Gin and Tonic Cake Recipe

This uses a very special gin from Heston’s Waitrose collection but of course any wonderful gin will do. The freshness of lime in this cake gives a zestiness rarely found without tropical flavours so here it is really allowed to shine. To get the best from your zest, use a microplane to get just the brightest green zest from your limes. If you don’t have one (although I highly suggest you buy one, they are seriously a game changer…) you can finely grate them but make sure you don’t get the white pith- this will make it bitter rather then fragrant.

This cake actually gets better with time so don’t panic that you can’t finish it in one sitting, it will be equally delicious- in fact more so, a few days after baking if kept in an airtight tin. 

Ingredients:

225g butter

225g caster sugar

4 eggs

225g self-raising flour

4 shots Earl Grey gin

2 limes, zest

 

Icing:

25ml tonic water

8 shots gin

150g granulated sugar

2 limes, juice

 

Method:

1.   Preheat oven to 180. Grease and line loaf tin.

2.   Beat butter, lime zest and sugar together until very pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and beat completely in to mix between each one.

3.   Fold in the flour, add the gin and then bake in a loaf tin for 45 minutes.

4.   Mix icing ingredients together.

5.   When cake is out of oven, poke holes all over and pour over icing.

6.   Leave to cool properly until a crust forms then slice and serve!

Raspberry, Rose and Pistachio Cake Recipe

These three flavours work so wonderfully together; you can see exactly why they inspire so many Middle Eastern desserts. Rose has got a bad rep here in England however with the stale ‘old-lady perfume’ being its most famous associated image. This is here to change that! By using only the slightest hint, you get just the very top notes of sweet florals and this mixed with the sharpness of raspberries and creamy crunch of pistachios makes for a delicious cake. The double cream ‘icing’ marries well with the sponge as the lemon and wine create the perfect balance. As it is fresh cream, this is best eaten straight after making and must be stored in the fridge if not- although the need for storing it is yet to be needed in our house!

Serves 8

Ingredients:

225g unsalted butter

225g caster sugar

3 large eggs

225g self-raising flour

90g pistachios

2 tbsp rose syrup

pink food colour (optional)

zest of 1 lemon

juice of ½ lemon

punnet of raspberries

double cream, 600ml

dry white wine

lemon zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp caster sugar

rose petals, to decorate

 

Method:

1.   Whip butter and sugar together until really fluffy. Slowly add the eggs one at a time.

2.   Add the lemon zest, juice, rose syrup and colouring if using. Fold through the flour and then the chopped pistachios.

3.   Bake for 25 minutes at 180c.

4.   Dissolve the caster sugar and lemon zest into the wine and lemon juice. Add the cream and whip to soft peaks.

5.   Squidge the raspberries a little bit and add to half of the cream. Use this to sandwich the cakes together when they’re cool.

6.   Spread the rest of the cream over the top of the cake. Decorate the top with the rose petals and raspberries.