spiralling into summer


this year, i have managed to produce a very decent cordial from elderflowers. i found the elderberry bushes tucked away in the woods behind my house. three shrubs, growing inconspicuously as part of a patch of underbrush. when i discovered them last year, i felt elated at the chance to continue this beloved early summer routine in my new home. in that same month, always more the visionary than the practical gardener, i also planted an elderberry sapling at the corner of the backyard that i had bought from the native plant society. the tiny bush grew extensively this spring, more than tripling in size, but blossoming might take another year.

with bottles full of sweetly scented syrup filling up the fridge, i decided to finally give this recipe a try. intrigued by its decidedly sophisticated combination of flavors, it had hovered in the back of my head for quite a while. at the same time, i tested millet flour in some of my sourdough breads and i was smitten by the tender crumb and the attractive yellow color it added to the baked goods.

the elderflour cordial infused cream roll will definitely spiral you into culinary summertime. the fine texture of the millet flour adds a sunny tone to the soft and airy sponge cake, flavoring it with a distinct nutty note. before filling the roll, soak the sponge with some of the cordial, adding more scented and juicy moisture to the fine, graceful taste of the yogurt and cream filling.

cream roll with millet flour
ingredients for the sponge cake:

4 eggs, separated
a pinch of salt
25 g confectionery/powdered sugar
75 g granulated sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
75 g millet flour
½ baking powder

tea towel and some granulated sugar (3-4 tablespoons for rolling up the cakes base)

ingredients for the filling:

200 g whole milk greek yogurt
50 g granulated sugar
1/2 envelope gelatin
200 g whipping cream
about 100 ml of elderberry cordial
two handful of chopped pistachios


cover baking sheet (ca. 9×14 inches, 24×40 cm) with parchment paper and preheat oven to 375°f.
with the whisk of an electric handheld mixer or a stand mixer beat egg whites until soft peaks form. add a pinch of salt and the confectionery sugar and beat until stiff and glossy. in another bowl beat egg yolks and granulated sugar until white and creamy. add vanilla extract. spoon egg whites over the egg yolk mixture, sift in millet flour and baking powder fold into batter with a spatula. do not over mix, you still want to see some lumps of egg whites and some of the flour.

pour batter onto baking sheet and spread out evenly. bake for about 10 – 12 minutes until golden brown. sprinkle a tea towel with granulated sugar. turn baked dough upside down onto the tea towel. gently pull off the parchment paper. starting at the long side and using the towel for support, gently roll cake base into a log.

while dough is cooling, prepare the filling. stir sugar into yogurt. Following the directions on the package, soak gelatin in two or three tablespoons of elderflower syrup. In a small sauce pan, gently heat up the soaked gelatin, adding another two or three table spoons of elderflower cordial. Once the gelatin is entirely dissolved, stir in two or three tablespoons of the yogurt-sugar mix to keep the gelatin from forming lumps. pour gelatin mix into yogurt-sugar mix and stir well. refrigerate yogurt gelatin mix. once it starts to settle, whip up 200 g of whipping cream until soft peaks form. to avoid lumps, whip up yogurt gelatin mix before adding the cream. fold cream gently into yogurt until incorporated, chill filling in the refrigerator.

carefully unroll the cool dough with the tea towel. sprinkle sponge cake with some more of the elderflower syrup, spread cream mixture onto dough. sprinkle filling with the chopped pistachios. save some for decoration. with the help of the tea towel, roll sponge cake and filling into a log. with the seam on the bottom, carefully transfer roll onto a serving platter, sprinkle with confectionery sugar and decorate to your liking. chill in the refrigerator until serving.



here, the backyard sparkles with fire flies dancing in the blue hours of the dusk. sipping elderflower cordial on ice, infused with fresh mint from the side of the house, i am watching the fan lazily stirring the warm summer air. from where i sit, i can see the top leaves of the elderberry bush shimmering in the dim light. next year, i am thinking, ever the hopeful visionary, next year, it will be the time to harvest our first homegrown elderflowers.


Comments are closed.