This is a lovely moist cake that would be perfect as an afternoon tea treat; the combination of ground almonds and elderflower syrup means you’ll almost need a spoon to eat it.
Elderflower syrup (or cordial) isn’t as widely available in the US as it is in the UK but IKEA sells it – look for ‘Saft Flader’; otherwise you can get it from Amazon.com at a reasonable price. It makes a refreshingly floral and summery non-alcoholic drink, diluted with sparkling or flat water – and can be used in cocktails.
Talking of cocktails, I suppose you could use St. Germain here instead (the alcoholic liqueur version) but that means the cake would only be suitable for adults.
ALMOND & ELDERFLOWER CAKE
(Serves 8- 10)
8.8 oz (250g) of unsalted butter, softened
5.5 oz (150g) of fine (caster) white sugar
3 level teaspoons of baking powder
3.5 oz (100g) of plain/all purpose white flour
A pinch of salt
5.5 oz (150g) of ground almonds/almond meal
7 tablespoons of elderflower syrup/cordial
For the topping:
1 oz (30g) of unsalted butter, softened
7 oz (200g) of powdered/icing sugar
3-4 tablespoons of elderflower syrup/cordial
Toasted flaked almonds for decoration
Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180).
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl.
Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time – don’t worry if it curdles – then lightly fold in the flour, followed by the ground almonds.
Butter or line a round cake pan and add the cake mixture, smoothing evenly.
Bake for approx 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and pierce it all over with a skewer or toothpick then carefully pour the 7 tablespoons of elderflower syrup over the cake to soak in – cool the cake on a rack.
For the topping:
Whisk the softened butter and powdered sugar together until it has a fine breadcrumb consistency; or rub it together with your fingers to create the same result.
Add the remaining elderflower syrup and whisk until you have a paste. If it’s too thick or too thin, add more syrup or powdered sugar accordingly, until a spreadable consistency. Spread over the top of the cake then decorate with toasted flaked almonds.