Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide
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Warm elderberry souffles in nom ramekins

‘Oh my god’ – is the standard response to the first mouthful of these. Everyone knows that chocolate tastes good, but the additional richness of elderberry in these light, fluffy and hot desserts makes these utterly irresistible.

They're also happen to be gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free and free from refined sugars, not too sweet and very, very yummy!

I'd love to hear from you if you make these... do get in touch or keep in touch via instagram, facebook or pinterest.

A cluster of elderberries in a hand

Elderberries make a rich, flavourful cordial which is used to create these mouth-watering dessserts.

Elderberry and Chocolate Soufflé Recipe

This is a simple and stunning recipe and tastes so good! Light, fluffy and hot desserts with the addition of rich, elderberry cordial make these utterly irresistible.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 50 g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • 150 ml elderberry cordial
  • 2 medium eggs, separated
  • 1 medium egg white
Mugs of chocolate and elderberry souffles

Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C. In a small saucepan add the chocolate (broken into small pieces), corn flour and elderberry cordial, and heat on a low heat until the chocolate has melted. Increase the heat a little and stir until the mixture thickens before putting aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a spotlessly clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then mix the egg yolks into the elderberry and chocolate sauce. Spoon one third of the egg whites into the sauce and combine, before softly folding in the rest. Pour into 4 ramekins or heatproof expresso mugs and bake for 12 minutes or until the souffles have risen sufficiently. Don't be tempted to open the oven while they're baking as this will cause them to sink.

Warm elderberry souffles in nom ramekins

Serve immediately, straight from the oven so you can enjoy their fluffy, risen texture and while every mouthful is still warm. Enjoy!

A cluster of elderberries in a hand

I'm amazed how different raw and cooked elderberries taste. As a forager I should know that cooking can transform wild, unpleasant flavours into something exquisite, though still I'm amazed!

Raw, elderberries are 'meh' and eating too many can cause a stomach upset. I actually will only eat a couple, as I've had adverse effects from eating even a few more.

Luckily, cooked elderberries create a divine liquor that's to be cherished for all it's flavour and health-giving properties. They're deep enough in flavour to have previously been used to enhance wine and even port, and once cooked, you’ll know why. This also makes them far more tempting than raw ones too.

The goodness in elderberries...

Elderberry is a scientifically tested remedy for coughs and colds, and can help bronchitis and similar conditions. Abundant in vitamin A and C, they’re ideal for preventing winter colds, and were used long before oranges and lemons hit our shores. They also contain valuable anti-viral properties, helping the body keep viruses at bay.

Picking elderberries

When to pick elderberries

The season is short for elderberries, once they start to appear, wait for them to turn a deep purple, almost black colour before picking. Here in the UK they are ready in September, across the world, be ready in early autumn.

Spoonful of elderberry cordial drizzled over sponges

Elderberry Cordial Recipe

This warming cordial is full of rich body, mingled with warming spices fit for an autumn or winter's day. The spices are definitely worth adding and really enhance this drink. Sip a thimble-full just as it is. Drizzle over sponge cake, over hot porridge or dilute for hot or cold, soft or alcoholic drinks. Close your eyes and enjoy...

Makes 500 ml

Ingredients
  • 500 g elderberries (stalks removed)
  • 10-15 cloves
  • 2 cm piece of ginger root, chopped
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anise
  • 350 g dark sugar
Spoonful of elderberry cordial

Place the berries in a medium saucepan and add enough water to just cover them. Crush the berries with the back of a wooden spoon, add the spices and bring to the boil, simmering with a lid on for 20 minutes. Pour the elderberry water through a sieve, mashing to ensure you extract all the juice.

Clean the pan and return the sieved elderberry water to the pan, adding the sugar. Place on a medium heat and stir while the sugar dissolves, simmer for 10 minutes before allowing to cool and storing in a sterilised bottle.

Rachel Lambert picking elderberries

Want to find out more?

Elderberries is one of the fruits I teach on my autumn foraging courses. Elderberries come from the Elder tree, which produces flowers in late spring/early summer. I have a whole section of my blog dedicated to Elder - feel free to browse!

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