I've had the very great pleasure of a visit from a friend from university days this week. It's been far to long since we last saw each other and really satisfying to finally have a good catch up. It was also a really good excuse to bake a cake. she had already sent me a link for a 'gin and tonic' cake which had been enough to inspire me to finally buy a 2lb/1 kilo loaf tin (I should have got one years ago rather than messing around with smaller tins and cleaning up the inevitable charred remains of escaped cake mix from the bottom of the oven. For years.)
Anyway I had the tin, the gin, the time, the likelihood of an appreciative co cake eater, and plenty of lemons and limes so I had a go. I changed the original recipe (which called for a whopping 10 measures of gin - or almost half a bottle) a bit and am reasonably pleased with the result (it still has a bit to much gin in it) so will give 'my' version.
Start with a lined 2lb loaf tin and the oven heating to 180 degrees. Weigh 3 eggs in their shells. If they're largish eggs they will come in at about 7 ounces, much under or small eggs and you'll want 4. Weigh sugar and butter to the same weight as the eggs and cream together until light and fluffy. Take the same amount of self raising flour, the grated rind and juice of a lemon and a lime, and the eggs - add them slowly and beat well. Bake for about 45 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. I added gin to the sponge at this stage too, but don't actually think it needs it so won't do so again.
When the cake is almost done make a syrup with a couple of spoons of sugar, the juice and rinds of 2 more limes and another lemon, and when it comes off the heat a good slosh of gin (2 measures should do). Stab the poor cake repeatedly when it comes out the oven and poor the syrup all over/through it and then leave to soak in whilst it cools.
Finally make an icing with the juice and rind of yet another lime, icing sugar, and another good slug of gin. Using limes rather than just lemons gives more of the zing that a gin and tonic would deliver (this is quite a potent cake) but gin should work beautifully with pretty much any citrus fruit do there's no need to be especially fussy about it.
I love a good loaf cake, and gin so this will be a keeping recipe. The new tin did a splendid job of containing all the batter, and though my friend may have gone back home I still have a sizeable bit of cake to remember her by...