Elderflower Tempura and Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower is just starting to appear, early this year. A simple way to cook flowers is in a tempura batter. I had intended to make the tempura with champagne but after trying decided to have a go with some sparkling elderflower cordial as the champagne overpowered the elderflower.
Elderflower is highly aromatic, something like 80% of our taste comes from aroma so very important to find a way to keep the lovely aroma through the cooking.

Elderflower Tempura 
3-4 heads of Elderflowers, pick when the flowers are fully formed and deeply fragrant
1/4 Cup Cornflour
1/2 Cup Plain Flour
1 Egg White (use a good free range egg, I recommend Happy Eggs)
1/2 Cup chilled Sparkling Elderflower Cordial (recipe below)
pinch of fine salt

Vegetable oil to fry

Whisk the egg white till stiff peaks form, add the cordial then fold in the sifted flour, the batter mix should be wet, consistency of single cream.

Heat the oil to approx 180C (one of the best investments you can make is a good cooking thermometer)

Drag small 'branches' of elderflower through the batter and place gently in the oil, drop the elderflower away from yourself to avoid splashes
Cook for approximately 30 seconds before turning over and cook the other side for 30 seconds

I like it served with fresh strawberries, but try with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.

Elderflower cordial

1.5 l water
1 kg of caster sugar
20 large elderflower heads
4 lemons
50g of citric acid

Bring water and sugar to simmer, stir to dissolve the sugar, leave to cool
Add the citric acid, Lemon juice and zest, elderflowers
Leave in a fridge for 72hr
Strain (I use a clean 'J' cloth in a sieve).
Simmer till reduced by 2/3 in volume then store in sanitised glass bottles
To make up mix with soda water to taste, I prefer about 20% cordial


  1. The tempura looks really interesting! I have happy childhood memories of homemade elderflower champagne but haven't tasted it for years, so I really fancy trying these. Thank you!

    Hannah @ Love to Dine

  2. Thanks for the recipe for the cordial I have been keeping an eye on the flowers for the last few days and I think it's time today to get picking.
    I bought citric acid last year from the chemist. I had to go through a load of questions before they would sell it me

  3. Elderflower Cordial keeps well in a freezer. Tonic bottles work well, don't fill to the brim to allow for expansion

  4. I made the cordial this weekend and would recommend going very easy on the lemon as I found 4 to be too many and now have lemon cordial with a slight hint of elderflower (not the other way round!)

  5. The tempura looks amazing - it would be a shame to eat it!

  6. Yes agreed a good catering thermometer as a great piece of Catering Equipment to add to your kitchen collection. The tempura is mouth watering

  7. I am not into Japanese food ( I don't know why!). But Teriyakis and Tempuras are an exemption to this dislike. Your recipe is something that I look forward to trying soon. Soon as in next weekend.

  8. Oh elderflower is good, at the picture seems good. It must be tried as quick as possible

  9. Used to make the cordial with my Dad. Brings back great memories.