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Friday 24 January 2014

Let Her Eat Cake: Gin & Tonic Cake

Here at DS, we love taking our favourite things and CAKEIFYING them. That usually means booze. We've done it with Mojitos, we've done it with amaretto, now we're doing it with gin. You can't stop us. No one can. Not even Mr Hendricks or Mr Bombay Sapphire themselves.

This is basically the essence of a gin and tonic in a cake - without the gin, and without the quinine from the tonic - making it a fragrant sponge flavoured with juniper and bitter lemon, perfect for afternoon tea for your non boozing buddies. If you're still hankering after a gin, serve one on the side.

Gin & Tonic Cake
You will need:
For the cake:
  • 200g butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp dried juniper berries
  • 60ml milk
For the bitter lemon syrup:
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 50ml bitter lemon or tonic water, if you're in a fix
  • Zest and juice 1/2 a lemon
  • Icing sugar, to decorate
Make it!
The cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Grease and line a 23cm, 9 inch deep cake tin.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. 
  4. Add a quarter of the eggs, along with a tablespoon of the flour and beat well. Repeat with rest of the eggs, beating well in between. 
  5. Add the rest of the flour in thirds, folding in lightly in between until it is just incorporated and no streaks are showing.
  6. Crush the juniper berries in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Place in a pan with the milk and heat until it comes to a gentle simmer.  
  7. Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl and set aside to cool for a moment. 
  8. When cool, stir gently into the cake mixture.
  9. Dollop into the tin, smooth over the top and bake for around 30 minutes, or until it's golden and risen, and a skewer inserted comes out clean. 
The syrup:
  1. Place the sugar, bitter lemon, lemon juice and zest in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a simmer and reduce over a medium heat until the consistency thickens. BE CAREFUL because hot sugar is HOT. 
  3. When the cake is out of the oven, prick holes all over the surface with a skewer and spoon on the sugar syrup so that it soaks in. Dust with icing sugar and leave for a few minutes before turning out of the tin and leaving to cool on a wire rack. 
  4. Decorate with a little more icing sugar, lemon zest and eat as a side to your favourite gin-based beverage.  

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