This month the fabulous Gin Baker has been creating a right "Buzz" in the kitchen with the Warner Edwards Honeybee Gin. The floral spirit goes amazingly with apple so is perfect for this moist, sweet and slightly spiced cake.
Every now and again, a gin comes along that completely sets itself apart from the rest. Whether that be the flavours of the gin, the distillation process or the botanicals used, I am still exploring the growing world of craft gins. Despite my immature palate, I've already identified that I prefer sweeter, more floral gins - especially when it comes to baking as they often bring more flavour and depth to the bakes.
When I received the limited edition bottle of Warner Edwards Honeybee Gin distilled for Craft Gin Club, I was instantly inspired! I have been sitting on a recipe for a while that I have been wanting to try, and the floral sweetness and fragrant blossom that the Warner Edward Honeybee Gin delivers was perfect for this recipe. The suggested serve for this gin is also a slice of apple, even more reason to bake this cake.
The cake is incredibly dense and moist, thanks to the addition of the apple chunks that are used as a wet ingredient. It is also wonderfully spiced with the addition of the cinnamon and honey. The buttercream icing is incredibly light and the Gin Spiked Caramel is so addictive (try not to eat it all before drizzling it over the cake!). Both the buttercream and caramel sauce add a sweetness and richness to the cake that should be savoured.
Although there are lots of elements and ingredients to this cake, it is incredibly easy to make and will leave every who tries it speechless. So basically, you have to make this cake.
To make this Honey & Apple Cake, you will need:
Honey and Apple Cake with Gin Spiked Caramel
For the cake:
250g Caster Sugar
250g Unsalted Butter
5 Eggs, beaten
250g Self Raising Flour
1 1/2 tsp of Baking Powder
2 Apples, peeled, cored and chopped
Juice of 1 Lemon
20ml Warner Edwards Honeybee Gin
For the Simple Syrup:
75g Brown Sugar
Juice of 1 Lemon
20ml Warner Edwards Honeybee Gin
For the Caramel Sauce:
200g Caster Sugar
90g Salted Butter
120ml Double Cream
30ml Warner Edwards Honeybee Gin
For the Caramel Buttercream:
300g Unsalted Butter
600g Icing Sugar
2 tbsp Honey
2tbsp Gin Caramel Sauce
Caramel Fudge Chunks (optional)
Preparation: 50 mins
Baking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 8-10 people
1) Preheat the oven to 180C, fan 160C. Grease and line 2 23cm loose-bottomed round sandwich tins.
2) Start by making your gin spiked Caramel sauce by heating the caster sugar in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. The sugar will clump before melting into a thick brown, amber-coloured liquid as you continue to stir.
3) Once the sugar is melted, immediately add the butter. Stir the butter into the caramel using a whisk until it is completely melted and smooth. Slowly add the double cream whilst stirring and then allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute before removing from the heat. stir in the Honeybee Gin and then allow to cool before using.
4) To make the cake, start by tossing the apple pieces in the lemon juice and gin and then put to one side. In a large bowl, beat the soft butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, one by one, ensuring they are well combined after each addition. Fold in the flour, baking powder, honey and cinnamon.
5) Drain the apple pieces and stir the apple into the mixture. Divide the cake mixture equally between the tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown or until a skewer placed in the middle comes out clean. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks.
6) Whilst the cakes are cooling, make the simple syrup by adding all the ingredients to a saucepan and setting over a medium heat. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
7) Once the syrup and cakes have cooled, poke holes into the cakes using a skewer and then drizzle over the syrup.
8) To make the butter icing, add the butter, icing sugar, honey and cooled caramel sauce to a free-stand mixer and mix until creamy and smooth.
9) To assemble, spread the buttercream icing evenly over the top of one of the cakes before spooning over some of the caramel sauce, then top with the other cake. Spread the rest of the buttercream icing over the top of the cake and then even out using a spatula. Spoon over the remaining caramel sauce and then decorate with the caramel fudge chunks.
You can make the caramel sauce in advance, but once cooked, make sure it is covered tightly and it can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. The buttercream icing should be made on the day of serving. This cake is best enjoyed on the day it is assembled but will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container.