I adore subtle floral flavours in baking: rosewater, orange blossom, lavender. So, why has my elderflower consumption up until this point been solely limited to a mixer that compliments gin (which is a pretty amazing combination, gin-lovers)?! Thankfully, I was surprised to discover not only whoopie pies, but a beautiful selection of cupcake recipes in 'Let's Make Whoopies', a fantastic and wonderfully presented book by Sophie Grey. My favourite, of course, was this attached recipe.
Elderflower is incredibly light and refreshing, and works perfectly with citrus. It's flavour is pretty subtle, so when adding it to the cream cheese, you may find you need more than what I've specified below. Sophie's original recipe suggested using elderflowers in addition to elderflower cordial in the cake mixture, so if you're lucky enough to be in a warmer climate than I currently am, give this a shot.
Ingredients (makes 12)
Recipe slightly adapted from Sophie Grey's 'Let's Make Whoopies'
175 gms self raising flour
2 tsps elderflower cordial
125 gms butter, at room temperature
175 gms caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
40 mls milk
50 gms butter, at room temperature
250 gms cream cheese, at room temperature
500 gms icing sugar, approximately
3 tsps elderflower cordial (or more, to taste)
green food colouring (I use Wilton Kelly Green)
Preheat your oven to 180C. Line a 12 cup capacity cupcake tray with liners.
Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (about five minutes), scraping down the sides of the bowl regularly. Slow the speed of your mixture down, and gradually add the beaten egg, a little at a time, again, whilst scraping down the sides of your bowl. Gently fold in the flour and milk, being careful not to over-mix. Stir through the elderflower cordial.
Divide the mixture evenly among your 12 cases (just over 2 tbsps per case), and bake for 15 - 20 minutes, until golden and lightly springy to the touch. Remove from tray immediately and cool on a wire rack.
When the cupcakes have cooled, mix the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Gradually add icing sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. You may find you need more or less icing sugar than recommended - this is really up to personal taste. To pipe your mixture, it should be able to hold it's shape. Add a very small amount of food colouring before filling a piping bag with a star tip, and generously piping frosting onto cupcakes.
It seems amongst all the recent madness in my life, I have been consumed with macarons, five layer tiered cakes, and other time consuming treats that I've forgotten how satisfying making a quick and easy batch of cupcakes can be, not to mention how much easier they are to travel with! Im sorry I left you, cupcakes. Let's make up.
Recommended baking soundtrack: Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle.