Elderflowers in tempura

Even though Elderflower is in Croatia best known for making syrup, here’s a new idea on how to use this favourite spring herb! This dessert is a sweet twist on the classic Japanese dish. For best results, make sure you use the batter as soon as you’ve made it.


About 18 elderflower heads Sunflower oil for deep-frying

1 large free-range egg

250ml sparkling water

125g cornflour

125g fine rice flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp caster sugar, plus about 3 tbsp for dusting

For the dipping sauce:

150ml elderflower cordial

1 tbsp arrowroot powder


1. Remove most of the elderflower stalks and shake all the heads to remove any insects.

2. To make the dipping sauce, mix the cordial with 150ml cold water in a small saucepan. Mix the arrowroot with 1 tbsp of the elderflower cordial mixture in a bowl to a smooth paste. Return to the pan and heat gently for 5 minutes until it’s just simmering, is clear and has thickened to a coating consistency. Put to one side to cool.

3. To make the tempura, pour the oil into a large pan and heat to 190°C or until a cube of bread browns in 20 seconds. Mix the egg and the fizzy water in a large bowl. Sift all the dry ingredients with a pinch of salt, add to the liquid all in one go and stir to mix (it doesn’t matter if it’s lumpy).

4. Dip the flowers into the batter and fry one at a time until crisp but not brown. Drain on the lined tray and dust with the extra sugar. Serve at once with the dipping sauce.

Nutritional info

Per serving: 340kcals, 12.6g fat (1.7g saturated), 3g protein, 55.5g carbs, 16.3g sugar, 0.7g salt, 0.6g fibre

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