Chamomile & Lemon Loaf Cake

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This is a delicately flavored cake. Chamomile used to be my favorite tea as a kid; I still love it but now I’m more of a green tea person. But it still reminds me of those times when my mom would make me tea. The chamomile is very subtle but you can taste/smell it a bit at the end. I used tea bags to infuse the milk with chamomile. It is a very simple one bowl cake and perfect to take if you go to a picnic for example. I am longing for spring weather and going biking through the flower fields and forest. And when we do that, I always make snacks like this to take with.

This recipe is for a 25cm loaf pan.

Ingredients:

90grs of butter, softened

30grs of sour cream

Zest of 2 lemons

1 ½ cups of sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ cups of self-rising flour, sifted

½ cup of milk

6 chamomile tea bags

Pinch of salt

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line your loaf pan with parchment paper.

Place the milk in a medium saucepan and let it come to a simmer over medium heat. Once it comes to a simmer, turn off the heat and add the chamomile bags. Press each tea bag a bit with a spoon so they get soaked and release the flavor. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let it steep for 10 minutes.

Once the 10 minutes are up, strain the milk with a fine mesh sieve. Allow the milk to cool down.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar and lemon zest.

Then add the eggs one by one. Then fold in the sour cream and salt. Finally fold in the flour alternating with the milk. Once it’s all combined, pour it into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for about 50 minutes, till golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Elderflower Frosting & Sugared Cranberries

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This carrot cake is always a winner when I have friends over or when I take it to house parties. It’s moist and so easy to make. This time I added some elderflower cordial to the frosting to add a floral tone. I love elderflower cordial and we always have a bottle in the house, even though we mostly use it for gin & tonics. If you like elderflower, you may also like this Strawberry Elderflower Lattice Pie.

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This recipe is for a small 19cm round cake mold. But you can easily double the recipe to make a larger cake.

Ingredients:

For the sugared cranberries:

2 cups of sugar

2 cups water

2 cups of fresh cranberries, washed and picked through

¾ cups of sugar

For the carrot cake:

1 cup of all-purpose flour

1 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups of shredded carrot

3/4 cup of pecans or walnuts, chopped

Zest of 1 mandarin

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

For the cream cheese and elderflower frosting:

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of cream cheese at room temperature

3 tablespoons of butter, softened

3 tablespoons of elderflower cordial

2 cups of icing sugar

Extra:

Fresh mint leaves for decoration (optional)

 

 

Start by making the sugared cranberries the night before. Place 2 cups of water plus 2 cups of sugar in a medium saucepan and let it simmer over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Stir from time to time. Once the simple syrup is done, transfer it to a bowl and let it cool for 20 minutes. You want to let it cool before you add the cranberries otherwise they may pop.

Once the syrup has cooled down, add the cranberries and stir to coat them. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, drain the cranberries. You can save the simple syrup for another recipe or for a cocktail. Place the ¾ cup of sugar on a shallow plate and start rolling the cranberries in it until they are evenly coated. Then place them on a baking sheet and let them dry for at least 1 hour.

To make the carrot cake, preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line the bottom of a 19cm round cake mold with parchment paper. Grease and flour the edges of the mold.

Beat the sugar with the eggs. Then add the vegetable oil, shredded carrot, the flour, the baking powder and the salt. Finally add the mandarin zest and the nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared cake mold.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake. Allow the cake to cool down completely before you start making the frosting.

To make the frosting, whisk the softened butter with the cream cheese until well combined. Then add the elderflower cordial and whisk. Then gradually add the icing sugar. Whisk until you have a smooth frosting.

Carefully remove the cake from the mold and plate it. Then frost it with the help of a spatula. I only added it to the top and swirled it around a bit with a spoon. Place some of the sugared cranberries in the middle of the cake. If you want you can add a few mint leaves for extra color. Keep the cake in the fridge. Enjoy!

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