The Great Boozy Bake-Off with The Gin Baker

We welcome back The Great British Bake-Off to our screens this week (Thursday 24th August at 8pm BBC One to be precise!), and thanks to one of our Club members, we’re getting ready to “ready, steady bake!” our way along with the new series in style!

Liam Beauchamp, aka The Gin Baker, is a food blogger from West Sussex who creates amazing confections all based around (you guessed it) gin. And naturally, his Craft Gin Club membership comes in handy with developing new recipes.

Gin baker with boozy bakes

"The Craft Gin Club has played a very important role in my discovery," he explains. "As a member, I have been given an opportunity to try new gins that I probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise. I have now come to rely on Craft Gin Club to deliver me a truly special craft gin each month."

Liam also uses GINNED! magazine to gather much of the information he needs to create his beautiful boozy recipes. The botanicals guide and the tasting notes that are listed for each gin give him the understanding he needs to start developing a recipe. 

When it comes to the important matter of GBBO, Liam’s hope for this season is  “that we have another male winner," he says. "Unfortunately I think there is misconception that baking is too delicate and feminine for men and that it should be left to the girls. I want that antiquated view of baking thrown out of the window and I want to see more men in the kitchen baking!"

We couldn't agree more; and with loads of amazing recipes that incorporate gin, there's a reason for all our Club Members to dust off their mixing bowls and hit the kitchen! To start us on our gin journey, The Gin Baker has provided a lovely recipe using our August Gin of the Month, Siderit. Here's his recipe for a ridiculously delicious Orange, Cardamom and Almond Upside-Down Cake. Let the baking be-gin!

Orange, Cardamom and Almond Upside-Down Cake

Siderit gin orange cardamom and almond upside down cake

"Siderit Gin is a Dry Gin that is handcrafted in Cantabria, a region in the north of Spain that is famous for its beautifully green landscapes and its excellent gastronomy. It is also home of the Spanish delicacy Sobao which is a rich a fluffy yellow cake with a golden brown exterior that is traditionally made with lemons and soaked in rum or anise liqueur. You will find Sobao in any bakery across the region but the best Sobao can be found in Miera and Pas Valleys. With its fluffy cake base and sticky exterior, it is very similar to an upside-down cake and this is where I found the inspiration for my Orange, Cardamom and Almond Upside-Down Cake."  

"With its slightly spicy flavour profile, Siderit is a juniper-forward gin that envelops the palate with cardamom and a slight creaminess from the almond. This is followed by a pleasant sweetness from the mandarin and pink pepper that are counterbalanced by bitter orange peel. 
With its well-balanced but robust flavour combinations, Siderit Gin really intensifies the flavours of this cake and adds extra depth."

 To make this cake, you will need:
4 oranges
700ml of water
320g of caster sugar plus 185g for the cake
125g of ground almonds
310g of self-raising flour
4 tbsp of lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
500ml of whole milk
5 cardamom pods
10 dried juniper berries
1 cap of vanilla extract
125ml of Siderit gin

siderit gin orange cardamom upside down cake

1) Add the water and caster sugar to a pan and stir over a medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Thinly slice 3 oranges and add this to the pan.

2) Leave to gently simmer for at least 40 minutes. You may need to add extra water every now and again to stop it from catching on the bottom of the pan and burning.

3) Whilst the oranges are simmering, you can start making the cake. Mix the ground almonds, flour, bicarbonate of soda and sugar together in a bowl.

4) In a separate pan, add the whole milk, bruised cardamom pods and bruised juniper berries and heat over a stove for about 10 minutes until luke warm. Sieve out the cardamom pods and add the lemon juice, vanilla extract, orange zest and 75ml of gin. The mixture will curdle but you don’t need to worry about that.

5) In a large mixing bowl, slowly mix the wet and dry ingredients. Add the zest and juice of one orange for an extra kick.

6) Preheat the oven to 180º and then grease and line a 20cm spring form pan with greaseproof paper.

7) Turn up the heat on the stove on the orange slices until they start to boil to start making the syrup. Once again, be careful not to let this burn. Once the liquid in the pan has turned into thick syrup, remove from the heat.

8) Using tongs or a fork, carefully remove the orange slices out of the pan and line the base of the cake tin evenly and pour over some of the extra syrup. You will also want to save some for the top of the cake.

9) Pour the cake batter over the top of the oranges and then cook in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden brown.

10) Once done, take the cake out of the oven and flip upside down onto a cooling rack. Leave the cake in the tin for 20 minutes to cool before carefully removing the tin and the baking paper.

11) Add 50ml of gin to the left over syrup and then drizzle over the cake. Sprinkle the cake with flaked almonds for decoration.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.