My Pimm’s Hollywood-inspired cake – recipe

Pimm's Hollywood-inspired cake, cucumber, mint, orange, strawberries, Debbie Reynolds, Singin' in the Rain

Happy Friday everyone,

Here in London, the British summer is in full swing, i.e. it hasn’t stopped raining for the past two months. Or is it the past two years? Can’t quite remember. After almost a decade in this country, I can now say with confidence that rain has been a staple of my British residency.

To stay true to the British summer, I’ve come up with this Pimm’s Hollywood-inspired cake. To me, nothing shouts the months of June through to September better than a large glass of Pimm’s mixed with lemonade and all its accompaniments (mint, cucumber, orange and strawberries) and, of course, wearing a turtle neck (well, it’s cold, isn’t it?).

You might be baffled by the Mandala-like picture above, although it gives you in a hint as to what is in the cake. But, actually, cucumber in a cake tastes no weirder than carrot in a cake. The flavour is very subtle and the freshness from the cucumber comes through. It also makes the cake very moist.

I have also managed to include all the other trimmings (check the recipe below). As for the lemonade, I tried to mimic its flavour with white chocolate and lemon zest in the icing. I must say, it worked out quite well.

By now you may be wondering about the reference to ‘Hollywood’ in the title. Unless you’re a ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ fan like me, I can’t really hold this against you (although I do fail to understand why not everybody is addicted to this Classic Hollywood film ;-)).

Singin’ in the Rain is simply enchanting and its aesthetics never fail to amaze me. It is set in the late 1920s and this cake is an homage to one of the amazing dresses that Debbie Reynolds wears in the film. Now that you’ve got the full picture, you’re ready to bake!

Pimm's Hollywood-inspired cake, cucumber, mint, orange, strawberries, Debbie Reynolds, Singin' in the Rain

Pimm's Hollywood-inspired cake, cucumber, mint, orange, strawberries, Debbie Reynolds, Singin' in the Rain

Pimm's Hollywood-inspired cake, cucumber, mint, orange, strawberries, Debbie Reynolds, Singin' in the Rain

Pimm's Hollywood-inspired cake, cucumber, mint, orange, strawberries, Debbie Reynolds, Singin' in the Rain

Pimm's Hollywood-inspired cake, cucumber, mint, orange, strawberries, Debbie Reynolds, Singin' in the Rain

My Pimm’s Hollywood-inspired cake

My Pimm’s Hollywood-inspired cake – recipe

Prep time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves: 6 people

INGREDIENTS

    For the cake
  • A quarter of a cucumber
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp Pimm's
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 30g self-raising white flour
  • 60g cornflour
  • zest of one orange
  • For the icing
  • 100g white chocolate
  • 60ml double cream
  • 200g cream cheese
  • 40g icing sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 50g strawberries cut in small pieces
  • A handful of mint leaves, finely chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

    To make the cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease a 15cm springform tin.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, Pimm's and sugar for 5 minutes until the mixture whitens.
  4. Sift the flours together and add them to the egg mixture using a metal spoon.
  5. Grate the cucumber and press it down with a spoon to remove as much water as possible. Add the cucumber along with the orange zest to the cake batter.
  6. Pour the batter in the tin and bake for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  7. To make the icing
  8. In a saucepan, melt together the chocolate and cream over a low heat.
  9. Let it cool before adding the cream cheese and icing sugar. Beat well until you get a smooth icing.
  10. Add the lemon zest, strawberries and mint, and mix together.
  11. When cool, slice the cake in half lengthwise before spreading a little bit of icing between the two layers.
  12. Pour the rest of the icing over the whole cake and devour it without waiting, maybe with a large glass of Pimm's.

Notes

As for the decoration, I simply cut out some leaves from sheets of white rice paper before painting them with green food colouring. I then just stuck them to the icing.

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