Wednesday, June 29

Gin & Tonic Cake

Without a doubt, I think that this is my favourite cake that I have ever made. 
That statement, I do not say lightly- I've made a lot of cakes in my twenty two years. But this, this wondrous cake is in a league of its own.
Not only because the sheer mention of gin in anything is heavenly, but because its light, airy, flavoursome taste marries perfectly with the zingy lime & tonic icing. 

This, ladies & gentlemen, is me if I was reincarnated in my true cake form.
 Looks innocent, packs a punch of flavour.

Just to confirm my parents suspicions that I am 'slightly' addicted to gin, there's buckets of it within this cake. Feel free to adjust it as you taste, but personally, I think a gin cake should taste of gin.
A proper G&T is a ratio of 1/2 gin, 1/2 tonic. 
So why shouldn't the cake have the same ratio of 1/2 gin & 1/2 sponge?

To make your own Gin & Tonic Cake you will need:

For the cake:
275g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
3 tbsp milk
275g caster sugar
4 large eggs
zest of 2 limes, plus zest of ½ lime to decorate
275g self-raising flour
A couple of good splashes of  quality gin. (I bought a 35l bottle & used about 2/3rds of it for this recipe; my gin of choice was Bombay Sapphire). 

For the syrup 
150ml gin 
150ml tonic water
100g caster sugar

For the buttercream:
150g butter
250g icing sugar
zest of 1/2 lime

For the glaze 
150g icing sugar
2 tbsp gin

Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease two regular 20cm-diameter nonstick cake tins & line with baking parchment. 
Beat the sugar and butter with an electric hand whisk until very light and fluffy, scraping down the sides from time to time. 
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

Grate the zest of your limes & gently fold into the batter.

Pour in the gin, a splash at a time. I was pretty generous with the doses, but add at your own will & have a little taste until you think it's about right. (Bare in mind the gin flavour will lessen after cooking). 

Add the flour and milk, a little at a time, mixing on a low speed until just combined. 
Spoon the mixture into the tin and gently smooth the surface with the back of the spoon. 
Bake for 45 minutes, until golden and risen and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

The syrup makes this cake into a sort of lemon drizzle hybrid; it keeps the sponge moist & packs the cake with even more flavour. 
While the cake is baking, place all the ingredients for the syrup in a small saucepan and set over a low heat. Stir gently to dissolve the sugar, then increase the heat to high and simmer for 7-10 minutes, until reduced by about half. 
When the cake is out of the over & still warm, poke loads of tiny holes in the sponge with a skewer.
Pour the warm syrup over the cake and let it soak in for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Once cool, mix together the ingredients for the butter cream until it holds its shape. Place one side of sponge on the serving plate & slather on a generous helping of buttercream. Top with the second half of the cake. 
To finish, create the glaze by mixing together the icing sugar and gin. Put the cake on a serving plate/cake stand and pour the glaze over the top gently, sprinkle over the lime zest and leave to set, then serve.

Such a simple, flavoursome & eye catching little bake.
This is number one at the top of my little black book of recipes, without a doubt.


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