GINNERS ARE GRINNERS...

Gin & Tonic Tart with Candied Lemon

For the Curd

  • 1 1/3 cups (295g) caster sugar
  • 8 eggs, plus 4 egg yolks
  • 250g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 3 lemons, zest finely grated and juiced
  • 1 lime, zest finely grated and juiced
  • 2 teaspoons juniper berries
  • 2 titanium-strength gelatine leaves
  • 1 lime, extra, thinly sliced to serve

For the Almond Shortcrust

  • 1/2 cup (50g) almond meal
  • 1 1/4 cups (185g) plain flour
  • 1/3 cup (40g) pure icing sugar
  • 125g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1-2 tablespoons tonic water, chilled

For the Candied Lemon

  • 1 1/2 cups (330g) caster sugar
  • 1 cup (250ml) tonic water, chilled
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) gin

METHOD

Curd Method

  1. To make the curd, place sugar, eggs and egg yolks, butter, lemon and lime zest and juice, and juniper berries in a large heatproof bowl. Whisk to combine.
  2. Place over a saucepan of gently simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water) and cook, whisking constantly, for 6-8 minutes until thickened.
  3. Meanwhile, soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Remove curd from heat, squeeze excess water from the gelatine and add the leaves to the bowl, whisking to combine. Strain into a clean bowl, discarding solids. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or until thickened.

Almond Shortcrust Method

  1. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Grease and line the base of a 22cm springform cake pan with baking paper.
  3. Place the almond meal, flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and whiz until a rough crumb. With the motor running, add the egg yolk and vanilla, then add the tonic water, a little at a time, until pastry comes together.
  4. Press dough into the lined cake pan to create a 3mm thick base and sides about 3mm thick. Chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Trim the sides of the tart to a straight edge, about 3.5cm deep. Using a fork, prick holes in the bottom of the tart. Line the tart with baking paper and fill with pastry weights.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove pastry weights and baking paper.
  7. Beat remaining egg and brush over tart. Return tart to oven for a further 10 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
  8. Set aside until cool, then remove from pan.
  9. Spread thickened curd into the tart case and chill for 4 hours or until firm.

Candied Lemon Method

  1. Meanwhile, for candied lemon, place sugar and tonic water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and add lemon.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes or until soft, then remove the lemon and spread evenly over a wire rack to cool.
  3. Cool syrup slightly, then add the gin and cool completely.
  4. Top tart with candied lemon and extra lime slices. Drizzle with gin syrup to serve.

Image thanks to @deliciousaus

showstopping Honey Spice Gin Cake

For the Cake

  • 3-1/2 cups all purpose flour, spooned into a measuring cup and leveled-off with a knife
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup coffee or strong tea
  • 1/2 cup fresh or store-bought orange juice (for fresh, you’ll need 2 oranges)
  • 1/4 cup gin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Buttercream Icing

  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 tblsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups icing sugar

For the Candied Hazelnuts

  • 24 hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup water

METHOD

Cake Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Spray the two round pans with nonstick cooking spray and dust lightly with flour.
  2. In a very large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Make a well in the center and add the oil, honey, brown sugar, eggs, coffee or tea, orange juice, gin and vanilla extract.
  3. Using a strong wire whisk or an electric mixer on low speed, mix the ingredients until well combined. The batter will be pourable.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Place the pan(s) on 2 baking sheets stacked together and bake until the cakes are set, domed and spring back when you touch them gently in the center (the stacked sheet pans will prevent the bottom from browning too quickly). Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked through. Let the cakes stand for 15 minutes before removing from the pans. Run a butter knife along the edges of the pans to help the cakes release, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Icing Method

  1. For the icing, beat all Ingredients with mixer until well combined. Add extra milk by the drop if too thick.
  2. Arrange the icing on the cooled cakes using a piping bag.

Candied Hazelnuts Method

  1. Gently insert pointed end of a long wooden skewer into the side of each hazelnut. Place a cutting board along the edge of a countertop; place newspaper on the floor, directly under cutting board.
  2. Prepare an ice-water bath. Heat sugar and the water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and syrup is clear. Stop stirring; cook until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Continue to boil, gently swirling occasionally, until medium amber. Plunge pan into ice bath to stop the cooking; let stand until thickened, about 10 minutes. (To test: Dip a skewer in caramel and lift a few inches; if a thick drip slowly forms and holds a string, the caramel is ready.)
  3. Dip a skewered hazelnut into caramel, letting excess drip back into pan. When dripping syrup becomes a thin string, secure opposite end of skewer under cutting board. Repeat with remaining hazelnuts. (If caramel hardens before all hazelnuts have been dipped, rewarm it over low heat.) Let stand until caramel string has hardened, about 5 minutes; break each string to desired length. Carefully remove skewers. Candied hazelnuts should be used the same day; store, uncovered, at room temperature until ready to serve cupcakes.

GIN and TONIC TIRAMISU TERRINE

Serves 10

Prep 20 mins (+ cooling & 6 hours chilling time)

Cooking 10 mins

1 cup (250ml) gin

2 cups (500ml) tonic water

2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar

2 limes, zested and juiced

500g mascarpone

210ml coconut cream

1/4 cup (40g) icing sugar mixture

12 sponge finger biscuits

Whipped cream, to serve

1/2 Lebanese cucumber, peeled into ribbons

Lime slices, to serve

Mint leaves, to serve

1. Line a 10cm x 20cm (base measurement) loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing the sides to overhang.

2. Combine the gin, tonic water, caster sugar, lime zest and lime juice in a medium saucepan. Over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 mins or until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil. Cook for 3-4 mins or until syrup thickens slightly. Set aside to cool.  Reserve 1/4 cup (60ml) of the gin mixture in a bowl in the fridge.

3. Use an electric mixer to  whisk the mascarpone, coconut cream and icing sugar in a large bowl until firm peaks form. Add one-third of the remaining gin mixture to the mascarpone mixture and stir to combine.

4. Transfer remaining gin mixture to a shallow dish. Dip 1 biscuit in gin mixture and turn to coat. Arrange lengthways in base of the lined pan. Repeat with 3 more biscuits. Spoon over one-third of the mascarpone mixture.

5. Continue layering with remaining biscuits and mascarpone mixture, dipping the biscuits in the gin mixture before arranging in the pan. Cover the terrine with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 6 hours or until firm.

6. Turn terrine into a serving plate. Remove the plastic wrap and spoon over the whipped cream.

7. Remove the reserved gin mixture from the fridge. Add the combined cucumber and gently toss to combine. Arrange over the top of the terrine with the lime slices. Sprinkle with the mint. Cut into slices to serve.

Gin and Tonic Drizzle Cake

An exquisite Gin & Tonic Drizzle cake! Just use a classic lemon tea cake recipe and add gin to the drizzle!

Ingredients

  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 lemon, zested

For the drizzle topping

  • 1½ lemons, juiced
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 20ml Gin

Method:

  • Heat the oven to 180C. Beat together the butter and caster sugar until pale and creamy, then add the eggs, one at a time, slowly mixing through. Sift in the self-raising flour, then add the lemon zest and mix until well combined. Line a loaf tin (8 x 21cm) with greaseproof paper, then spoon in the mixture and level the top with a spoon. Bake for 45-50 mins until a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

    While the cake is cooling in its tin, mix together the lemons juice, gin and caster sugar to make the drizzle. Prick the warm cake all over with a skewer or fork, then pour over the drizzle – the juice will sink in and the sugar will form a lovely, crisp topping. Leave in the tin until completely cool, then remove and serve. Will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

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