As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, what better way to keep nice and toasty in the kitchen, baking up a storm! With a dash of gin of course…
The botanicals in gin are clever little things. They determine not only taste but also texture and add a complexity to the spirit that means you can really experiment with. Gone are the days of the slightly humble G&T (although it’s still our favourite tipple!) now you can’t go in to a bar with being confronted with a gin cocktail list, pages long!
Baking with gin is also a huge trend, thanks to the different botanicals and flavours out there. This upside-down cake uses flavours of orange, cardamom and almond - all botanicals found in our favourite craft gins! For this recipe we would suggest a citrus led gin, you don’t have to match all the botanicals…
Orange, Cardamom and Almond 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.
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 citrus-led gin