So mid-summer crept upon us, and suddenly - there she was, in all her fullness and glory. And almost overnight it seemed, the garden had exploded into full growing mode.
Where there were only small white flowers, now there are peas swelling in fresh green pods. Where there was only a large amount of hope and an even larger amount of vegetable compost, there are now very healthy looking pumpkin plants, jostling for space with ever expanding mint bushes.
Fresh daily batches of baby birds are constantly low flying and crash landing on the bird table and tomato plants are escaping from their pots, while up on the hill, the wheat is ripening from a gentle green to full blown golden - peppered with bobbing poppies - a glorious red.
Yes... summer is here, about that there is now no doubt.
With all this wonderful abundance all around, it felt like it time to make a Proper. Cake. to celebrate.
You know, one made the old fashioned way with butter, sugar, eggs and flour.
A Proper. Cake of course, also needs to be sandwiched together with a Proper. Filling - think whipped cream, or butter cream icing...
....drizzled with elderflower syrup and flavoured with a hint of lemon...
...and for a true celebration of mid-summer - decorated with an abundance of summer berries, flowers and mint leaves.
Here it is! And yes... it was truly delicious.
Below, the recipe so you can make your very own.:-)
INGREDIENTS (for a small 10 cm-ish diameter 5cm deep- ish cake tin) If you have a bigger one, just double up the ingredients.
50 g butter
50 g fine sugar
tiny pinch of salt
1 egg beaten
50 g cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons elderflower syrup
grated peel of one lemon
either whipped cream or a batch of buttercream icing (25g butter creamed with 50g icing sugar) and flavoured with a drop of elderflower essence or vanilla.
fresh fruit, flowers, mint leaves (think around 5 strawberries, 10 blueberries, 4 cherries kind of thing)
- oven on at 180 degrees C
- prepare your cake tin by greasing with butter and dusting with a layer of flour. Put aside.
- cream together the butter and sugar and salt until light and fluffy
- add spoon of flour plus beaten egg. Mix.
- fold in lemon peel
- fold in rest of flour
- put in cake tin
- bake for around 20 mins or until light golden and cooked in the middle (check by putting a little stick into the middle. If there's still cake mix on it, it's not baked)
- remove, cool for 5 mins in tin. Then remove from tin and cool on cooling rack.
- prepare your cream, filling, fruit etc
- once cool, split sponge cake into 3 layers.
- drizzle each layer with tablespoon of elderflower syrup
- build your cake - one cake layer, cream or buttercream, fruit / next layer, filling fruit / top layer - generous filling plus topped with whole fruit and flowers
That's it folks! An easy-peasy cake recipe that can be adapted for all kinds of cakey things. Always useful for special days in-between those healthy cake and cookie days because... yes... you may have sugar poisoning afterwards... but hey, it's not everyday that mid-summer comes round so I say,..enjoy! :-)
Before I head off into the garden to do some watering, below, I've share a song I wrote a few years ago, inspired by this very night. It describes a magical gathering on a hillside, where people dance to celebrate the mid-summer light.
Embed for LIGHT DANCER
Enjoy dear friends....
Until next time,