I love the taste of elderflower, since I discovered this elderflower sorbet I've been eating it for every meal.
A big elderflower bush grows in my mum's back garden covered in flowers that the bees love, so I decided to take some for myself. The elderflower syrup can be mixed with icing sugar to make a glaze (like for the cupcakes) or it could be used to replace a shot of sugar syrup in a cocktail (YUM), or you could make an elderflower drizzle cake or freeze it into delicious ice cubes that turn boring water into elderflower cordial! It's really really good.
So easy to make, you just need:
10 flower heads
1 pint of water
1 unwaxed lemon (zest and juice)
1 cup granulated sugar
Pick your flowers and wash them well under cold running water. Spread out some newspaper and grab a bowl, start picking the flowers off the stems until you've got a bowl full of beautiful flowers. It's ok to leave the little green stems on the flowers, just not the big ones.
Pour the water into a pan and bring to the boil. Once it's boiling, add the lemon juice and zest and the flowers. Then add the sugar and drop the temperature slightly, you just want a simmer. Keep stirring until the sugar is all dissolved and it's reduced a bit. Try it on a spoon and adjust the sugar/lemon to your taste.
Find a small strainer and pour the syrup into a bowl through the strainer like this:
(keep the flowers you've strained out because when they dry you've got crystallised elderflowers! go you!)
Ok! That's done now, you've made elderflower syrup.
Next, easyeasy nectarine cupcakes. This is a basic vanilla cupcake with nectarine cubes in it, nectarine and elderflower are made for each other.
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 nectarines, peeled, de stoned and cubed
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and line your cupcake pan with cupcake papers.
Whisk the soy milk and vinegar together in a small bowl and leave to curdle.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir them all together. Add the vinegar mixture , then the oil, sugar and vanilla. Mix thoroughly until there are no big lumps left.
Fold in the cubed nectarine and use a small measuring cup to fill each cupcake paper about 3/4 up (make sure you get at least 2 or 3 nectarine bits in each one).
Bake for 15-19 minutes then put onto a wire rack to cool.
To make the elderflower icing just put a tbsp of icing sugar in a bowl, and add the syrup a tiny bit at a time until you've got the consistency that you want (want a glaze? Use a lot of syrup. Want a thick icing? Use a little syrup).
Once you've iced the cakes, put a couple of the crystallised flowers on top.