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Fruits of the Forage Elderflower, Rhubarb & Grapefruit Drizzle Cake

One of the highlights of each foraging year is watching the eldertrees slowly develop sprays of light yellow flowers, occasionally coinciding with the arrival of sunshine and blue skies. The aroma of these elderflowers are reminiscent of aromatic honey and citrus peel, creating a quintessential flavour of British summer time. The best time to forage for sprays of elderflower is during full sun on a dry day in the first half of June, being cautious to collect the flowers away from traffic fumes as these can taint their exquisite bouquet.

There is another way to enjoy this seasonal delight throughout the year and without the need of additional toil in the hedgerows or your kitchen: Fruits of the Forage Rhubarb, Grapefruit, and Elderflower Cordial. Our cordial can be enjoyed simply with ice-cold water - sparkling or still - or added to a number of recipes where elderflower cordial is listed. The tanginess of rhubarb and the sweet floral notes of elderflower showcase the beauty of summer produce both foraged and farmed.

We’ve decided to celebrate the joys of cooking during this time of the year by embracing fresh locally grown produce with this Elderflower and Rhubarb Drizzle Loaf Cake. The cake itself features a moist and tender rhubarb sponge, thanks to a delicious drizzle made from poaching rhubarb in Elderflower, Rhubarb & Grapefruit Cordial. Cooking rhubarb in this way infuses it with the enchanting notes of elderflower, whilst intensifying the rhubarby goodness.

As the seasons change and the year matures it is important to embrace and savour the seasonal produce that graces our tables and local markets. By utilising the freshest ingredients available, we not only support local farmers and businesses but also experience the true essence of each season. With this in mind, we have included an optional garnish of fresh strawberries and clotted cream, both of which pair remarkably well with rhubarb and elderflower, heightening the senses and evoking nostalgic memories of British summers.

Fruits of the Forage Elderflower, Rhubarb & Grapefruit Drizzle Cake

 

Ingredients

Rhubarb and elderflower compote:

  • 200 g Fruits of the Forage Elderflower, Rhubarb, and Grapefruit cordial

  • 150 g rhubarb, washed

Rhubarb sponge loaf cake:

  • 250 g unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature

  • 225 g caster sugar

  • 275 g self-raising flour

  • 15 g baking powder

  • 4 large eggs, whisked

  • 50 g rhubarb poaching liquid

  • 200 g rhubarb, washed

Rhubarb and elderflower drizzle:

  • 100 g rhubarb poaching liquid

  • 75 g caster sugar

To serve:

  • Rhubarb and elderflower compote

  • Remaining rhubarb poaching liquid

  • Fresh strawberries, washed (optional)

  • Clotted cream (optional)

Method

For the rhubarb and elderflower compote:

  1. Chop the rhubarb into evenly sized pieces, about 1-2 cm each.

  2. Place the rhubarb in a pan and cover it with cordial.

  3. Bring the pan to a boil over medium heat.

  4. Turn off the heat and cover the pan with a lid.

  5. Allow the contents to cool.

  6. Drain the rhubarb, reserving the rhubarb poaching liquid.

  7. Mix the poached rhubarb together to create the rhubarb and elderflower compote.

For the sponge:

  1. Prepare and line a suitably sized loaf tin (I used 24 X 14 X 7) and preheat the fan-assisted oven to 160°C.

  2. Using a food processor with a K paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

  3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together.

  4. Pour ¼ of the egg mixture into the creamed butter mixture while mixing, followed by a tablespoon of the flour mixture, this helps to stop the mix from splitting. When combined add another ¼ of the mixture, followed by a tablespoon of flour, and continue like this until all of the egg mixture has been used.

  5. Slowly add the rest of the flour mixture, and then add 50 g of the rhubarb poaching liquid to the mix to make a smooth and light batter.

  6. Chop the rhubarb into 1-2 cm pieces and fold them into the cake batter.

  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and smooth the top.

  8. Bake for 30-45 minutes until a cocktail stick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

  9. Leave the cake in the tin and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before making a number of holes using a cocktail stick or skewer on the top of the cake.

For the drizzle:

  1. Whisk together 100 g of rhubarb poaching liquid and the caster sugar, then evenly pour it over the cake, allowing time for the drizzle to run through the holes as necessary.

  2. Finally, allow the cake to cool for 45 minutes to 1 hour before carefully turning it out and placing it on a cooling rack, dust with additional caster sugar for texture. Cover until completely cool, which is about another hour, or a little bit more - if you can wait!

To serve:

  1. Slice the cake at 3 cm intervals.

  2. Place a slice of cake in the centre of a plate.

  3. Carefully spoon over some additional rhubarb poaching liquid.

  4. Add a carefully placed spoonful of compote on top of the cake slice.

  5. Add the optional spoonful of clotted cream on each slice and a pile of sliced strawberries, finish the plate with a few extra drops of rhubarb poaching liquid.