I feel like I’ve been away for ages. In fact, I’ve not been anywhere at all, I’ve just neglected my blog and been a little too busy to bake – it’s driven me a little mad to be honest!
In the past few months I’ve turned my hand to a little DIY (and painted bikes and benches yellow for the Tour de France) and been to Rome for a romantic vacation with my lovely boyfriend. Rome is now, without a little bit of doubt in my mind, the most brilliant place I’ve visited. The food, culture and sights – oh- I’m now getting holiday blues as I sit in front of my laptop on a rainy July morning.
On the flip side, it’s almost my birthdayyy!! I’m not normally as excited for a birthday, but this one is a little different as I get my first car AND I’m having a birthday party – what’s not exciting about all that?
As a birthday warm up, I made a boozy loaf to share with my colleagues before I broke up for a little birthday R&R. And what better way to get into that party spirit, than to enjoy a little gin in your birthday cake!
This Gin and Tonic Loaf tastes beautiful with a cup of tea at 10.30am on a Friday afternoon (it’s 5pm somewhere right?), but goes down a real treat with an iced glass of your favourite gin cocktail (mine being a Chelsea Rose) as you chill in your garden and watch the sunset on summer’s evening.
Before I made this loaf, I was worried that it would have a strong perfumey scent, like if you plonk your nose over a bottle of gin, or that maybe my little hands would slip, and that extra glug of gin would take the cake from delicious moist sponge with hints of juniper, to a soggy bitter pulp. But now I’ve made and tasted this loaf – it’s just too tasty not to share!
You will need…
4 free range medium eggs
250g unsalted butter
250g self raising flour
250g golden caster sugar
8 x 25ml shots of gin
half a 25ml shot of tonic
150g granulated sugar
Then you preheat the oven to 180 degrees (170 fan) – if you forget you end up waiting for ages for the oven to warm up like I normally do – I never learn!
Pop the butter into a clean mixing bowl, and add the golden caster sugar. Mix until combined, and you should have a pale fluffy mixture.
Add the 4 eggs and mix to combine. It’ll look a little sloppy at this point, but don’t worry!
Sift in the self raising flour, then mix together until there’s no little pockets of flour left.
Grab the lemons, and add the zest from both to the mixture, and then the juice from just one. Go fetch the gin, and add 4 25ml shots to the mixture. Stir it all in and then spoon the mixture into a 1kg, lined loaf tin. Whack it in the oven for 45 minutes and go enjoy a glass of Chelsea Rose and watch an episode of American Horror Story…
Try the skewer/knife test. If it passes and the skewer/knife is clean take the loaf out of the oven and wait for it to cool. Once it’s cool to the touch you can start to make up the mixture for the top. Squeeze the remaining lemon into a jug, before topping the mixture up with the granulated sugar, remaining shots of gin and dash of tonic. Stir together until the sugar dissolves into most of the mixture and it feels sticky and heavy on your spoon.
Prick the cake with a fork all over, and then drizzle the mixture on top. It might leak over the sides, it might look a little messy, but that’s okay because it’s going to taste amazing!