There has definitely been a trend over the past couple of years to make your own flavoured spirits, be it Sloe Gin over at Blue Kitchen Bakes or Limoncello over at The Usual Saucepans. From my (somewhat limited) internet research and my own foray into DIY liqueur, I've discovered that making your own liqueur doesn't have to take months - it can be done in less than 5 days!
Therefore, this month I want you all to bake with a DIY Liqueur (i.e. one you've made yourself). I'm not asking you to make the vodka/gin too - I agree that that would be asking a little too much - but the part where you add sugar and your flavour of choice to the spirit must have been done by you. I know we're all very busy these days so you don't have to make your own spirit especially for the challenge if you've already got one lurking in your cupboard.
The flavour possibilities for this challenge are endless - you could go more traditional with a sloe gin, or you could go all crazy on us and make a pumpkin liqueur. Spiced pumpkin liqueur? Somebody please make that.
You could even make the liqueur according to your baking plans for the month. For example, if you're planning on making an apple cake, you could make an apple liqueur to add a kick to the sponge or icing, or maybe a cinnamon one? Go crazy!
Here's a basic recipe to get your minds whirring (in case my excitement didn't get you in the mood already), adapted from Serious Eats:
- 500g Fruit/5 Tbsp Ground Spice
- 350mL Vodka/Gin
- 240g Caster Sugar
- 240mL Water
- Chop up any large fruit into 1cm cubes and place in a sealable jar or two.
- Add the vodka (divide equally between the jars if using multiple ones).
- Leave for 3 days in a cool dark place, shaking every 24 hours or so.
- Open the jars up and strain using a fine mesh sieve. Squash the fruit down to get all of the liquid out.
- Place the sugar and water in a saucepan over a medium heat and leave until the sugar has melted and the contents of the saucepan have formed a syrup.
- Allow the syrup to cool, then stir it into the alcohol. Decant into a bottle or two, seal and leave for at least 24 hours before using it.
I hope that provides you with some inspiration! If you have any questions or problems, just get in touch. As regualr entrants will tell you, I can be pretty flexible with entries. Here's a list of the basic rules (a full list can be found here):
- Bake or cook something food-related containing your DIY liqueur.
- Write a post about it on your blog and link back to my blog, Cake Of The Week, and mention Baking With Spirit.
- Email the link to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name, your blog and the photo you want me to use in the round-up. If you tweet me @CakeOfTheWeek and/or use #bakingwithspirit I will endeavour to retweet!
- The deadline is midnight on the 28th October 2013.