All the ingredients except for the meringue can just be easily mixed together in a blender! You don't really hear of cucumber cake, but in this cake it's, like, where's the cucumber? It tastes rather like green tea. So I added some ama-natto into the batter.
Ingredients: 18 cm diameter cakes or 2 pound cake pans
Peel the cucumber roughly (it's okay if there are some bits of skin left on), slice and microwave for 3 minutes.
Put the cucumber in a blender and blend! When it turns into a juice, leave it to cool.
Add the egg yolks, honey, lemon juice and oil to the blender, and blend! When everything is mixed together well, add the sifted ★ ingredients in 2 or 3 batches, blending between additions. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
Beat the egg whites. Add the sugar in 3 batches, and whip it until it becomes a meringue with stiff peaks.
Add the meringue to the mixture from Step 3 in 2 batches, folding it in with a spatula each time.
Pour the batter into a paper-lined cake pan. Add some of the batter, ama-natto, batter, amanatto, batter in that order. In the photo the ama-natto are on top, but they should be in the middle.
Bake in a pre-heated 180°C oven for 60 minutes. If a bamboo skewer stuck in the middle comes out clean, it's done (if it looks like the top is getting burned while baking, cover it with aluminum foil.)
Take the cake out of the pan, and when it has cooled down a bit cover with plastic wrap until completely cooled. It definitely tastes a lot better after being rested for a day, so please be patient. This is how it looks just out of the oven.
I tried making it with 200 g of pancake mix instead of cake flour. For this version I added vanilla essence instead of lemon juice. It had a different, fluffy texture. It tasted different too. It was delicious eaten the same day it was baked.
Story Behind this Recipe
I wanted to use up some cucumbers.
You can make this easily by just mixing everything up in a blender except for the meringue. Don't add all the flour at once, or it will go flying all over the place. If it won't mix in well in the blender, transfer the contents to a boil and mix with a whisk. You can use vanilla essence instead of lemon juice I think. You can omit the ama-natto if you like. Let the cake rest for more than a day before eating it.