11 November 2012

Gin, Lemon and Blackberry Tray Bake

I've recently got into a bad habit where I buy a 100g Galaxy bar at the weekend and eat it in one sitting. I've known for a while now that I'm unable to restrain myself to one or two rows: it has to be all or nothing. This isn't just limited to Galaxy, either: it's all chocolate. I used to be able to buy a bar of white chocolate and make it last a week, but over time the sickly-sweet sensation that occurred after a few squares dissipated, and I could eat more and more until, whoops, the whole bar was gone. I now only buy large bars of chocolate when I either need them for cooking or, as is the case with the Galaxy bars of late, I want indulge myself and eat the whole thing in one.

To counter this bad habit, I thought I'd make a relatively sin-free (and by that I mean icing-free) tray bake. I wanted to make something with gin for Baking With Spirit, and I had heard that it went well with blueberries and lemons. Blackberries are in season though, and since they are probably my favourite berry I used them instead.

The cake is sweet, moist and light - perfect. My cakes never seem to rise to the great heights that I see elsewhere, but they rose well enough and still taste very good. I think these would be best served warm and dusted with some icing sugar, but they are just as nice when served cold. I think they would even go well with custard.

  • 200g Self Raising Flour
  • 200g Butter
  • 200g Caster Sugar (or 120g Fruit Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 250g Blackberries
  • 60mL Gin
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 40mL Milk

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan and line a roasting tin or deep baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, stirring until smooth.
  • Sieve the flour and baking powder into the batter and fold it in until well combined.
  • Grate the lemon zest into the bowl, then cut it in half and squeeze in the juice, then stir them in.
  • Add the gin and enough milk to give the cake a soft dropping consistency, stirring well.
  • Finally, fold in the blueberries and pour the batter into the baking tray.
  • Bake for 22 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean.

For tips on how to bake cakes, take a look at The Basics.

As it contains gin, I'm entering this tray bake into Baking With Spirit, my monthly challenge where I invite you to spike your baking. This month, the alcohol of choice is gin.  If this sounds like it might be up your street, you have until the 28th to enter so there's plenty of time to get involved!

I'll be striving for simplicity next weekend as I'm going to be prepping for three friends' birthday extravaganza the week afterwards. I'll be telling you all about that once it has happened. It should be pretty epic!

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