Cake is one of those rare things that everyone (well, almost everyone) likes to enjoy – a treat that can be as simple as a Victoria sponge or a massive Great British Bake Off Showstopper (side note, I’m very excited for the show’s imminent return). Walking home from work one evening recently I decided that I both wanted to have cake and to eat it, so clearly some baking was required.
I am a big fan of having somewhat boozy cakes and having encountered some local raspberries I decided that I’d add a little Pimm’s into the mix to make a Pimm’s and Raspberry Sponge.
So I may have been rather liberal with my ‘measuring by eye’ of the Pimm’s going into the sponge and the icing, but so long as it bakes and the icing sets I think that’s OK. Actually, more than OK, it’s how it should be. Adding some lime zest into the sponge and mint into the icing also really helps both with brining out the fruity notes of the Pimm’s and with making your slice/wedge/doorstop of cake much more interesting. It’s not the sort of cake to have with a cup of tea, but it is one that you will want to go back for slice after slice of.
If you’re looking for a cake to make that will make you feel summery then this is the one you’re looking for. Plus you get to drink the rest of the Pimm’s afterwards, what could possibly be better than that?
Pimm’s & Raspberry Cake
This recipe is an original from The Usual Saucepans, having been devised following the discovery of some delicious local raspberries. I make sponge in a ratio, so taking the weight of the eggs and matching it with flour (and ground almonds here), butter and sugar. In this case my eggs weighed 250g, so taking a little off for the shells everything else comes in at 240g – the ratio, instead of just a straightforward average weight, does make for a much more balanced and delicious cake. In my opinion at least.
for the sponge:
140g self raising flour
100g ground almonds
150g golden caster sugar
100g caster sugar
zest from half a lime
for the icing:
100g icing sugar
6 or 7 mint leaves
Raspberries to decorate
In a large bowl combine the golden and regular caster sugar with the butter (this will be a lot easier if you leave the butter out for a while before to soften) using a large wooden spoon. The mixture should be silky smooth and creamy. At this point sift in your flour and pour in the ground almonds; mix both in until it stiffens.
Crack your eggs into a small jug and whisk slightly to break up the yolks, pour them round the edge of your flour mix, then combine everything before beating to a few minutes until there’s air in it an the mixture lightens in colour. At this point zest the half lime in and pour in the Pimm’s; stir again to combine. If the mix is really wet (i.e. you’ve pour loads of Pimm’s in) add a little more flour. Cover with a wet dish towel and leave for at least half an hour for the flavours to permeate the batter – if you want to leave it and come to it later (like an hour or two) then simply rest in the fridge.
Towards the end of the resting time (say five minutes before the end) set the oven on for 170 and line a large loose-bottomed cake tin. Allow the mixture to come back up to room temperature (if you chilled it), pour the mixture into the cake tin and give it a few little shakes to make sure it’s evenly spread across the tin.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer can be stuck through and it comes out cleanly. At this point pour the Pimm’s for the icing into a glass and add in some muddled mint, leaving it to flavour the Pimm’s.
Leave to cool in the tin for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack and allow it to cool fully.
When it is cool, make the icing. Make it by gently combining the butter and icing sugar in a large bowl (to minimise the amount of icing sugar that inevitably gets everywhere), then adding in the minty Pimm’s, using a fork to whisk it through.
Dollop your icing on top of the cake and use a palate knife to smother the top of the cake with icing. Press the raspberries gently into position in the icing and allow it to set before slicing and serving.