It's Elderflower (Sambucus nigra) season, and the time for celebrations and desserts! I share more on Elderflowers, including how and when to pick the best Elderflowers and a recipe for Elderflower cordial and sorbet in my blog. Elderflower cordial is a great way to capture the aroma of summer and in this recipe below, you can substitute half the lemons for oranges in your cordial recipe for an orange twist!
Orange and Elderflower Layered Sponge
I fall into nostalgic heaven with this sweet (though not overly), quick and easy mouthful of a dessert, complete with a beautiful hint of summery elderflower. I first made it for a friend’s birthday, and it was the perfect solution to an impromptu gathering and something sweet and celebratory between a sea swim and raucous meal out. Of course you could make your own healthier sponge, though this is the quick version.
- 100ml double cream
- 160ml orange and elderflower cordial
- 250g mascarpone cheese
- 25g unrefined icing sugar
- 24 sponge fingers
- 2 oranges
- 1 tbsp unrefined icing sugar (optional)
Whip the cream into soft peaks and put aside. In a small pan, heat 100ml of cordial and quickly dip half the sponge fingers in the syrup then lay them on the bottom of a square serving dish, flat plate or clean chopping board.
In a medium bowl, blend the mascarpone, 2 tablespoons of cordial and the 25g of icing sugar, then fold in the whipped double cream. Spread a layer of the mascarpone and cream mixture across the soaked sponge fingers. Slice off the orange skins (this give them a better edge for the dessert) and finely slice the fruits, removing any pips and pith you come across. Tip half the slices into the remaining cordial, and lift out, one by one, placing a layer across the cream mixture. Remove any stray orange pieces from the cordial and quickly dip the rest of the sponge fingers and layer onto the orange slices, followed by the rest of the cream mixture. Lastly, dip the remaining orange slices and place on the top, drizzling any last drops of cordial over them and place in the fridge to chill for two hours. Remove from the fridge, dust with icing sugar, if using, cut into squares and serve immediately.