Barely adapted from the recipe in the brilliant British Baking by Peyton & Byrne. Buy the book on Amazon
for the cake:
2 duck eggs, room temperature
100g golden caster sugar
170g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 and a half tablespoons elderflower cordial
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g self-raising flour
140ml whole milk
Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon or half an orange
1.Turn the oven to 170C (150C fan oven). Grease a 2 lb loaf tin and line the bottom with baking paper.
2. Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Then add the first egg, and beat well, before adding the second one and beating until smooth.
3. Throw in the lemon zest, poppyseed, elderflower cordial and rosewater or vanilla extract. Stir into the butter mixture, before adding half of the flour, and half of the milk. Stir gently until combined, before adding the rest of the flour followed by the last of the milk. Gently mix with a metal spoon.
4. Pour into the loaf baking tin and bake in the oven for 40-45 mins. You'll know it's done when a skewer comes out clean and the cake springs back under your touch. The loaf will be golden and have a beautiful split down the middle.
5. Remove from the oven and leave the cake in its tin for 15 minutes before carefully turning it out onto a wire rack or a plate to cool.
for the icing:
4 tablespoons elderflower cordial
125g icing sugar
a handful or two of poppy seeds
elderflower blossoms to decorate (optional)
6. To make the icing, mix the cordial and icing sugar and whisk with a fork until it is smooth and thick. My hand slipped with the cordial, meaning a little too much went in so my icing ended up a bit watery. Still yummy though, so it's entirely up to you how thick or thin you wish the icing to be. When the cake is cool, pour the icing onto the cake so that it drips down the sides. Scatter the poppyseeds ontop and decorate with fresh elderflower blossoms if you like.
This cake was idly baked to the sounds of the Kitty, Daisy and Lewis album Smoking in Heaven