Domestic Sluttery Back in Town

So I’m very excited to announce that the brilliant team behind Domestic Sluttery are BACK with DS 2.0, this time in the form of a daily newsletter.

If you like stories about remarkable women, stylish homeware, ridiculous objects, fancy jewellery, sales bargains, gift ideas, easy, tasty recipes and swishy skirts then Domestic Sluttery is the newsletter for you.

© Laura Madeleine 2016

St Clement’s Polenta Cake

I’m back on occasional cake duty for them, too! So far, recipes have included St Clement’s Polenta Cake and Caramapple Pudding. Future ones? You’ll just have to sign up… https://www.domesticsluttery.com/

P.s. they’re also looking for brilliant food writers for paid, month-long residencies. Sound like your thing? Get on board!

 

Cake Time: Hazelnut Cake with a Blackberry Sloe Gin Glaze

It’s officially September! Although I’m always sad to see the evenings get darker and cooler, to see the high, summer grass start to wilt and the leaves to brown, there’s so much I love about autumn. I love the scent of woodsmoke that starts to creep through the chill air in the evenings. I love the high, blue skies and brisk clouds. I love the old-gold colour of the sun, the saffron-yellow leaves, jumpers and boots and long walks that end in pubs with open fires…

And of course, then there’s the food. After weeks of salads and tarts and “light” summer dishes (in my book “light” still means immoral quantities of cheese), it’s exciting to be able to indulge in some heartier, cosier meals. And for me, autumn means one unmissable thing.

BLACKBERRIES.

I love blackberries. In crumbles, in cakes, eaten straight from the hedgerows… Not the flavourless, seedless plump shop-bought ones. You can keep them. I love tramping through meadows and straddling ditches, half-falling into hedgerows to pick small, deep, purple-black berries, so ripe they burst on your hands until you’re covered in juice. Wild blackberries have a flavour that’s impossible to replicate: sweet but mellow, perfumed and somehow darker than other berries. I like to think it’s because blackberries ripen as the nights grow shorter: they come along hand-in-hand with these plummeting late-summer twilights.

So without further ado, here’s one of my favourite recipes for them, which I hope captures the flavours of coming autumn. I’ll be posting more blackberry recipes over the next few weeks, so get out there and get berrying!

Hazelnut Cake with a Blackberry Sloe Gin Glaze

Ingredients:
For the cake:

  • 175g butter, very soft
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 40g ground almonds
  • Handful of hazelnuts, chopped
For the glaze
  • 100g fresh blackberries
  • 7 tbsp sloe gin
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean extract or 1/2 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped out (if you can afford it, this stuff is so much better than standard vanilla extract)

Allons-y!
The cake:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Grease and line a 450g / 1lb loaf tin.
  2. Place the chopped hazelnuts in a dry pan and toast over a low heat for around 2 minutes. (Watch out, they catch and burn very easily). Tip onto a plate to cool.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Stir together the flour and almonds in a bowl.
  5. Beat the eggs, then add a third of them to the butter mixture, along with a third of the flour and almonds and stir gently to combine. Repeat with the remaining thirds, being careful not to over-mix.
  6. Stir in the cooled hazelnuts.
  7. Tip into your prepared loaf tin and smooth over the top.
  8. Bake for around 40-45 minutes or until risen and golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean. (A few crumbs are fine).
The glaze:
  1. Place 100g blackberries into a saucepan, along with 4 tbsp sloe gin, the sugar and the vanilla extract. (Save a few whole berries for decoration and surreptitious eating).
  2. Stir together and cook over a low heat until the blackberries can be crushed with the back of a spoon and the liquid has reduced, about 10 minutes.
  3. Place a mesh sieve over a bowl and strain the liquid, smooshing the berry-pulp with a spoon to get all the gorgeous, purple juice out.
  4. Return the liquid to the pan and reduce over a low heat again until thickened, another 4-5 minutes or so.
  5. Set aside and stir regularly: you’ll need to use this quite quickly before it sets, so have that cake ready.
  6. Prick holes in the top of the cake whilst still warm and drizzle over the remaining 2 tbsps of sloe gin.
  7. Remove from the paper and place on a wire rack. (You might want something underneath – this bit gets messy).
  8. Spoon the glaze over the cake whilst still warm, pushing to the edges with the back of a spoon. Decorate with the remaining blackberries and bask in the ruby, sticky deliciousness that has now stained your entire kitchen.

This recipe first appeared on the much-loved, much-missed Domestic Sluttery.

Friday Cake Time: Tiramisu Cake

tiramisu cake
I LOVE tiramisu. Love, love love it. What’s not to love? Booze, coffee, mascarpone… But, it’s hard to stick birthday candles in tiramisu. So, a few years ago I came up with this hybrid: tiramisu cake! All the flavours of tiramisu, masquerading as a cake. I made it again recently for a very important birthday, so thought I’d share it with everyone here.

Tiramisu Cake

Overall preparation time: 35-40 minutes
Baking time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients:
For the cake:

  • 175g butter, very soft (but not melted)
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp strong coffee
  • 1 tbsp brandy
For the filling and topping*:
  • 4 tbsp strong, cold coffee
  • 6 tbsp brandy (or amaretto, if you prefer)
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • A couple of squares of good quality dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • A handful coffee beans (to decorate)
Allons-y!
The cake:
  1. Preheat your oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.
  2. Grease and line the bottoms of two 20cm cake tins.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, along with a tablespoon of flour to stop the mixture from splitting.
  5. Sift in the remaining flour and baking powder, and fold in gently.
  6. Carefully stir in the vanilla, coffee and brandy.
  7. Spoon into the cake tins and bake for 30-35 minutes, until risen and golden and the sponge springs back when pressed.
  8. Leave to cool in the tins for a minute or two, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
The filling:
  1. Whilst the cakes are still just warm, turn them over and drizzle the undersides alternately with the coffee and 4 tbsp of the brandy.
  2. Place the mascarpone in a bowl, along with the icing sugar and remaining 2 tbsp brandy and beat together.
  3. When the cakes are cool, smooth half the mascarpone over the bottom cake.
  4. Finely grate the dark chocolate over the mascarpone, then sandwich the other cake on top.
  5. Smooth mascarpone over the top layer.
  6. When you’re ready to serve the cake, dust the top liberally with cocoa powder, decorate with coffee beans and stand back, to survey your masterpiece.

 

* If you’re a fan of lots of topping and filling, you can always double up the quantities here; in my experience it results in slightly too much to be feasible for one cake, but hey, you can always eat the rest of it on its own…

 

This recipe was first featured on the much-loved, much-missed Domestic Sluttery.

Cake Time: Persimmon and Cardamom Cake

CU61DsmWIAA_bO2Up at my local greengrocer the other day, I noticed a tray of strange, orange-red fruits. They were about the size of a small aubergine, and looked so ripe, that they were almost glowing. Now, since I’m an absolute fruit fiend, I get unduly excited when confronted with a fruit I don’t know anything about. The local grocer is usually great at getting in seasonal produce, so whatever this mystery fruit was, it had to be the right time of year for it, too. I was baffled.

“It’s a kaki fruit,” explained the grocer, “a type of persimmon. And they’re not overripe, that’s how they’re supposed to be.”

I was dubious; they looked so ripe they were almost bursting, and even paying for my haul, I managed to stick my thumb through the skin, nearly causing a fruit explosion. But, I discovered after a bit of internet research, that is when they’re at their best. They ripen on the trees well into autumn, after all the leaves have fallen, so that they look like bright orange paper lanterns on the bare branches.

800px-Diospyros_kaki-9

I hardly needed to peel the one I bought; the skin just came away and I scooped out the coral-coloured flesh like jam. It has a subtle taste, gently perfumed and very sweet without being at all sharp. Of course, I started thinking about how I could bake it into a cake.

Another quick internet scan (where, as usual Rachel Eats came to the timely rescue) revealed the people usually bake persimmon cakes in bundt rings. I guess this makes sense, since the fruit with naturally make a cake heavier, so a bundt ring will distribute the heat more evenly and stop any sinking in the middle nonsense.

I have some mini-bundt tins that I’ve never had the opportunity to use, so we were alright there. After a quick raid of the spice rack, I changed my mind from nutmeg to cardamom and presto. Cake time.

If you do see any kaki fruit on your travels, grab them quick! You won’t be disappointed.

L x

(p.s. sorry about the low-fi picture, didn’t have the camera this weekend!)

Persimmon & Cardamom Cake 

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 20-25 minutes 

For the cake:
  • 180g butter, softened
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 180g self-raising flour
  • 1 very ripe persimmon, flesh scooped out
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 5 or 6 cardamon pods
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, to finish

Allons-y!
The cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4. Grease 4 mini-bundt or mini-loaf tins
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and very fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time, along with a tablespoon of the flour to stop the mixture from splitting. Beat well in between.
  4. Sift in the rest of the flour and stir until just combined.
  5. In a pestle and mortar, bash open the cardamom pods to get at the seeds. Fish out any husk and then pound the seeds into as fine a powder as you can manage.
  6. Tip the ground cardamoms seeds, vanilla and persimmon flesh into the batter and stir gently to incorporate.
  7. Spoon into the tins, filling them 3/4 full.
  8. Bake for around 25 minutes (depending on your oven!) until set and a skewer or toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool slightly.
  10. Turn out onto a plate, dust with icing sugar and enjoy!

Cake Time: Raspberry Ripple Cake

raspberry ripple cake © L Madeleine

It’s a truth universally acknowledged amongst my friends and family that I am what is known as  a berry fiend. Raspberries, strawberries, redcurrants, cherries, blackberries, blackcurrants… any berry or red fruit and I am the happiest person in the world. Raspberries are my absolute favourite though. I can disappear a punnet of them in under a minute.

Food-wise, I think this is the best time of year, purely because berries and cherries are ripe in the UK, and they’re beautiful: fragrant and perfumed, tasting of the sun and summer, rather than watery, tasteless versions force-grown and imported in winter. They’re so delicious, you really don’t need to do anything with them, but if you are overwhelmed by one particular variety, here’s a recipe for you.

You can substitute the raspberries for another fruit – blackcurrants work well – and mess around with the jam and nut combo, if you like. Blackberry and hazelnut would work nicely, later on in the season. Anyway, enjoy!

L x

Raspberry Ripple Cake
Ingredients:
For the cake
  • 175g butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (do try to use real vanilla if you can, though)
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • 3 tbsp raspberries
For the topping
  • 2 large tbsp raspberry jam
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
Allons-y!
The cake:
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Grease and line a 900g / 2lb loaf tin.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat the eggs, then add to the mixture gradually, with 2 teaspoons of the flour to stop the mixture from separating. Mix well.
  4. Using the point of a sharp knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and stir into the mixture (Or add the vanilla extract, if using).
  5. Sift in the remaining flour in batches, folding in gently using a metal spoon. Add the almonds, along with enough milk to make a smooth batter and stir gently to combine.
  6. Place the raspberries in a separate bowl and mash into a puree.
  7. Take 2 tbsp of the batter and add to the raspberries, stirring well.
  8. Using a separate spoon for each mixture, dollop the batters into the tin alternately, making sure the bottom and sides of the tin are evenly covered.
  9. Smooth over the top. Use a skewer to drag through the mixture in swirls to create a ripple effect.
  10. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the top is set and a skewer comes out clean. (If  the top is browning too quickly, cover in foil until the rest catches up. Fan ovens are notorious for this!) Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and remove the greaseproof paper.
The topping:
  1. Melt the raspberry jam in a saucepan, adding a quick splash of water if it looks too thick. Set aside.
  2. In a dry frying pan gently toast the almonds, tossing frequently until golden brown. (Careful, they’ll burn the moment you’ve got your back turned…)
  3. Spoon the raspberry syrup evenly over the cooled cake and scatter with toasted almonds to decorate.

