Monday, 26 August 2013

Anyone for Pimm's?

Go on, ask me what time it is.

Do it. Pleaseeeeeee. Now. Ask me ask me ask me.

Oh, what time is it, you ask?

Well, I think, it might just be.....


Doesn't Pimm's and a nice sunny day on the grass just make life that little bit better? And seeing as we've had this freak summer in the UK called An Actual Summer for An Actual Three Months of the year, pimm's cake is really quite due to make an appearance methinks.

But, on another and debate-ably more important topic, the Great British Bake Off has started again. Wohoo! Wasn't that squirrel cake just adorable? And wasn't Rudy just kind of annoying? And didn't you just feel sorry for Toby and his missing thumbs even though all of his cakes kinda sucked?

I shall be following this closely. Watch this space for more breakingbaking news and commentary. I may be 6 days late again. I may not. Or I may just talk about commenting and not actually Do Anything About It. Kinda like what I'm doing now. 

SO. Let's move on.

So what's everyone been up to this bank holiday weekend?

I have a bit of a confession to make. Do you ever end up on that weird part of YouTube when you're bored or procrastinating and the next thing you know BAM you've spent three hours watching videos of Asians before and after make-up / elephants sneezing and running away / Epic Meal Time bacon chocolate cheeseburger pizza pie and you know you really should stop but you can't help but click the suggested links on the right hand side and even though you really should go to bed but those videos of people doing the cinnamon challenge are just really, really funny? Yeah, that happened.   

Oh, and I did some baking and pimms drinking. But I guessed you probably may have figured that out =D

I made this cake back at my parents house this weekend which is probably good because the oven in my London house is broken. So I've been grilling all of the cakes I've been making of late (did you know grilled cakes burn on the top? Whoops). We've been meaning to tell our landlord but it's one of those things were you tut and say '"someone should really email our landlord" and everyone agrees and says "yes someone really should" .... tumbleweed passes .... situations.

And well, if you're my landlord...surprise! 

Also, my parents have a lovely garden which makes a great backdrop for the cake. But not so great when you're sprawled on the tiles trying to get an eye-level shot of the cake and ants are crawling places where ants ain't supposed to be crawling.

Can you spot the Pimm's?

A couple of (more serious) things about this pimm's cake - I used a lemon an orange spone with a little bit of pimms baked into it. And then also brushed the cake with lemon and orange juice and pimms after baking. It's meant to be a very moist cake but don't drench it or the cake will go soggy!

To pile the fruit on top, I used a ring of buttercream icing (again spiked with pimms, I know no boundaries) around the top of the cake as a 'wall' then piled sliced oranges and lemons and strarberries on top. Then I slotted in some rolled up bits of cucumber and sprigs of mint. Oh, and if you think mint in this cake is weird, it's really not - trust it mint and lemon & orange cake!  

I hope you enjoy your Monday off, and have a great (and hopefully Pimm's filled) week!

p.s. I'm also linking this to Javelin Warrior's Made with love Mondays which hosts recipes made from scratch and without any artificial ingredients, transfats, food dyes or high fructose syrup. And also to Dolly Bakes and Laura Loves Cakes' August Calendar Bakes, which the theme is 'Summer Lovin'. I think Pimm's pretty much sums up summer loving =)

Made with Love Mondays, hosted by Javelin Warrior

Pimm's Cake
Adapted from Red Online

Cake batter takes about 15 minutes, baking about 25mins, decorating about 10 minutes.
Serves 8

225g / 8oz butter
170g / 6oz caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
225g /8oz self-raising flour
Fined grated zeat 1 orange and 1 lemon
50ml (that's one shot glass full!) pimms

Soaking syrup/juice
Juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
100ml Pimm’s

Pimm's butttercream icing
2 tablespoon butter
450g / 16 oz icing sugar
1 tablespoon Pimm's

To decorate:
Strawberries, slices of orange and lemon, springs of mint, cucumber

Two 20" round cake pans

Preheat the oven to 180ÂșC/gas mark 4. Grease and line with cake pans with greaseproof paper and butter.  In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in the beaten egg.

Sift the flour over the mixture and gently stir till smooth, then stir in the orange and lemon zest. Stir in the 50ml Pimm’s,  then pour the mixture into the prepared  pans. Put into the oven and cake for about 20-25mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Whilst you’re waiting for the cake to bake, take the juice of your orange and lemon and stir it into the remaining Pimm’s. Make the buttercream - mix the butter, icing sugar and butter in a big bowl until smooth. Cover with clingfilm and leave to one side - you won't need it until the cake it cool.

Once your cake is baked, run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen it, then turn it out onto a wire rack. Prick the top of the cakes with a skewer (thin chopsticks also work…) and spoon the juice ontop until it has soaked through. Leave the cake to cool completely. 

Once cool, sandwhich the cakes together with the buttercream icing (make sure the cake is cool otherwise the icing will melt!), and spoon or pipe an icing ring on top of the cake. 

One that's cooked a bit, you can go to town with the fruit decorations. Just make sure the fruit isn't too wet (I.e. you dry off the strawberries after washing them) otherwise the will cause the icing to "melt" and turn liquidy and start dripping off the side of the cake - which means the fruit will follow suit.

Tip: To make the curled cucumber, use a potato peeler to feel very thin slices of cucumber, then pat them between some paper towels to dry. Then, you should be able to curl them up and slot into the cake.

(And yes, my cake did go a bit lopsided for some reason... which required some strategic sculpting to sort out!)


  1. I love the idea of adding the Pimm's to both the cake and frosting - this cake looks so moist and delicious! And certainly a celebration of summer with the fresh berries and warm yellow color... Thank you so much for sharing with Made with Love Mondays and welcome to the series!

  2. All I know is that I absolutely need this yummy cake in my life!

  3. What a gorgeous cake! Bright, lively, sunny and delicious!!

  4. Wow, Xinmei...this cake not only look beautiful sounds delicious...I really wish for a slice of it.
    The picture of the garden is so pretty...
    Have a wonderful week ahead :D

  5. Hi there! My name is Jessica, and I run a food blog called Floptimism where, every Saturday, I write a Weekend Wrap-Up post to share all of my favorite internet finds from the past week. I wanted to let you know that I absolutely loved this post -- the recipe sounds delicious and the photographs are downright breathtaking -- so much so that I included it in my blog's Weekend Wrap-Up, and featured one of the photographs with credit and link back to this page. I've included the link to the post in case you're interested. Thanks for such a wonderful post!

  6. A beautiful cake and I like your parents' garden too! Gorgeous!


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