Tala Pimm's Cake
This summer showstopper combines Pimms and cake to spectacular effect. Fresh fruit, mint, Pimms and the Tala Performance decorative cake tin do all the heavy lifting – the cake itself is a cinch to bake, making this the perfect no-hassle summer dinner party dessert.
For the cake:
6 medium size free-range eggs
280 ml sunflower oil (plus extra to oil the tin)
350g caster sugar
350g self-raising flour
2 tsp salt
zest half an orange
dark red or burgundy food colouring (I used 'Bordeaux' by Colour Splash)
For the syrup:
100g caster sugar
6 tbs Pimms
2 tablespoons/serving spoons
2 table knives
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius fan (302 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Place a teaspoon of sunflower oil in the cake tin and thoroughly grease the inside with your fingers.
- Place the oil and eggs in a smaller mixing bowl and whisk until smooth and pale yellow.
- Measure the dry ingredients in the large mixing bowl, whisk briefly and then add the oil and egg mix. Whisk again just long enough to make a nice smooth mixture.
- Divide the mixture between the two mixing bowls, adding an extra three tablespoons to one bowl and set this bowl aside.
- Add the orange zest to the mixture in the other bowl and add enough dark red food colouring to turn the mixture a deep red colour. Mix thoroughly.
- Take a tablespoon of the red mixture and spoon it into the tin. Try to drip the mixture from the spoon, all around the central post of the tin, but don't worry about being neat.
- Now take a tablespoon of the uncoloured mixture and spoon it over the red mixture in the same way.
- Repeat, alternating coloured mixes until all the mixture is used up.
- Bake for an hour until the mixture has risen well and springs back to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.
- While the cake is cooling, make the syrup by heating the sugar with 100ml of water until the sugar crystals have dissolved. Turn off the heat and add the Pimms to taste (about 6 tablespoons works well.)
- Place the cake on a large plate or cake stand and pierce all over with a cocktail stick. Then spoon the syrup all over the cake until thoroughly soaked.
- Finely chop a handful of mint leaves and scatter over the cake.
- Use a french peeler to shave long strips of cucumber. Twist the strips and secure to the top of the cake with cocktail sticks (I used four sticks, evenly spaced out). Whole strawberries can be speared onto the top of the cocktail sticks to hide them from view.
- Position strawberries and sliced cucumber on the top and around the base of the cake and serve on its own or with marscapone cheese.