This recipe first appeared on the much-loved, much-missed Domestic Sluttery

Monday Recipe: Pimms Cake

Pimms Cake © Laura MadeleineIt is no secret that I’ll put booze into cakes at the slightest provocation. One day, I found myself staring at the liquor shelf and getting desperate. Gin? DONE. Multiple times. Rum? DONE. Brandy? I put it in everything. Hmm, Pimms… strange, brown, herby liqueur, what can I do with you?

 

Pimms was brought into being by James Pimm in 1823. He was a farmer’s son who’d studied Theology in Edinburgh, but luckily for us, he decided to open an oyster bar opposite Buckingham Palace instead. It was a roaring success, and he went on to invent a gin-based cocktail to accompany the oysters; hey presto, No.1 Pimms.

Since it’s that time of year again when we drag the ol’ Pimms out from the back of the cupboard and spend a glorious(ish) few weeks drinking it in alarming quantities while watching the best tennis players in the world sweat it out in a court, I thought I might bring this recipe out of retirement too. It’s a loaf cake, combining orange, lemon, mint, strawberries and a generous helping of Pimms itself. It was a favourite with the lovely readers of Domestic Sluttery last year, so hopefully, you’ll like it too.

L x

Pimms Cake 

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 45-50 minutes 

For the cake:
  • 225g butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • Zest of 1 lemon, plus a generous squeeze of juice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Handful mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Pimms

For the syrup:

  • 50ml Pimms
  • Juice of half an orange
  • Generous squeeze lemon juice
  • 2 inches cucumber, chopped
  • 1 heaped tbsp icing sugar
To decorate:
  • Icing sugar
  • Chopped mint leaves
  • Strawberries

Allons-y!
The cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 900g / 2lb loaf tin.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and very fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time, along with a tablespoon of the flour to stop the mixture from splitting. Beat well in between.
  4. Sift in the rest of the flour and stir gently until just combined.
  5. Add in the lemon and orange zest, the squeeze of juice, the mint leaves and the Pimms and stir gently into the cake mixture.
  6. Tip into the loaf tin and smooth the over the top
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer or toothpick comes out clean. If the top is browning too fast, cover with foil until the centre catches up.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool slightly.
The syrup:
  1. While the cake is cooking, make yourself a Pimms.
  2. Then, place all the ingredients for the syrup in a jug. Stir together well and add a little more sugar to your taste, if necessary.
  3. Tip into a small saucepan over a medium heat and warm gently for a few minutes, to allow the flavours to come together.
  4. While the cake is still warm, poke holes all over the top with a fork or a skewer.
  5. Spoon over the liquid of the syrup (not the cucumber) so that it soaks in. You might need to wait and do a second round. (You’ll probably have syrup left over).
  6. Quickly dust with a generous helping of icing sugar.
  7. Decorate with a sprinkling of chopped mint, fresh sliced strawberries, and of course, a jug of Pimms…

This recipe first appeared on the much-loved, much-missed Domestic Sluttery. 

Book Release Cake Time: St Germain Cake

St Germain CakeToday I’m sharing a recipe that I created specially for the launch of The Confectioner’s Tale. It involves some of my favourite things: raspberries, almonds and a more than generous helping of St Germain: a beautiful elderflower liqueur made from blossom hand-picked in the Alps (with a bottle that’s pure Belle Époque).

Named after the area on the Parisian Left Bank that – in its heyday – harboured artists, philosophers, bakers, jazz musicians, writers and the oldest food market in the city, it hopefully conjures up just a little of heady sweetness and decadence that were to be found there.

