Summer Days

What a summer it has been so far! 😀

For so long you’d have to go abroad for the weather we’ve been having here in the UK. It’s been pretty amazing – although I’m sure there are those who think it’s a bad thing. There are always winners and losers.  For so long, we’ve had the strawberries, the G&T and the Pimms, just not always the weather to match. At least not for any length of time. So this is what it feels like to have a proper summer! Love it 😍

Whether or not, the fact that our national football team has been performing above expectations in the World Cup, is and will be, a matter for some debate. For me the fact is, that there is for now, something in the air. A real positive vibe, a buzz. And I can take that for as long as we’ve got it.

Long live summer and long may we have the time to enjoy the Pimms and the strawberries, in our gardens and open spaces. For long into the evening, for as long as it stays warm. It’s what a summer should be.

And to enjoy these summer days and evenings – a lovely Moist Strawberry, cream and Pimms Cupcake 😀😀🍓🍓🍹🍹

Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with cupcakes cases and preheat the oven to gas 4, 180c, 165c fan.

150g soft butter

135g caster sugar

3 eggs

140g gluten free self raising flour

30ml Pimms

milk to loosen the batter if required

Pop all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and using a hand held electric mixer and beat the lot together until light and fluffy and well combined.

Divide the batter between the 12 cases and bake for 24-28 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

120g strawberry jam

10 strawberries

30ml more Pimms

300ml double cream

20g icing sugar

12 mint leaves

You could do this next bit whilst the cupcakes are baking – carefully cut each strawberry in half from stalk to base, keeping the stalk in tact. Place them in a small breakfast bowl cut side down and pour over the Pimms. Leave this then to soak, for as long as possible. At least an hour and if you are really planned – overnight. You’ll get a lovely rich Pimms Syrup.

When you are ready to decorate, whip the cream with the icing sugar until stiff.

Scoop out the middle of the cupcakes and place around 10g of jam into the hole (more if you want to 😀), then pipe the whipped cream onto each cupcake and decorate with half a strawberry, mint leaf and a little of the liqueur left in the bowl.

Sit down and your cupcake with either a glass of Pimms or if you really want a treat, you can use the left over strawberries in a glass of prosecco or two.

 

 

 

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Planning v Spontaneous

Should you plan your blog posts?

Not the most burning of questions and certainly not one to make the developed world sit up and take note. Or maybe they will? Who knows.

My fingers, poised to write. Music plays in the background, the Noah is doing I don’t know what in the garden with a stick, his sister on her phone, again and mums gone for a swim. And I’m still here thinking about what to write to enlighten the masses. Welcome by the way to all my new followers, I hope you enjoy the baking 😀

I could just go straight in with the bake and be done with the preamble, but it’s nice to read something before you get into the spirit of things.

There was a time, when I started this blog/website where I had such grand plans of topics. I actually thought I was some sort of journalist and story-teller. I had my little black book for notes and I had every intention of recounting some fantastically wise words on a weekly basis. Pffffft. There was the topic of ‘Smell’ and taking us back to memories we once had, triggered by the things we bake. Couldn’t write it, it didn’t feel like it came from me. There was the tale of meeting a celebrity or two, left free to roam amongst the general public! A friend of mine commented that ‘but anything could happen to them, they should have some sort of protection’. Then, they are just like you and I, doing their job. Great job though! That post fell by the wayside.

There is a lot to be said for planning, there is also a lot to be said for spontaneity. I’m nearly 300 words in already with this one and haven’t really got anywhere! Writing was never my forte, I have been more the creative creature in other ways. This post started out to seek thanks and get credit from those that may read my recipes, and develop them for their own use, borrow the recipes and make something from them in the commercial world. Who does that? 😉

So forgive the preamble, allow me my time to waffle. You’ll probably get more of who I am.

Now this cake is quite refreshing really and after 2 trial bakes, very light and fluffy.

Grease and line an 8” round, deep cake tin and preheat the oven to gas 3, 145c fan, 160c.

230g gluten free self raising flour

210g caster sugar

50g creamed coconut (from a block) made to 160ml liquid coconut milk and allowed to cool. I used Blue Dragon.

110ml veg oil

2 eggs

zest of 1 lime and 1 lemon

Very easily, place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and with a hand-held electric whisk, whisk all the ingredients together until fully combined, light and fluffy. Pour into the prepared tin and bake slowly in the oven for 55 – 65 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Allow to fully cool before removing from the cake tin.

For the frosting;

180g full fat cream cheese

40g very soft butter

50g icing sugar

zest of another lime, another lemon and some toasted desiccated coconut to use as decoration.

Again with your electric whisk, beat the cream cheese, butter and icing sugar together. You’ll have a lovely sheen on the mixture very quickly and then it’s ready – no more than a minute or so.

Spread the frosting on your finished, cooled cake, that is now on your cake stand and to finish, scatter the zest’s  and toasted desiccated coconut on top.

Serve and enjoy.