I like gin. In fact a Gin and Slim is my tipple of choice (thanks for asking). A fairly simple drink, its actually good for you (in a red wine kind of way, not a congrats on your hour in the gym kinda way) in that the quinine in the tonic water has anti inflammatory and painkilling properties. The G&T was actually devised by the British Army as a way to combat malaria in 19th Century India. A century earlier it was discovered that quinine could be effectively used in treatment of the disease but unfortunately it had a very bitter taste. Luckily some bright spark had the idea to add gin, thereby making the medicine more palatable and in doing so created one of the worlds most popular alcoholic drinks. Snaps to that guy!
For a while now I have been wondering if a G&T would translate well into cake form - if so I could delight in having found the Holy Grail! The catalyst for creating these cupcakes was, of all things, a tweet. The lovely ladies at gin tasting, afternoon tea taking extraordinaires G and Teatime, had asked:
"We're thinking about gin and cake (surprise surprise!). What combination is best? G&T with viccy sponge? Scones & cocktails?"
To which I cheekily replied:
"G&T IN cake. Can always have a glass on the side ;) "
I had laid the bet now I had to put my money where my mouth is. Of course I didn't really but thoughts of lounging in the garden whilst enjoying my gin cake in the sunshine had already flooded my mind. I have previously made cupcakes based on margaritas and mojitos (yum) but would the botanical notes of my beloved G&T succeed in having their voices heard over all that sugar and froth of a cupcake? I'm happy to report that they can.
Gin and Tonic Cupcakes
For the sponge:
110g unsalted butter
110g caster sugar
110g self raising flour
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking powder
2tsp tonic water
2tsp lemon juice
For the filling:
50g unsalted butter
juice of 2 limes
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1tbsp tonic water
grated zest of one lime
For the frosting:
250g unsalted butter
500g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp gin (to taste)
1 tbsp tonic water
splash of lime juice
green food colouring (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 180oC and line your cupcake tray.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and sift in the flour and baking powder. Once combined add the tonic water and the lemon juice.
3. Fill the cupcake cases approx 2/3 full then bake for 15-20 minutes, until springy to the touch. Allow to cool then cut a small hole in the centre of each, approx 2/3 the depth of the sponge.
4. whilst he cupcakes are cooling, make the filling which is a kind of ginny curd. Heat the butter and lime juice until the butter melts. In another bowl beat together the eggs and egg yolks. Slowly add the melted butter to the eggs, whisking all the time. Once incorporated return to the pan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and cook for a further five minutes or until the filling has thickened, then remove and allow to cool.
5. Once the filling has cooled, add the gin, tonic and lime zest then fill the little recesses in your cupcakes.
6. To make the frosting, beat together the butter and icing sugar, for a full five minutes until really fluffy. Add the gin, tonic and lime to taste and beat again. Add the food colouring, if using. I used a very small amount of green colouring, to give a very pale colour to the frosting. Decorate using slices or grated lime zest.
|Optional extra, drink version of G&T|
I have decided to enter these cupcakes into this months Alphabakes challenge, because, hey why not give it a go! Alphabakes challenges bakers to create a scrummy cake/dessert/pud/loaf etc based on a randomly selected letter and this month its 'T'. Alphabakes is hosted by Ros at The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline at Caroline Makes.