ELDERFLOWER AND LEMON CRUNCHY TOP TRAYBAKE – JUST MAGICAL!
May and June are the best months to find elderflowers, an ingredient very much in the news after the Royal couple’s wedding cake was flavoured with elderflower and lemon. The elder tree is native to Britain and the flowers are highly prized for the making of elderflower cordial, but the tree is steeped in folk lore and history - it is considered a magical plant and is a symbol of good health and prosperity.
In mythology the elder is held as sacred and a spirit, known as the Elder Mother lives inside the tree and has the ability to protect or harm. It was thought if you burned elder wood you would see the devil, but if you plant an elder near your house it will keep the devil away. Celtic lore says if you stand near an elder tree on Midsummer’s Eve you will see the land of the fairies.
I consider the flavour of elderflower cordial enchanting especially when combined with lemon in this wonderfully light and moist traybake. An AGA traybake is so versatile as it cuts into many pieces, can be served at tea time or as a dessert, accompanied with cream or a thick yogurt. It can be taken on picnics or served in the garden or kitchen, like the perfect LBD it can be dressed up or down!!
To ensure perfect results for this light coloured sponge cake my tin of choice, every time, is the Silver Anodised AGA Traybake Pan, the half size version, lined with Bake-O-Glide. The traybake tin fits directly onto the runners and being made from aluminium, which is a superb heat conductor it gives me evenness of colour, so the sides of the cake are golden instead of a darker brown – silver anodised aluminium reflects heat instead of absorbing it (I find a dark metal finish gives a deeper colour to the sides of cakes as the tin colour absorbs the heat). Of course a Bake-O-Glide lining means no greasing of the tin and the liner is so easy to wash up, (either in hot soapy water or between two plates in the dishwasher), just drop in the liner and pop in the mixture, job done!
The traybake is a one-stage mixture - place all the ingredients in a bowl and beat together so it’s very quick to make.
The crunchy topping is a sweet syrup flavoured with elderflower and lemon poured over the cake straight from the oven.
By Dawn Roads, AGA Specialist.