Tuesday, July 27, 2010
"THE GOOD LIFE" (ISH)!
I'm feeling like a mix between Suzie Homemaker and Barbara from "The Good Life". And all because I picked a few flowers, made a cordial from them and then used the cordial to make some muffins - easily impressed with myself !!!!!!
Elderflower season has passed but while the little white beauties were still on the trees, I fulfilled my (totally misplaced) image of myself as an earth mother type and went foraging for elderflowers and nettles, to make cordial and soup respectively.
I combined recipes from Darina Allen and The Friendly Cottage and ended up with a wonderfully fragrant , sweet but not over sweet drink - my son reckons that it makes a perfect post-sports drink. This cordial will be a regular here every June, I intend to make at least a double quantity next year.
It was a no-brainer that I had to try Harry Eastwood's recipe for Raspberry and Elderflower Cupcakes, and they are really tasty, as always the usual fat is replaced with vegetables (courgettes here) and ground nuts (almonds here), this lightness works wonderfully with the sour/sweet aspect of both the raspberries and elderflower.
Raspberry and Elderflower Cupcakes
2 medium eggs
140g caster sugar
200g grated courgette
3 tbsp elderflower cordial
80g rice flour
120g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
120g raspberries (I used frozen)
Preheat oven to 180 C
Line muffin tin with 12 paper cases
Whisk the eggs and sugar (a freestanding mixer is best here) for 5 minutes until very light and pale.
Grate the courgette and add to the egg and sugar mixture.
Mix through the flour, ground almonds, salt and baking powder and cordial.
Gently fold through the raspberries.
Divide equally between the muffin cases.
Bake for 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
40 - 50 elderflower heads
2 kg white caster sugar *
finely grated zest and juice of two organic lemons
75g citric acid
Pick the elderflowers in the afternoon when they are dry. Check that there are no insects.
Make a sugar syrup by heating the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves.
Rinse the elderflowers gently and place in a very large bowl or very clean bucket.
Add the lemon zest and juice to the syrup. then add the citric acid.
Pour this over the elderflowers, making sure they are all immersed.
Cover and leave to soak for 24 hours.
Next day you are ready to bottle your cordial.
Run the bottles you are using through the dishwasher to sterilise.
Sieve the cordial into a large jug, I used a plastic sieve lined with kitchen paper.
Decant into your bottles of choice. Store in the fridge.
I didn't have enough bottles so have frozen some in those ice-cube bags.
*I used golden sugar and although it tastes perfect the colour would have been nicer had I used white.
P.S. There is a lovely recipe for elderflower champagne on The Food Blog which I can't wait to try next year.