Thursday, 30 June 2011

Elderflower and Gooseberry Butterfly Cakes

Every month, a recipe competition is hosted on the blog WeGrowOurOwn. Craig the author selects a handful of seasonal fruit/vegetables, and invites his readers to submit recipes to the blog which use one or more of the selected fruit/vegetables. He then selects finalists from those submitted (and extra points are given to those who have grow the fruit or veg themselves!) The competition is then opened up to votes.

This month, I decided to enter the competition. Craig had selected Broad Beans, Beetroot, Gooseberries, Carrots and Peas.

The gooseberries instantly jumped out at me as my gooseberry bush in the garden is currently weighed down with big juicy fruits so I set to coming up with a recipe.

Here is my final recipe which won the competition!

Elderflower and Gooseberry Butterfly Cakes

The concept is an innocent looking butterfly cake, perfect for garden parties, that has a surprise jam-like centre. There are a number of elements and processes so please take this into account. It is a lot easier than it looks!

(For the cakes)
Ingredient list and method can be found here: Fairy Cakes
(For the surprise centre)
200-250g Gooseberries (from you garden/allotment of course!)
A knob of butter
The juice of half a lemon
A glug of elderflower cordial
50-75g Caster sugar
(For the decoration)
200g Icing sugar
2 Tbsp (Fat free) Greek Yoghurt
The syrup leftover (and cooled) form the stewed gooseberries.

Bake the basic fairy cakes following Mrs Beeton's recipe which can be found here: Fairy Cakes
While the cakes are baking begin stewing the gooseberries: in a large plan place the gooseberries, elderflower, lemon, sugar and butter. Place over a medium heat and allow the ingredients to dissolve.

The gooseberries will begin to swell and burst slowly breaking down. Once this process has begun begin to stir the mix ensuring all of the juices have combined.  
In total the gooseberries will need to stew for roughly 4 mins before being removed from the heat and set to one side to cool. At this stage I recommend draining some of the syrup generated in the stewing process (roughly 4 tbsp) to one side for use in the icing.
Once the cakes have been removed from the oven and left to cool, taking a sharp knife, roughly a centimetre from the edge, angle the knife into the centre and draw round in a circle. This will take an inverted cone shape out of the top of the cake.
Do not discard this! We will need this later!
Next whisk up the icing, yoghurt and cooled syrup with an electric mix until you have a stiff yet glossy icing.
Into each hole pour some of the stewed gooseberry mixture and then top with the icing to keep the gooseberry jam a surprise!
Cut the top of the cake we removed earlier into two to make "butterfly wings" and place into the icing!

Dust with a sprinkling of edible glitter and there we have Elderflower and Gooseberry Butterfly Cakes!

These really are perfect for garden parties, picnics, or a treat at the end of a BBQ. My Nan certainly enjoyed them with a cup of tea in the garden on a sunny day!
I hope I have done something original with this underused fruit!
Before I go I must give a BIG THANK YOU to all of those who voted for me this month, and I urge you all to give the competition a go next month!
Thank you again,
Emma x

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