St Germain Cake

For the cake:

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 3 tbsp St Germain (elderflower liqueur: you can use cordial if you prefer)
  • zest of ½ a lemon
  • 100g fresh raspberries
  • 1 tbsp flour

For the elderflower syrup:

  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 50ml St Germain
  • Zest and juice of ½ a lemon
  • Handful of flaked almonds
  • Icing sugar and lemon zest, to decorate

Allons-y!

The cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line a 23cm, 9 inch deep cake tin.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.
  4. Add a quarter of the eggs, along with a tablespoon of the flour and beat well. Repeat with rest of the eggs, beating well in between.
  5. Add the rest of the flour in thirds, folding in lightly in between until it is just incorporated and no streaks are showing.
  6. Gently stir in the ground almonds, St Germain and lemon zest.
  7. Lightly toss the raspberries in flour (this’ll stop them all sinking to the bottom) and carefully stir them into the mixture. Add a splash of milk if the mixture needs loosening.
  8. Dollop into the tin, smooth over the top and bake for around 40-45 minutes, or until it’s golden and risen, and a skewer inserted (and held there for a few seconds) comes out clean. Leave to cool slightly in its tin on a wire rack.

The syrup:

  1. Place the sugar, St Germain, lemon juice and zest in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a simmer and reduce over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes until the consistency thickens. Be careful of the hot sugar.
  3. When the cake is out of the oven, prick holes all over the surface with a skewer and spoon over the syrup so that it soaks in.
  4. Lightly toast the flaked almonds in a dry frying pan for 2-3 minutes. Keep your eye on them, because they’ll catch quickly.
  5. Decorate with the almonds, a dusting of icing sugar, lemon zest and eat warm, with a café, a glass of pastis or if you’re feeling decadent, champagne.

Friday Cake Time: Dulce de Leche Cake

Dulce de Leche Cake © Laura Madeleine

This cake has no shame; it’s a sticky, nutty, creamy, unashamedly cakey cake. A combination of mascarpone and hazelnuts keeps it from sliding into sugar-coma territory, but if you have a sweet tooth, this’un’s for you.

You can make dulce de leche yourself, if you’ve the patience, but otherwise just buy it in a tin. Spoon-licking lingerers will no doubt “help” you with the ingredients.

Dulce de Leche Cake
You will need:
For the cake
  • 175g butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g chopped hazelnuts

For the filling and topping:

  • 300g mascarpone
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out or a few drops vanilla essence
  • 25g chopped hazelnuts, to decorate
  • 1/2 tin or about 5 tablespoons of dulce de leche (caramel)

Make it!
The cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Lightly grease and line a 23cm round cake tin.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour with each to help the mixture stay smooth.
  4. Gently fold in the remainder of the flour and baking powder, taking care not to over-mix.
  5. When just combined, stir in the chopped hazelnuts.
  6. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Cool in the tin for a few minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

The filling and topping:

  1. Spoon the mascarpone into a bowl. Add the vanilla and icing sugar (you might want a little more, to taste) and beat together. Set aside.
  2. Finely chop or give the hazelnuts a quick blitz with a hand blender.
  3. Tip them into a small, dry frying pan and toast over a medium heat for a few minutes until fragrant – careful, they burn quickly. Set aside to cool.
  4. Carefully cut your cake in half.
  5. Spread the bottom half of the cake with a thick layer of the dulce de leche or caramel, followed by half of the mascarpone.
  6. Sandwich the top on and spread the remaining mascarpone over the top and sides of the cake.
  7. Swirl the remaining caramel over the surface and add the toasted hazelnuts to finish.
This recipe was first featured on the wonderful, much-missed Domestic Sluttery. 

