Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf with Elderflower Glaze

lemon poppy seed bread with elderflower glazeWe’ve got a weird spring this year. March was colder than usual, while April turned out to be the warmest in 110+ years. Completely missed that lovely transitional time, went instead from winter coats to short sleeves in a matter of days. Nature is perplexed too – tulips lasted less than a week, lilacs were over before Mother’s Day, black locust are literally everywhere now, a month early.

Same goes for elderflower. I realized they started blooming on one of our walks around the neighbourhood last week. I knew I had to act if I don’t want to miss my window for elderflower cordial so I grabbed a basket and a pair of pruning shears. Ended up with a few nasty scars in the hedgerow, but they’ll heal. The things I do for my cordial! 🙂

Anyway, the syrup is already bottled up and sitting in the pantry. I popped the first one open to make the glaze for this easy dessert I’ve been wanting to bake ever since we were served a slice (ok, I took two…) at the calligraphy workshop with lovely Boglarka Gleichauf (make sure to check her page The Fanatic Calligrapher!). It’s Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake.

The batter is an easy pound cake variation made with basic ingredients, not much to talk about really. It’s just a few minutes to throw together, but the combination of lemon and poppy seed makes this otherwise simple loaf so fresh and cheerful. Hubby said it tastes like sunshine. It’s also moist and tender, and let’s not forget that luscious glaze with the heady aroma of elderflower. What’s not to love?

Now, before I give you the recipe I have to tell I don’t care much for citrus zest so I simply omit it from my cooking. The juice of the lemon gives enough tartness to this cake by itself in my opinion, but do feel free to add the zest as well if it’s something you like.

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake with Elderflower Glaze

  • Difficulty: easy
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Moist pound cake with the fresh taste of lemon, crunchy poppy seeds and fragrant elderflower glaze.

Ingredients

For the batter:

2 cups AP flour

2 tbsp poppy seeds

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

6 tbsp butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

3 eggs

1 cup natural yogurt

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice + zest (optional)

For the glaze:

2 tbsp elderflower syrup

1 cup powderd sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F. Line with parchment paper and grease a loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and poppy seeds.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with a handheld mixer until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between additions. Add yogurt and lemon juice, mix to fully incorporate.
  4. Switch to a spatula. Add flour mixture to egg mixture in 3 additions, folding until just combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 min to 1 h depending on your oven.
  6. Let loaf cool in pan for 15 min. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. While loaf is cooling, make glaze: mix syrup with powdered sugar. Pour over loaf. Enjoy!

Love,

Fruzsi

*Disclaimer: I have visited and paid for the service mentioned in this post. What I write about business establishments on My Chest of Wonders represents my genuine and unbiased opinion, I am not being compensated in any way through sponsorship, commissions or gifts.*

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Elderflower Cordial, the Season’s Must

 

elderflower cordial

Recipe updated on 16/05/2019

Weather has turned from Red Wine Please to Rosé S’il Vous Plait. In other words – if you happen to be the designated driver – it’s lemonade season! Today I’m here to help you step up your refresher game with elderflower-infused syrup, a drink very popular here in Central Europe.

Fragrant and refreshing, elderflower cordial is great mixed with seltzer water, makes sensational spritzers with white wine, or add a dash to a gin or vodka and tonic to start an early summer party in style. Also available commercially year-round, but I think you need no convincing that home-made is the real deal.

Elder plants are very common, frequenting woodland fringes and hedgerows. They are not really tall enough to count as trees, but rather too big for a shrub as well. Elderflower season runs from late May to early July.

Culinary uses of the flowers and berries are varied and many, from tea to relishes to natural flavoring in several food products. Note that leaves, twigs, roots and uncooked berries of the elder plant are toxic and should not be consumed!

The flat-topped sprays of white flowers have a distinctly sweet, heady fragrance. The best cordial is made from freshly picked elderflowers. Choose the morning hours of a dry day to harvest – that is when the flowers contain the most pollen, the source of the flavor. Collecting the flowers is a good excuse to get your SO on a walk by the way. 🙂 Oh, and do yourself a favor not to pick from roadsides, you don’t want petrol fumes infusing your drinks. Yikes!

I’ve read somewhere that half-opened clusters are best. Trim as much stem off as you can, than place carefully in a bag or basket. Do not wash flowers back home, try brushing off insects and any other dirt instead before you start.

The rest is easy, cordial is based on simple syrup. All you need besides the pretty blossoms are sugar, water, a bunch of lemons, citric acid and some patience. High concentration of sugar and sterilized containers give the cordial decent shelf life, but adding a preservative of your choice against mold is totally fine.

Elderflower Cordial

Fragrant and refreshing cordial made from flowers of the elder plant.

Ingredients

20 elderflower clusters

1,5 kg / 3.3 lbs sugar

1,5 l / 6 cups water

3 lemons

50 g / 3 ½ tbsp citric acid

Directions

  1. Make simple syrup: mix water and sugar in a large pot, heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Bring to a simmer, turn off heat. Let cool.
  2. Prepare elderflowers: trim stems, brush off any dirt and insects.
  3. Thoroughly scrub lemons under hot water, than slice.
  4. Place elderflowers (stems up) and lemon slices in warm syrup. Cover pot with lid.
  5. Let infuse for 3-5 days in a cool, dark place. The longer the flowers are in the syrup, the more intense the flavor will be, but keep an eye out for mold! Stir cordial every day.
  6. Drain through a sieve and press liquid from flowers and lemon slices. Drain again, this time through a cheese cloth or a piece of muslin fabric to remove any remaining bits.
  7. Add citric acid and preservative (if using), bring liquid to a boil. Simmer for  3 minutes, than fill into sterilized bottles with the help of a funnel.
  8. Store refrigerated after opening.

How easy is that? Bring a bottle of cordial to the next garden party you’re attending! The 0,5 l (17 oz) reusable Ikea KORKEN bottle makes a perfect vessel at a reasonable price.

If you’re not into the aroma of elderflower, you can always refer to my post on lavender syrup to give your rose spritzers or plain old lemonade a twist. Mint syrup, an essential to every well-represented home bar is also made similarly.

Love,

Fruzsi

*Disclaimer: I like and use products mentioned in posts on My Chest of Wonders. What I write about such items represent my genuine and unbiased opinion, I am not being compensated in any way through sponsorship or gifts.*