I am not sure where to begin with this cake, there is so much to say, I could tell you how wonderfully perfect it is for the summer, or about its healthy virtues because it is made using spelt flour, honey, unrefined sugar and organic products and all this would be very true, but for this cake the proof is in the eating and boy is this cake worth eating, it is an awesome elderflower, lemon and strawberry cake.
I made this yesterday as I had my friend Andrea coming over for coffee, the sun was shining and I knew we had a lovely afternoon ahead of us, sat in the sun chatting and the icing on the cake (so to speak), a gorgeous slice of cake.
Andrea has been my tester and taster on a couple of my healthy bakes lately and in her words, It was absolutely gorgeous, I could have easily eaten the whole cake” and “it was SO good, my favourite one so far, thanks for a lovely afternoon, it was so nice to chat with you and Olly in the sunshine”, well you can’t say fairer than that can you! Thank you Andrea for the lovely comments. I think my elderflower, lemon and strawberry cake with a yoghurt dressing is a winner.
This was by far the lightest and fluffiest of the spelt cakes I have baked so far, I am not sure if that was down to the recipe or just that I am becoming more familiar with the product, but with the gorgeous in season strawberries bursting with sweet ripeness and served with the yoghurt dressing that had that slightly sharp and sour taste, it all came together beautifully.
This basic sponge has so many options, why not try a simple lemon syrup and blueberries, this would work so well with the yoghurt cream.
So as I have said before, Ok they may not be completely virtuous these bakes, but its a step in the right direction and if you are going to eat cake anyway, why not make it just that little bit more healthy for you.
250g unsalted organic butter, softened (I have got into the habit of popping it into the oven for a couple of minutes as it warms up for the bake, but don’t forget about it!!)
150g golden caster sugar
100g honey (as usual I used the lovely Wildflower one)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I always use Nielsen Massey Pure Vanilla Extract)
4 large free-range eggs
200g white spelt flour, sifted (Doves Farm)
50g cornflour (Doves Farm do a lovely organic one, I love their products)
2 teaspoons baking powder (Doves Farm)
2 – 3 tablespoons organic milk
Juice of 1/2 unwaxed lemon
4 tablespoons elderflower cordial (available in shops or you can make your own http://dianastaveley.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/elderflower-cordial.html )
2 tablespoons honey (Wildflower or honey of your choice)
300g strawberries, hulled
Elderflowers, Strawberry Flowers & Leaves
For the cream
150ml double cream
150ml Greek natural yoghurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon elderflower cordial
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Grease and flour a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin, as you can see from the photos, I used a bundt tin and it looked stunning and I filled the centre of the cooled cake with quartered strawberries, but use what ever you have available.
Prepare your syrup first by putting the lemon juice, elderflower cordial and honey in a small saucepan with 200ml water and bring to the bowl, then lower the heat, simmer for 5 minutes and set aside to cool.
Combine all the cake ingredients in a large bowl (I love the simplicity of this cake) and using an electric or free-standing mixer, gently, but thoroughly combine all of your ingredients, but do not over mix.
Pour your mixture into your prepared tin, level the top with a spoon and bake in the oven for 30 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. In the bundt tin it took exactly 35 minutes and was perfect, previously in different size tins it has taken longer, so just keep an eye on it.
Remove from the oven and using a skewer make holes all over the surface of the cake, pour about two thirds of your syrup slowly and evenly over the cake. Leave to one side and allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the tin.
Whilst your cake is cooling you can prepare your cream. Whip the double cream until it forms stiff peaks, then gently stir in the honey and elderflower cordial, finally fold in gently the yoghurt and then pop it into a pretty serving bowl and leave it in the fridge until you are ready to serve your cake.
Now to finish your cake. Place your cooled cake onto your chose serving plate or stand and depending on which tin you have chose finish your cake.
20cm loose-bottomed tin – arrange the whole strawberries on top of the cake and drizzle any remaining syrup over the fruit, scatter with elderflowers or strawberry flowers if using and serve with your cream.
Bundt tin – hull and quarter most of your strawberries, saving a few gorgeous ones and keeping them whole for the top of your cake, fill the centre of your cake with the quartered strawberries, drizzle a little of the syrup over them and finish by topping your cake with the whole strawberries and flowers of your choice, serve with your cream
I also dusted my cake before decorating with a little unrefined caster sugar, but this is optional.