Today I’m sharing a recipe that I created specially for the launch of The Confectioner’s Tale. It involves some of my favourite things: raspberries, almonds and a more than generous helping of St Germain: a beautiful elderflower liqueur made from blossom hand-picked in the Alps (with a bottle that’s pure Belle Époque).
Named after the area on the Parisian Left Bank that – in its heyday – harboured artists, philosophers, bakers, jazz musicians, writers and the oldest food market in the city, it hopefully conjures up just a little of heady sweetness and decadence that were to be found there.
St Germain Cake
For the cake:
- 200g butter, softened
- 200g caster sugar
- 3 free-range eggs
- 200g self-raising flour
- 25g ground almonds
- 3 tbsp St Germain (elderflower liqueur: you can use cordial if you prefer)
- zest of ½ a lemon
- 100g fresh raspberries
- 1 tbsp flour
For the elderflower syrup:
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 50ml St Germain
- Zest and juice of ½ a lemon
- Handful of flaked almonds
- Icing sugar and lemon zest, to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line a 23cm, 9 inch deep cake tin.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.
- Add a quarter of the eggs, along with a tablespoon of the flour and beat well. Repeat with rest of the eggs, beating well in between.
- Add the rest of the flour in thirds, folding in lightly in between until it is just incorporated and no streaks are showing.
- Gently stir in the ground almonds, St Germain and lemon zest.
- Lightly toss the raspberries in flour (this’ll stop them all sinking to the bottom) and carefully stir them into the mixture. Add a splash of milk if the mixture needs loosening.
- Dollop into the tin, smooth over the top and bake for around 40-45 minutes, or until it’s golden and risen, and a skewer inserted (and held there for a few seconds) comes out clean. Leave to cool slightly in its tin on a wire rack.
- Place the sugar, St Germain, lemon juice and zest in a small saucepan.
- Bring to a simmer and reduce over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes until the consistency thickens. Be careful of the hot sugar.
- When the cake is out of the oven, prick holes all over the surface with a skewer and spoon over the syrup so that it soaks in.
- Lightly toast the flaked almonds in a dry frying pan for 2-3 minutes. Keep your eye on them, because they’ll catch quickly.
- Decorate with the almonds, a dusting of icing sugar, lemon zest and eat warm, with a café, a glass of pastis or if you’re feeling decadent, champagne.