- 4 large eggs
- 250g butter
- 250g caster sugar
- 250g self-raising flour
- 1 lemon (zest and juice)
- 4 shots of gin
- 150g granulated sugar
- 6 shots of gin
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Dash of tonic water (optional)
The recipe for this is essentially rather simple. As follows: make cake mix. Add gin. Bake. Mix sugar and gin to make drizzle. Pour over baked cake. Eat.
Ok, but in all seriousness:
- Have your butter at room temperature as usual to make things easier.
- Preheat your oven to 180ºC.
- Start by creaming the butter and caster sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
- Once done, crack in the eggs one at a time and beat until they’re combined in a smooth mixture.
- Add in the flour whilst continuing to mix.
- Grate in the zest of 1 lemon, saving the rest for the juice later. If you like a stronger citrus taste to your G&Ts, add in the zest of a second lemon.
- Whilst stirring slowly but consistently, add in the juice of 1 lemon and 4 shots of gin, which should give you a more runny cake mix texture. The drizzle will really add the gin kick, so don’t worry about adding more gin to the cake mix itself.
- Pour the mix into a lined 1kg loaf tin and bake for about 45 minutes. Do check the cake with the knife test before you take it out of the oven, as the top may look done whilst the insides are still nowhere near. If the top does end up being rather overdone at the cost of the inside of the cake, you can carefully cut away some of the top, which is the preferable option to having half-baked cake.
- Let the cake cool while you make the drizzle. Combine the granulated sugar, juice of 1 lemon, and the remaining 6 shots of gin in a bowl, adding a hint of tonic if you want to be truly honest in saying that it’s a gin and tonic cake. To be fair, once someone’s had a slice of this, they’re not going to mind whether there’s tonic in it or not!
- Once you’ve got your drizzle, prick the surface of the cake with a fork to let the drizzle sink in and pour it all over the top. It’ll set fairly quickly, but don’t worry about appearances, as the drizzle also makes a good spread for the extra gin kick when you’re taking a slice!
A brief warning with this recipe: the main difficulty with this is the liquid content. When I first made this, I did a gluten-free version, so the mix was thicker than usual before I added the gin. If you’re worried about the consistency, add an extra sprinkle of flour or leave it in the over for a little longer to make sure that the cake is properly cooked. You could also reduce the amount of gin in the cake mix, but who wants to take out the gin?!
(Recipe adapted from: http://www.puddinglaneblog.co.uk/2014/06/gin-and-tonic-cake.html)
Last year, I volunteered at my local arts festival, the Lichfield Festival, for the 10 days it was on, plus a couple of days beforehand to help get things ready. Thanks to my position as Assistant Concert Manager and the long regular hours that came with the role, I quickly became ingratiated to the office team and the other volunteers putting in longer hours. At the time, the office was just across from the cathedral, the venue I was based in, so popping between the two was rather easy, and once the festival started, I learnt of a wonderful little tradition they had: G&Ts on the lawn whilst evensong was taking place.
Fast forward a year, and this summer I was back again, volunteering in the same position as before. This year, the office has moved to the centre of town and there’s a slightly longer walk between there and the cathedral. The added distance combined with the reduced fridge and kitchen facilities, meant that the G&T tradition was at risking of falling by the wayside.
The ladies in the office, one of whom I knew from the year before, had put in a request for the office to be supplied with cake during the very stressful time of the festival, and I willingly obliged. One of the team was coeliac as well, which meant that everything I made had to be gluten-free. As luck would have it, I managed to find some gluten-free self-raising flour in my local supermarket, and my dad sent me the recipe for this gin cake just as the festival started.
Needless to say, the cake proved an excellent alternative to the regular G&Ts, providing both nourishment and gin. It went down rather well, and word certainly got around before I’d even made the thing! The cake made such an impact that it featured in the Festival Director’s leaving speech at the end of the Festival and knowledge of its existence was made public to several hundred audience members at the final concert.
Be warned: this cake packs a punch. While it certainly went down well with everyone who tried it, there were several shocked faces when they got the first kick of the gin!