Well, it looks like summer is just starting to think about appearing and what great timing, for Saturday the 10th June is World Gin Day and there’s nothing that makes a gin and tonic taste better then a long balmy summer evening.
After last month’s family-friendly vegetarian stodge-fest my offering for you this month couldn’t be more diffferent. It is indulgent and much more complex in flavour. The tartness of the limes and the herby aromatic gin bring lightness to a bake which can so often be overwhelmingly sweet. This is a very grown-up bake and one that would look perfectly at home in some kind of swanky summer garden party were people try inadvisedly to walk on grass in high heels.
The recipe below is slightly tweaked but mostly borrowed from the brilliant Bake It Instinct blog where there is also a very tempting recipe for Gin & Tonic Macarons. You can find a host of other gin based ideas at Charlottes Lively Kitchen and Good Housekeeping.
Of course the benefit of being the maker of these boozy treats is that wen you only use 4 tbsp of the gin & tonic pre-mixed drink then the rest clearly needs using up. And then of course you must taste the icing to make sure the gin and lime flavouring is at the right levels. It’s a tough life being a baker. Just don’t blame me if your icing-piping goes a bit squiffy.
- 175g caster sugar
- 175g baking margarine or butter
- 175g self raising flour
- 3 medium eggs
- 4 tbsp of a pre-mixed can of gin and tonic
- 2 tbsp gin 250g butter, softened
- 500 - 650g icing sugar (i find the weather affects this)
- Zest of two limes and a little juice
- 4 tbsp gin
- 2 more limes for the decoration
- Preheat the oven to 170c
- Cream together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy
- Turn the mixer to slow and add the eggs one at a time
- Add a little flour if it starts to curdle
- Fold in the flour
- Stir in the gin & tonic mix
- Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases and fill about 2/3rds full
- Bake for 20mins until just golden (don’t let them go too brown as they will go hard)
- While the are cooling, prick them with a fork and drizzle the gin over
To make the icing:
- Beat the butter until soft and then add the icing sugar
- Beat until light and fluffy, then beat some more!
- If it’s too wet, add more icing sugar - I made mine on a hot day and it needed loads more
- Beat in the gin and lime zest
- Pipe onto the cooled cakes and top with a slice of lime and some more zest