Pimms Cake


I’m always thinking of ways to keep my cakes nice and moist – vegetables usually do the trick (carrots, courgettes and even parsnips make wonderful additions to baking) but for a refreshing change, I thought I’d try fruit and alcohol.  My haphazard reasoning is that Christmas cake relies on these ingredients to keep it moist, so it must work with other types of cake too.  The fruitiest drink I could think of was Pimms, so I set about combining all the things that went into a Pimms in the most delicious way I could manage.  Cucumber and mint at first glance seem a challenge, but they actually turned out to be brilliant.  I’ve incorporated the Pimms into the sponge, as it makes the cake wonderfully moist and gives it a subtle flavour that combines really well with the filling and icing.  I guess if you wanted to make it more boozy you could inject it with more Pimms once it’s cooled (like you do a Christmas cake) but I haven’t tried this (yet).


2 x 7 inch round, lined sandwich tins.  Pre heat oven to med setting (gas 4/180c)


Method

Whip the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then gradually add the eggs (I often incorporate the last egg with the flour to stop the mixture curdling).  Add the flour, apple and Pimms and fold together with a spoon, or mixer on slower setting until combined.  Divide into 2 cake tins and bake in pre-heated oven for approx. 30 mins. While the cake is cooking/cooling, make the filling – whip together the icing sugar and butter to make a basic (stiff) buttercream. Then make a puree from the mint and cucumber (I use a hand held blender) and mix it in to the buttercream (add more icing sugar if it becomes too runny).  In a separate bowl make the lemon icing by combining lemon juice with sifted icing sugar until the right consistency is reached (ie it will stay on the cake not run off) Spread the buttercream over the bottom half of the cooled cake.  Add a layer of strawberries, then place the other cake on top and ice with lemon icing.


Garnish with a handful of all the fruit etc that you would pile into a Pimms


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Other cakes:

July - Beetroot Brownies

Aug - Courgette pistachio and Lime cake


 

Ingredients

Sponge

200g softened butter

200g caster sugar

200g self raising flour

3 eggs

1 small grated apple

100ml (6-7 capfuls) Pimms


Mint and cucumber Buttercream filling:

This sounds weird, but I promise that once it’s in the cake with all the other flavours, it works so well.

100g cucumber (about a quarter of a cucumber)

A handful of mint

100g soft butter

250g icing sugar

200g sliced strawberries


Lemon icing for the top of the cake:

150g icing sugar

Lemon juice – enough to make the right consistency when mixed with the sugar.