A student's guide to baking

Pimm’s Cupcakes

The perfect treat for a summer evening!

The perfect treat for a summer evening!

Ingredients (makes 12):

The cake:

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 20g cornflour
  • 115g butter
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 120ml buttermilk (see recipe for alternative)
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 100ml orange juice

Pimm’s strawberry jelly filling:

  • 200g strawberries
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp Pimm’s

Cucumber and mint syrup:

  • 1 handful of mint, chopped
  • 12 thin slices of cucumber
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp water

Buttercream:

  • 120g butter
  • 240g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Recipe:

  • Preheat the oven to 160ºC and line a muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, followed by the orange zest and orange juice, and mix gently.
  • Sieve in the flour and cornflour, and then add the buttermilk. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own by adding 1
  • and a half teaspoons of lemon juice to 120ml of regular milk.
  • Beat your mix well to ensure an even consistency. It should be a fairly runny mix, so don’t worry if it seems a bit thinner than normal cupcakes.
  • Split the mix between the paper cases and bake for 30 minutes, or until they have turned a golden colour and pass the knife test.

Once the cakes are in the oven, you can make a start with the filling.

  • Blend the strawberries in a food processor and pour into a small pan through a fine sieve to remove the pips. It’ll still work if you don’t sieve it, but using one will make it much smoother.
  • Add the sugar, cornflour, and Pimm’s to the pan and heat gently.
  • Stir the mix regularly with a whisk until it becomes thick and jelly-like.
  • Leave to cool.

The syrup also requires heating in a pan, so you can make this at the same time as the Pimm’s strawberry filling.

  • Add the chopped mint and cucumber slices to a small pan. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of water.
  • Heat until the water starts to bubble, then turn off the heat. Allow it to cool slightly before straining the syrup into a glass to cool fully.

For the buttercream:

  • Beat the butter first to soften it, before sieving in the icing sugar.
  • Once peaks are starting to form, add a teaspoon of vanilla essence and continue beating until the mixture is strong and stiff.
Coring the cupcakes to add the Pimm's strawberry filling.

Coring the cupcakes to add the Pimm’s strawberry filling.

Once you’ve finished making the various components, it’s time to assemble the final cakes.

  • Using a knife or corer if you have one, remove a hole from the middle of each of the cupcakes, saving the removed piece. (see below)
  • Add one teaspoon of the Pimm’s strawberry filling to the hole in each cupcake. Using the removed piece, cover the top of the hole.
  • Using a piping bag if you have one, ice the cupcakes with the buttercream.
  • Drizzle the cucumber and mint syrup over the cupcakes.
  • Decorate with sliced fresh strawberries, orange, cucumber and mint.
For decorating the finished cupcake.

For decoration to give that real Pimm’s feel to it!

The finished cupcake.

The finished cupcake!

(Recipe adapted from http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/535447/pimms-cupcakes)

 

After my recent endeavours with gin-flavoured cake, I thought it was time for another summery alcoholic cake!

This weekend, I went over to a friend’s house for a night of cocktails and catching up with the three of us. It’d been several months since I’d seen either of them, so it was lovely seeing them again and I decided to bake for the occasion! Off the back of recent inspiration and practice at making drinks, our wonderful hostess suggested a gin-based cocktail evening, and of course we didn’t have any objections.

Given that we were going to be drinking anyway, I thought it best to keep away from the gin drizzle cake recipe. Those who have tasted it will be able to certify that it’s rather boozy!

So instead I opted for another alcohol-inspired cake, but one that’s traditionally a little bit less alcoholic yet still associated with summer – Pimm’s. My love for Pimm’s rivals my feelings towards the mighty G&T. In my book, no summer is truly complete unless you’ve had at least a glass of Pimm’s.

Naturally then, my main worry with this cake was doing justice to the drink, particularly in balancing the various flavours, but I think this works. The different tastes sit well alongside each other and you’re left to sample serenely each of the flavours that goes into the wondrous concoction that is a glass of Pimm’s.

So relax, sit back in the summer sun and enjoy a light fruity cupcake! Cheers!

 

 

From another round of Pimm's cupcakes.

From another round of Pimm’s cupcakes.

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