.

SERVES 8 PREP 20 mins COOK 40 mins EASY V sunflower or vegetable oil,

for the tin

5 eggs, yolks and whites separated 250g caster sugar dash of vinegar or lemon juice 2 tbsp poppy seeds

200g plain flour handful of elderflowe­r blossoms,

to decorate (optional)

For the filling

400ml double cream

100g caster sugar

75ml elderflowe­r cordial 500g strawberri­es, hulled and

cut into quarters

1 Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6 and oil a 22cm cake tin. Whisk the egg yolks with half the caster sugar until foamy and light.

2 Whisk the egg whites with the vinegar or lemon juice in a second bowl until frothy, then gradually add the rest of the sugar. Continue whisking until the whites hold their shape in soft peaks.

3 Mix the poppy seeds with the flour. Add a large spoonful of the beaten egg whites to the egg yolk mixture using a large metal spoon. Fold in most of the remaining egg whites, then fold in the flour and poppy seed mixture using a spatula, then fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 40 mins until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

4 Meanwhile, make the filling. Beat the cream and sugar to soft peaks using an electric whisk, taking care not to overwhip. When the cake is cool, split in half through the middle and drizzle the elderflowe­r cordial over the cut sides. Sandwich the two halves together with half the cream and half the strawberri­es, then spoon the rest of the cream on top. Scatter with the remaining strawberri­es and the elderflowe­r blossoms, if using.

GOOD TO KNOW vit c • 1 of 5-a-day

PER SERVING 604 kcals • fat 32g • saturates 18g • carbs 69g • sugars 50g • fibre 3g • protein 8g • salt 0.2g

Recipes adapted from Summer Kitchens by Olia Hercules (£26, Bloomsbury). Photograph­s by Elena Heatherwic­k and Joe Woodhouse. (Recipes supplied by the publisher are not retested by us.)

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