Hooray for elderflower season! I can’t tell you how much I’ve been looking forward to making this rhubarb and elderflower cake – I just know this is going to be a new seasonal favourite in my kitchen. Sharp rhubarb, sweet almond sponge and yoghurt cream, all given a Summery twist with fragrant elderflower.
For the roasted rhubarb
400g trimmed rhubarb, cut into 4-5cm slices
110g caster sugar
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tbsp elderflower cordial
For the cake
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
95g ground almonds
200g caster sugar
1 lemon, zested
3 eggs, 2 whole and 1 white only
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp elderflower cordial, plus extra for brushing
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
130g natural yogurt
Edible flowers, to decorate
For the elderflower cream
300ml double cream
2 tbsp elderflower cordial
100g natural yogurt.
Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Grease and line two 20cm cake tins. To roast the rhubarb, line a high-sided baking tray with baking parchment, add the rhubarb, then top with the sugar, lemon juice, zest and cordial. Cover with tinfoil and roast for 25 mins until soft. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Strain the rhubarb, reserving the syrup. Cream the butter in a mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, then tip in the sugar and lemon zest.
Scrape down the sides, then turn the mixer up slightly and beat for a further 5 mins until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer down, then add the eggs, egg white, vanilla extract and cordial and mix together. Combine the flour, almonds, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Turn the mixer onto its lowest speed and spoon in the flour and almond mixture in several batches, alternating with spoonfuls of the yogurt.
Mix until just combined, with no streaks remaining, then add half the roasted rhubarb and 1 tbsp of its syrup to the batter and fold it in.
Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted into each cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven, leave to cool completely in the tins on a wire rack, then carefully remove.
For the filling, whip the cream to soft peaks and fold in three-quarters of the remaining roasted rhubarb, along with the elderflower cordial and yogurt. Put one of the cakes flat-side down on a cake stand or plate, prick it all over with a skewer, and brush with a little more elderflower cordial.
Spoon on half the cream mixture, top with the other cake, and brush that cake with cordial, too. Spoon over the remaining cream mixture, top with the remaining rhubarb and spoon over some of the poaching syrup. Garnish with elderflowers or seasonal flowers and serve.
What are you baking this weekend?
Rhubarb and elderflower cake via Rosie Birkett.