Elderflower and poppy seed hidden-heart loaf recipe

  • Serves 10
  • 45 mins to prepare and 1 hr to cook, 45 mins to cool
  • 471 calories / serving
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Wow your loved one with this beautiful Valentine's edible gift. The cake sponge is flavoured with delicate elderflower cordial and speckled with black poppy seeds. The best part is discovering a hidden heart-shape that simply says 'I love you.'

For the hidden heart sponge, preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line a 20cm square/round cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and whisk until softened. Add the egg with 2 tbsp of the flour and whisk again. Whisk in the remaining flour, then fold in the food colouring, until fully combined with no streaks.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 15 minutes, until the edges have come away from the sides and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

Cut out 12 hearts with a 4 1/2-5cm heart-shaped cookie cutter, then brush the hearts on one side with apricot glaze and stick together to make one long heart-shaped cake.

Compare the length to that of a 2lb (1kg) loaf tin and cut the heart-shaped loaf about 1cm shorter. Wrap in cling film and freeze for 45 minutes. 

Meanwhile, grease and line the base and sides of your 2lb loaf tin. For the elderflower and poppy seed sponge, whisk the butter and sugar in a bowl until softened, then add the eggs with 2 tbsp of the flour. Whisk until combined, then whisk in the remaining flour and the baking powder. Fold through the elderflower cordial, poppy seeds and yogurt.

Spoon 5 tbsp of the mixture into the bottom of the loaf tin and spread out in an even layer. Place the heart cake on top, pointed end facing upwards. Gently spoon the remaining sponge mixture around the sides and over the top of the heart-shaped cake, covering it fully. Bake for 40-45 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

For the drizzle, beat together the icing sugar and elderflower cordial with 1 1/2 tbsp boiled water, until you have a runny consistency. Spoon the drizzle over the cooled cake (still on the wire rack) and let it run down the sides slightly. Top with the raspberry fudge sprinkles and leave to set.

Storing instructions: once iced, this loaf can be kept for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

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  • Ingredients

  • For the hidden heart sponge

  • 75g (3oz) unsalted butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 75g (30z) self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp red food colouring
  • 2 tbsp apricot glaze, warmed
  • For the elderflower and poppy seed sponge

  • 125g (4oz) unsalted butter
  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 50g (2oz) low-fat yogurt
  • For the drizzle

  • 200g (7oz) icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 2 tbsp raspberry fudge sprinkles
  • Energy 1730kj 471kcal 21%
  • Fat 20g 28%
  • Saturates 11g 53%
  • Sugars 37g 41%
  • Salt 0.4g 6%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 59g Protein 5g Fibre 1g


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