Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Blooming brilliant elderflower treats

This elegant British flavour complements a range of dishes

The delicate, refreshing taste of elderflower is a quintessential taste of British summertime and the perfect patriotic drink to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. What's more, with the elderflower harvest now upon us, it's a great time to get creative with its clean and crisp flavour in the kitchen. The Lady has paired up with bottlegreen (who have been harvesting British elderflower for over 20 years) to present these four unique, easy and interesting recipes.

English Elderflower Trifle

Capture the essence of an English summer with this fabulous fresh berry trifle. It’s simple to make and always a crowd-pleaser.

elderflower trifle

Serves 6

Ingredients

4 tbsp Bottlegreen Elderflower Cordial

8 trifle sponges

100g (4oz) fresh strawberries, halved

100g (4oz) raspberries

100g (4oz) redcurrants, blackcurrants or blackberries

100g (4oz) blueberries

500g pot ready-made custard

200ml (1/3 pint) double or whipping cream

Blackberry leaves or mint leaves, to decorate

Method

Put the Bottlegreen Elderflower Cordial into a jug and dilute it with 4 tbsp cold water.

Arrange the trifle sponges in the base of a large trifle dish (or use individual dishes, if you prefer). Pour the elderflower cordial evenly over the sponges and allow a few minutes for it to soak in.

Reserve a few fruits for decorating the trifle, then mix all the remaining fruit together. Spoon onto the trifle sponges, keeping the surface as level as possible.

Pour the custard evenly over the fruit. Whip the cream in a chilled bowl until it holds its shape, then spoon it over the custard. Cover and chill. Before serving, decorate the trifle with the reserved fruits and leaves.

Elderflower & lime shortbread stars

Ideal for coffee time, these delicious biscuits are tangy, fragrant and very more-ish!

elderflower cookies

Makes 18

Ingredients

100g softened butter

50g caster sugar

3tbsps bottlegreen elderflower cordial

1 lime

200g plain flour

150g icing sugar

Silver balls and ribbon

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180c (160c for fan assisted oven) gas mark 4.

Cream together the butter, caster sugar and 2tbsps of the bottlegreen elderflower cordial, add the grated rind of the lime.

Sift in the flour and mix to a dough, knead lightly.

Roll out on a lightly floured work surface, cut into stars approximately 8cm diameter. Place on lightly greased baking trays, cook for approximately 10-15 minutes until pale golden, cool on a wire rack.

Mix together the sieved icing sugar, remaining 1tbsp of bottlegreen elderflower cordial and enough lime juice to make a smooth, spreadable icing. Ice the biscuits and decorate with silver balls. Leave to set for several hours.

Cook’s tip: If using as decorations make a small hole in the uncooked biscuit with the blunt end of a skewer, carefully thread a ribbon through after the icing has set.

Strawberry, Elderflower and Champagne Soup with Mascarpone Swirl and Caramelised Melba Toasts

All the flavours of summer in one stunning dish. Serve as a very innovative twist on strawberries and cream.

elderflower soup

Serves 4

Ingredients

400g Strawberries

8 tbsp bottlegreen Strawberry and Elderflower Cordial

250ml Champagne or Cava

50g mascarpone cheese

2 tbsp milk

2 slices medium white sliced bread

Icing sugar

Method

Reserve 2 strawberries for garnish. Place the remainder in a liquidiser or food processor, add the cordial and the champagne or cava, blend until smooth, and sieve. Divide between 4 bowls.

Mix together the mascarpone cheese and milk until smooth and a pouring consistency; swirl a little onto the top of the soup. Add slices of the reserved strawberries.

To make the caramelised Melba toasts, toast each side of the bread, remove the crusts and slice through the middle, removing any doughy bits. Cut each piece into 2 triangles, sprinkle with sieved icing sugar, place under the grill on a low heat, cook until golden and curled, keeping a careful eye on them. Serve with the soup.

Summer Berry Topped Elderflower Cheesecake

Lightly fragrant and delectably creamy, this cheesecake makes a summer party decadent. Surprisingly easy to make, choose the ripest, sweetest available fruit and enjoy.

elderflower cheesecake

Serves 8

Ingredients

150g digestive biscuits

50g butter

450g full fat soft cream cheese (light versions work well too)

2 tbsp cornflour

4 tbsp Bottlegreen Elderflower Cordial

2 free range egg yolks

150ml sour cream

For the topping:

8 tbsp Bottlegreen Elderflower Cordial

2 gelatine sheets

Approx 400g summer berries, such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and redcurrants

Icing sugar

Method

Pre heat oven 200c/400f/gas6. Line the base of a 20cm/8in loose-bottomed spring form tin. Crush the biscuits, melt the butter and stir together. Press into the base of the tin, bake for 8mins, remove and cool. Reduce the oven to 150c/300f/gas2.

Place the cream cheese into a large bowl, mix a little of the cordial with the cornflour to a smooth paste and add to the cheese with the remaining cordial, egg yolks and sour cream. Whisk or beat until smooth, pour into the tin and cook for approx 45-50mins. Check that it is set with a slight wobble in the middle and cool, leaving it in the tin.

Make the topping by soaking the gelatine in cold water for 5mins then place the cordial in a small pan. Add 8 tbsp water and gently heat. Stir in the gelatine until melted then cool.

Pile the berries on top of the cheesecake whilst still in its tin.

Spoon the cool glaze over the top of the cheesecake, place in the fridge for 2 hours to set, remove from the tin and serve cut into slices with a little cream.

bottlegreen elderflower cordial is available from supermarkets, priced from £3.15 (500ml). bottlegreen elderflower sparkling pressé is available from supermarkets, priced from £2.39 (750ml). bottlegreen Still elderflower is available from carefully selected retailers, priced from £1.29 (330ml).

The Andaz Hotel, 40 Liverpool Street, London, EC2M 7QN


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