Friday Cake Time: Marmite Cake

Marmite Cake © Laura Madeleine
When I was born, my sister Lucy was so disgusted by the idea of a baby sister that she stopped speaking for an entire year. Ok, she was only two. Impressive stubbornness, even then. Anyway,  since she wouldn’t speak, every morning, my mum had to do an identity parade of condiments to find out what Lucy wanted on her toast. She would point at the shelf, and read out what was there: “Jam? Peanut Butter? Marmite?” The last one would always get a frantic nodding. Hardly surprising then, that I said my first word at breakfast-time one day. Can you guess? Yep. Not “Mum” or “Dad” but “Marmite”.
This cake’s a celebration of the great, brown, yeasty stuff. I love it. Especially with cheese and melted butter. Be still my heart.  It’s a savoury cake, before any of you run away screaming, and that makes it great for picnics.

 

Marmite Cake

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30-40 minutes 

You’ll need:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 200g mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 tablespoon plain yoghurt
  • 1 (large) tsp Marmite
  • Large pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
For the topping:
  • 20g butter, melted
  • 2 tsp Marmite

Make it!

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and lightly grease a 20cm round cake tin. (A silicon one works well for this).
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, add 150g of the cheese and stir to combine. (Save the rest of the cheese for the top later).
  3. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs until very frothy and gradually add the olive oil, milk, yoghurt, and Marmite, whisking well. Season with the salt and black pepper, if you like.
  4. Add the egg to the flour mixture in batches, stirring to combine.
  5. Scoop into the cake tin and smooth out evenly, the sprinkle the top with the rest of the grated cheese.
  6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cheese is golden and the cake feels firm.
  7. Cool in the tin for a few minutes.
The topping:
  1. Melt the butter and Marmite together in a small saucepan.
  2. Whilst the cake is still warm, poke holes in the top with a skewer and drizzle over the melted butter-Marmite mixture.
  3. Serve with LARGE SLICES OF CHEDDAR and revel in glorious Marmiteyness…

This recipe was first featured on the wonderful, much-missed Domestic Sluttery. 

Friday Cake Time: Gin and Tonic Cake

Gin and Tonic CakeYes, you heard me. Gin and Tonic. In a cake. I am unapologetic.

Actually, this cake contains no real gin (stop sighing in disappointment, you can drink the gin while you eat the cake) so it’s fine for non-drinkers and drinkers alike.

Instead, it’s a happy sponge meeting of juniper and bitter lemon. It’s good with a cup of tea, or with… oh, go on, crack open the Bombay Sapphire.

Gin & Tonic Cake

You will need:
For the cake:
  • 200g butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp dried juniper berries
  • 60ml milk
For the bitter lemon syrup:
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 50ml bitter lemon or tonic water, if you’re in a fix
  • Zest and juice 1/2 a lemon
  • Icing sugar, to decorate
Make it!
The cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Grease and line a 23cm, 9 inch deep cake tin.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.
  4. Add a quarter of the eggs, along with a tablespoon of the flour and beat well. Repeat with rest of the eggs, beating well in between.
  5. Add the rest of the flour in thirds, folding in lightly in between until it is just incorporated and no streaks are showing.
  6. Crush the juniper berries in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Place in a pan with the milk and heat until it comes to a gentle simmer.
  7. Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl and set aside to cool for a moment.
  8. When cool, stir gently into the cake mixture.
  9. Dollop into the tin, smooth over the top and bake for around 30 minutes, or until it’s golden and risen, and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
The syrup:
  1. Place the sugar, bitter lemon, lemon juice and zest in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a simmer and reduce over a medium heat until the consistency thickens. BE CAREFUL because hot sugar is HOT.
  3. When the cake is out of the oven, prick holes all over the surface with a skewer and spoon on the sugar syrup so that it soaks in. Dust with icing sugar and leave for a few minutes before turning out of the tin and leaving to cool on a wire rack.
  4. Decorate with a little more icing sugar, lemon zest and eat as a side to your favourite gin-based beverage.

This recipe was first featured on the much-loved, much-missed Domestic Sluttery.