Sunday, 9 June 2013

That time of year...

Finally, the sun is shining! We recently had our first barbecue of the year, on a bank holiday, and the sun shone! Ok, the wind blew, and it wasn't all that hot really, but the sky was clear so we sat outside, damn-it, and barbecued (and shivered a little). We also used up all the left-over Pimm's from last year, which seemed to take our minds off the chill.

The sunny weekend must've put us all in the same mood as when I went to replace it,  there was no normal Pimm's in the local supermarket which is a shame as I made some lovely Pimm's cakes last summer soaked with Pimm's syrup, filled with strawberry jam, and topped with fresh mint buttercream.

However, I found this:

So it's out with the strawberries and mint and in with, hmmm, this was a tricky one. Blackberries are totally out of season, raspberries might overpower, then I found the lavender I'd bought on a whim and didn't know what to pair it with.  

I chucked a couple of capfuls of the Pimm's into my normal sponge recipe (150g each of caster sugar, unsalted butter and self raising flour, 3 large eggs and 3/4 tsp vanilla extract) and made 50mls of Pimm's into a syrup by boiling it with 50ml water and 100g caster sugar.  After baking the cupcakes for 15 minutes at 155 degrees celsius, I used a drizzle of the syrup in a batch of buttercream, instead of milk (200g unsalted butter, 400g icing sugar).  Then I finely chopped a large pinch of lavender in my mezzaluna and added a pinch at a time until there was a fragrant hint of lavender combined with the sharp blackberry and sweet perfume of elderflower.  Once cooled, I brushed some more syrup on the top of the cakes before piping the buttercream in swirls.  Perfect festival fodder for this weekend's camping trip to Waddfest! Next stop blackberry and lavender macarons I think...













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