Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Stir up a little Elderflower magic with Sophie Conran & Belvoir Fruit Farms - review & recipes

Summer is on the way ! Soon Britain’s hedgerows will be heavy with frothy white elderflower blossoms, so to celebrate the harvest, Belvoir Fruit Farms have teamed up with celeb cook Sophie Conran to create some magical elderflower cordial children’s recipes. With the help of the Elder Fairy and a fabulous prize package that I will be announcing in my next blogpost, this should encourage little chefs to roll up their sleeves and do some baking.

Sophie explains: “Belvoir’s elderflower cordial is a delicious summer drink but I love using it as a cooking ingredient too. It adds a sweet, subtle floral flavour that’s irresistible. It’s really important to encourage our children to cook and baking is such an easy introduction for them. In the past my kids and I have made thousands of cakes together. It is a lovely rainy afternoon pastime and they are made in moments. Licking the bowl, spoon and whisks is a sticky delight. Children love baking, but keep a close eye on them. Otherwise you’ll find your kitchen redecorated in a sticky, eggy mess.”

Sounds like she's been peeking in The Madhouse kitchen ! We've been enjoying a glassful of subtle, summery Belvoir Elderflower Cordial from the bottle that we were sent to review but I haven't tried it in baking yet. These recipes do look delightful though, so we may have to give them a go before it's all gone !

Sophie Conran’s Elderflower Fairy Cakes for Belvoir

“These fairy cakes are basically quite a simple sponge mixture”, says Sophie. “As fairy cakes use the same ingredients as any sponge cake, most cake recipes can be used to make fairy cakes. You can try adding other things to the mixture, like spices, raisins, cocoa powder, broken up pieces of chocolate, mashed banana or even grated carrot to make mini carrot cakes.”

Makes 8 - 10 Fairy Cakes

100g butter, softened
100g sugar
2 eggs
100g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 200C/ 180C for a fan oven

It is so simple to make these fairy cakes:

Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and use a wooden spoon to beat together until pale, light and fluffy.

Beat the eggs in a jug then gradually add to the butter mixture, beating well between additions.

Sift over the flour and baking powder then gently fold in along with the vanilla extract.

(If all that mixing by hand looks a bit too much like hard work simply put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a hand-held blender although you may need to do this bit if you have very young children)

Line a cupcake tin with paper cake cases and half fill each case with the cake mixture.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until the cakes have risen and look golden. Cool on a rack then decorate.

Decorating your fairy cakes

“Frosting and decorations are defining characteristics of a fairy cake. There are different ways of icing your fairy cakes but I like to ice them with either simple sugar icing, or butter icing - better still try this delicious elderflower caramel icing which is also great on ice cream or pancakes”, says Sophie.

For the caramel

100g caster sugar
25g unsalted butter
25ml Belvoir elderflower cordial
100ml double cream

Heat the sugar, butter and a tablespoon of water in a small pan on a medium/high heat. Stir a little until it starts to brown. Stir in the double cream and allow to bubble for another 5 minutes or until all the sugar has dissolved and you have a smooth sauce. Lastly, add the cordial and stir through. Keep warm until needed.

Sophie Conran’s Elderflower Wand Biscuits for Belvoir

This makes roughly 40 biscuits, depending on the size. You can use half of the mixture and freeze the other half to use on another occasion.

400g Plain Flour
150g Caster Sugar
150g Butter (Cubed)
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
100ml Elderflower cordial

Pre heat the oven to 220°C.
Sift the flour into a bowl and add the cubed butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.

Heat the elderflower cordial and golden syrup in a small pan. Pour into the flour and butter mixture and add the sugar.
Continue to mix all the ingredients together with your hands until it comes together in a ball.
Remove and divide into two balls and place on a floured surface.
Butter a large baking tray.
Roll out the first ball of cookie dough and using a cookie cutter of your choice cut into shapes.
Wrap the second ball in cling film and freeze.
Place on the baking tray and cook for 8 minutes. Cool on a rack before decorating.

Elderflower icing

4 heaped tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp elderflower cordial

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Feel free to add a little colouring, depending on how you plan to decorate your biscuits.

Sophie says: “Decorate your biscuits to your heart’s content! I like edible glitter, candied lemon, edible flowers and jelly tots. Cookies are great to decorate with children, just fill bowls with lots of different things to decorate with and have fun!”some baking.

Fancy giving them a go? Don't miss my next post where you will be able to win a kids' baking kit and a case of Belvoir cordials.

Disclosure : I received a bottle of Belvoir cordial.

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

#stayinhappybunnies Making our own Easter eggs

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