The Captain and I have been boating very slowly along the Llangollen Canal taking in the Montgomery Canal en route. I like the Montgomery Canal. It’s very picture skew. The Captain made the 18 year old and I go on a walk. I am still officially convalescing which is a tediously slow business but I am vastly improved. However, the Captain is keen to get me back to fully functional. So he decided a short walk was in order. “Don’t worry,” quoth he, “tis but a gentle stroll!”
About four hours and nearly ten miles later we staggered from the end of the abandoned canal section we had been walking with the promise of a pub lunch dangled in front of us the only the thing keeping us upright. On reaching the pub we discovered it was closed. This was bad. But it did not detract from the delightful scenery we had walked through. There were swathes of primroses, carpets of celandine and more than a smattering of dandelions. All was yellow with the promise of green.
Earlier in the week I had adapted a cake recipe to take advantage of the copious quantities of primroses we were encountering. They are such a pretty flower and so synonymous of Spring, but did you know they were edible? They taste slightly of honey but should only be picked where they are plentiful and even then care should be taken to ensure plenty are left behind. I had made some primrose syrup by following the recipe for Wild Flower Syrup after a weekend in Norfolk. I crystallised some fresh ones by painting egg white onto individual flowers with a child’s paint brush and then dusting them with caster sugar. Apparently they will keep like this for up to 8 weeks but mine only lasted 2 days. Though that might be because we ate them!
The cake was delicious and very pretty. It is an infitely adaptable recipe. I have made it with wild flower syrup, elderflower cordial and I have plans for another using violets
Primrose Crunch Cake
175g softened butter
175g caster sugar
140g self raising flour
85g ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder
Handful of fresh primrose petals
For the Primrose Drizzle:
4 tbsp Primrose Syrup
4 tbsp granulated sugar
Crystalised primroses to decorate
Heat the oven to 160c/gas 3. Grease & line a 2lb loaf tin. Beat the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, flour, almonds, baking powder and milk until smooth. Fold in primrose petals. Pour into tin and bake for 45-50 mins until golden, risen and a skewer comes out cleanly when poked into the centre. As soon as out of oven, poke skewer all over pricking holes into the cake. Mix together the syrup and sugar and pour over cake, allowing it to soak in. Leave to cool in tin. Once completely cool, lift out carefully, decorate with crystalised flowers and slice to serve.