Berlin is full of elderflowers right now. People are making elderflower cordial, there’s elderflower jam and even elderflower sorbet. My mother used to make something called Hollerkuechle, fresh elderflowers dunked in a thin batter and then fried in oil and dusted with sugar. It was delicious! I didn’t manage to replicate that yet, but I did experiment a little with elderflower cakes. This vegan elderflower lemon cake turned out the best: moist and fluffy. I used a simple recipe for a vegan lemon cake as a base, and adapted it with the elderflowers and by adding a little coconut cream. Actually the elderflower, lemon and very light coconut flavor worked really well together. You need elderflower syrup for this, so this cake requires a little advance planning. The syrup is really easy to make though if you have access to some elderflowers (I adapted the recipe from the lovely blog Glasgefluester)- and it can be used in many delicious ways in drinks and desserts. Make sure to wash the flowers carefully before using though, bugs seem to love elderflowers as much as we do!
Elderflower lemon cake
For the syrup:
- About fifteen stems of elderflower
- One lemon
- Ten teaspoons of sugar
For the cake:
- 275 grams of spelt flour
- 150 grams of sugar
- 50 grams of coconut cream
- 50 grams of olive oil
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- A few teaspoons of elderflower syrup
- One teaspoon of baking powder
- 170 ml of ice water
- 150 grams of icing sugar
- A handful of elderflowers
- Make the syrup:
- Peel the lemon and cut it into slices.
- Carefully wash the elderflowers, treating them gently so the little flower petals don't fall off the stems.
- Bring half a liter (two cups) of water to a boil with the sugar until the sugar dissolves completely and let it simmer a bit to reduce the liquid slightly.
- Stack the elderflowers in a jar, with the lemon slices and peel added in between, and fill it up with the still hot but not boiling sugar syrup.
- Close the jar tightly and let the elderflowers steep for three days.
- Then strain the liquid through a sieve and boil it once more. Now fill it into a bottle and keep in the fridge.
- To prepare the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (350 F).
- Mix all dry ingredients, then add the lemon juice, elderflower syrup, coconut cream and olive oil. Stir everything until you have a lot of crumbles.
- Now add the ice water and mix well until you get a soft dough. It should neither be firm nor liquid, you may have to adjust the quantity of water and flour accordingly.
- Pour the dough into a cake tin lined with parchment paper. Bake the cake for about 30 minutes. When it's ready, take it out of the tin and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the icing by mixing the icing sugar with two teaspoons of water. Using a spoon, spread the icing evenly on the cake.
- Sprinkle with elderflowers that have been removed from the stems.