Have you had your first Pimms of the year yet? Having your first Pimms of the summer is the same as having your first mulled wine of winter. It signals that summer has begun, the sun is finally making an appearance in the UK, and you’ve probably been to at least one BBQ by now! If you’re not familiar with Pimms, it is a gin based liquor flavoured with fruits and spices. It is made into a cocktail by adding lemonade (or occasionally ginger ale) and lots of fresh fruit like strawberry, orange and cucumber, plus fresh mint leaves. It’s the perfect refreshing drink on a hot day and it’s very popular at Wimbledon! I’ve used the flavours of this cocktail to create my Pimms Cake. The sponges are infused with citrus zest, it’s drizzled in a Pimms syrup, filled with strawberry jam and a mascarpone cream, and topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream.
To make the sponge I creamed the butter and sugar together, then whisked in the eggs and the citrus fruit zest.
I added self raising flour, and whisked it in, then divided the mixture between the cake tins.
Once the cake was baked and fully cooled, I levelled it off and drizzled each sponge with a Pimms syrup.
I made the filling by whisking together the mascarpone, icing sugar, double cream and vanilla extract.
Using a piping bag, I added blobs of the filling over the bottom sponge, then covered it with the strawberry jam.
I added more blobs of the filling on top of the Pimms Cake, and drizzled over more of the Pimms syrup.
To finish the Pimms Cake, I whipped up the double cream with the icing sugar and vanilla, and piled it on top of the cake. Then I covered it in strawberries, orange slices, cucumber rolls and fresh mint leaves.
The Pimms Cake looked so tempting with the jam and Pimms syrup dripping down the sides, and all the fresh fruit and cream on top!
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For the Pimms syrup
- 300 ml Pimms
- 100 g Caster sugar
For the sponges
- 350 g Butter or baking spread
- 350 g Caster sugar
- 1 Orange zest only
- 1 Lemon zest only
- 1 Lime zest only
- 6 Eggs large
- 350 g Self raising flour
For the filling
- 250 g Mascarpone
- 2 tbsp Icing sugar
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 215 ml Double cream
- 100 g Strawberry jam
For the topping
- 300 ml Double cream
- 1 tbsp Icing sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- Fresh strawberries, sliced orange and cucumber rolls
- Fresh mint
Start by making the Pimms syrup as it needs to cool down. Put the Pimms and sugar in a pan, heat on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved then boil for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool fully
Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and grease and line two 8" cake tins
Make the sponge by mixing the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl with a spoon until fluffy, or mix using an electric mixer
Add the eggs and the orange, lime and lemon zest, and whisk until fully incorporated
Add the self raising flour and whisk in until you can't see any flour anymore
Divide the mixture between the two cake tins, using scales for accuracy if you like
Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave them to fully cool either in the tins or on cooling racks
If the cakes have domed on top, level them off with a cake leveller
Then drizzle a third of the Pimms syrup on each sponge, using up two thirds in total
To make the filling use an electric hand whisk or food mixer to whisk together the mascarpone cheese, double cream, vanilla extract and icing sugar until thick
Put one of the sponges on your chosen cake stand or serving plate and pipe or spread blobs of the filling over it
Drizzle the strawberry jam over the filling
Top with the second sponge and spread or pipe the remaining filling on top, then drizzle over the remaining syrup, letting it drip down the sides of the cake
Whip up the double cream, vanilla extract and icing sugar either by hand, with an electric hand mixer, or food mixer. Pile it in the centre of the cake
Arrange the strawberries, orange slices, cucumber rolls or slices and fresh mint leaves on top of the cake. To make the cucumber rolls, use a vegetable peeler to peel long strips of cucumber, then roll them up
Serve immediately, leftovers will keep for 1-2 days in the fridge
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