Wednesday, 11 June 2014

In My Kitchen

I should know better by now.
Busy exhibition week is over, my last week of teaching including a weekend at Missenden Abbey finished for a couple of months and my plan is to catch up with jobs around the house and garden and get things ready for Open Studios next month. Instead, what do I do? Spend the best part of two days in my kitchen, trying all sorts of new recipes as well as some old favourites!
It is several years since I last made elderflower cordial. The elderflowers always seem to be at their best when it's my busiest time... most inconvient of them! I thought I'd missed them again but on an early morning walk on Monday, although most of the flowers were starting to wither,  I still spotted several of the fabulous frothy heads good enough to use.

A swift bit of foraging, a quick trip to the farm shop for some lemons... and after not too much effort, I've got three lovely bottles of elderflower cordial. Perfect for a refreshing summer drink, diluted with ice and sparkling water.

There was about half a bottle left so I used most of it up and made some elderflower cupcakes.

Elderflower Cupcakes
110g unsalted butter, softened
110g caster sugar
50g ground almonds
4 tablespoons elderflower cordial
2 large eggs, at room temperature
75g plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. Line eight holes of a muffin tin with paper cases. Beat together the butter, sugar, almonds and 1 tablespoon of the cordial. Add the eggs one at a time with a little of the flour, beating well. Fold in the remaining flour and baking powder. Divide between the paper cases and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Pierce each hot cake several times with a skewer and drizzle the remaining cordial over the cakes. Leave to cool before adding topping.

To make the topping, whisk together until stiff, taking care not to over whisk:
200g marscapone cheese
100ml double cream
90g icing sugar
3 tablespoons elderflower cordial
Pipe or dollop onto the tops of the cakes and eat!

They really are rather extraordinarily good!

Now I really must stop faffing about making cakes and trying to take arty photos of food and start getting to grips with the huge backlog of chores around the house and garden.

For more good ideas for using up elderflower cordial see Sue's post here.


  1. I made some for the first time in years too at the weekend!
    I didn't have suitable bottles so, I sterilised 3 small jars and put some in these and rest is being put in ice cube trays and ice bags. They will keep for up to a year (pending on usage rate lol!), just in time for the next years' flowers.
    Love the cupcakes....

  2. Having a first attempt at cordial making today (after watching a demo at my WI group). Great idea to use it as cake flavouring and which I may have to pinch (if I do end up with cordial, that is).

  3. Oh they do look good Gina!
    I'm trying avoid the mundane too, so many more fun things to do! :)
    V x

  4. Baking is definitely better than chores! I think I will have to have a go at making elderflower cordial,it looks so delicious. But maybe next year now!

  5. I was fascinated by this when I saw Mary Berry do it on her recent series. Would love to give it a go and I have never thought of elderflower cupcakes Gina. They sound completely scrummy.

  6. Just right for christening our new patio furniture! My mouth is watering.

  7. The cupcakes look lovely, especially the topping!! xx

  8. Our elderflower is just starting. The timing is good because we can make a few bottles of cordial for teacher presents. I always make a lot and still have one bottle from last year left. Perfect for cupcakes me thinks, I can bring them to the school summer party. Thanks for the recipe. Have a lovely rest of the week. x

  9. I'm the same, but with strawberries. Unusually free day at the weekend? I know, why not spend a few hours in a hot kitchen making jam! Never done anything with elderflowers though, might have to add that to the list!

  10. Would you consider taking in a well-behaved non-domestic goddess lodger?
    I want to live in your house, xx

  11. Oooh, those cupcakes look YUMMY!!! I've never had elderflower cordial, but it sure looks good!

  12. There's something about the subtle taste of elderflower that is is hard to describe but gorgeous to have in a drink or in food. That gorgeous photo of the heads in the bowl had all the hallmarks of a food stylist for Country Living! It made me long to pick some but ours are out of reach in the hedgerow part of the garden so I'll just continue to admire from afar and enjoy the taste sublimally via your pix.

  13. Uh eldeflower cupcakes, sounds delicious! Must try soon. Thank you for sharing!


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