The People's Friend
Try our delicious elderflower, lemon and poppy seed cake
Make it this spectacular Elderflower, Lemon and Poppy Seed Layered Cake
Serves: up to 40
10 medium free-range eggs
600 g (1 lb 5 oz) unsalted butter, softened 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) caster sugar
600 g (1 lb 5 oz) self-raising flour 3 lemons, finely grated zest
50 g (1¾ oz) poppy seeds
3 tbs Belvoir Elderflower Cordial
For the Icing:
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) unsalted butter, softened 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) icing sugar, sifted
3 tbs Belvoir Elderflower Cordial To Decorate: crystallised rose petals.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg. C., 350 deg. F., Gas Mark 4. Grease and line 1 x 16 cm (6¼ in) deep cake tin and 1 x 23 (9 in) cm deep cake tin.
Weigh the eggs in their shells then measure out the same weight of butter, caster sugar and selfraising flour, roughly 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) of each.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs in a jug, and gradually add to the mixture, as you whisk. Add a spoonful of flour to stop it curdling. Add the rest of the flour then stir in the lemon zest, poppy seeds and cordial.
Spoon a third of the mixture into the smaller tin and the remaining two-thirds into the large tin. Bake in the middle of the oven for 60 to 85 minutes (the small cake will be ready after about 1 hour) until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in tins for 10 minutes then turn out on to wire racks to cool completely.
To make the icing, beat the butter until really light then gradually add the icing sugar to make a stiff butter icing. Add the cordial and 2-3 tablespoons of boiling water and beat until light, fluffy and smooth.
Use a serrated knife to split each cake in half horizontally. Spread a 1 cm (½ in) layer of buttercream inside the cakes and sandwich them back together. Place the large cake on a stand and use a palette knife to spread a 1 cm (½ in) thick layer of icing evenly over the sides and top. Place the smaller cake on a thin cake board and cover the top and sides with buttercream in the same way.
Push 4 dowel rods into the middle of the cake, in a square. Mark the top of the cake on the rods in pencil then remove, cut to length and then push back into the cake. Sit the little cake on top of the big cake, with a little blob of icing to secure it. Use more icing to smooth over the seam between the two cakes. The cake can be stored in a cool place (not the fridge) for 24 hours. When ready to serve, scatter over the crystallised rose petals.