Elderflower Drizzle Cake with Candied Lemons
This gluten-free cake, made with polenta and ground almonds, is drenched in elderflower cordial, topped with candied lemon slices and drizzled with elderflower icing.
- 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 125g Greek yoghurt
- 250g caster sugar
- 250g ground almonds
- 200g polenta (cornmeal – do not use ‘instant’ polenta)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten-free, if required)
- Grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
- 3 eggs
- 150ml elderflower cordial
FOR THE CANDIED BITTER LEMONS
- 200g fresh unwaxed lemons (about 1 large one)
- 80g granulated sugar
FOR THE ELDERFLOWER ICING
- 100g icing sugar, sifted
- 5 teaspoons elderflower cordial
- First, make the candied lemons. Wash the lemon and cut it carefully into nice even 5mm-thick slices. Layer the lemon slices in a small, heavy pan, sprinkling the sugar between the layers as you go. Pour in 300ml cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Simmer the lemons very gently for forty minutes to an hour, until both skin and pith are tender.
- Meanwhile, make the cake. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Butter a 20cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Put the butter, yogurt and sugar in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, stir together the ground almonds, polenta and baking powder. One at a time, add the eggs to butter, yogurt and sugar, beating in each one with a heaped tablespoon of the dry ingredients before adding the next. Beat in the remaining dry ingredients with the lemon zest and juice. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 45–50 minutes, until firm and springy and a skewer comes out clean when poked into the centre of the cake.
- When the lemons slices are cooked, carefully lift them out of the syrup and put them in a shallow bowl (try to preserve their shape as you do this). Raise the heat under the pan of syrup and boil to reduce, for about 5 minutes, until slightly thickened and syrupy. Tip the syrup over the lemon slices and leave to cool.
- When the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven and leave to cool slightly in its tin. While the cake is still warm (but not piping hot), use a fine skewer or piece of dry spaghetti to make small holes all over its surface. Trickle over the elderflower cordial little by little, giving it time to soak into the cake. Remove the outer ring of the cake tin and leave the cake to cool on a rack.
- When the cake is completely cooled, drain the lemon slices from the remaining syrup and arrange them on the top of the cake. Mix the icing sugar with the elderflower cordial and stir well. You may need to add a little extra water to achieve a runny, pourable consistency. Let the icing stand for 5 minutes before trickling across the top of the cake in streaks, allowing it to run down the sides. Leave the icing to set, then transfer the cake to a plate or stand and serve.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK