gin

All posts tagged gin

Baking With Booze: Gin, Passion Fruit and Lime Cheesecake

Published October 2, 2014 by The Feminist

Summer is now officially over and I can’t even begin to describe how terrified I am about the prospect of colder weather. Yes, there are the really cool fall clothes. Sure, there is the really yummy fall food. But my toes are just too susceptible to the winter cold to be able to fully enjoy all of that.

Hence, I decided to remain in a summer mood for a little while longer (cuz ignorance is bliss y’all!) and conjured up this magnificent exotic cheesecake on a coconut and lime crust. This cheesecake is so sublime that even in the coldest of temperatures it will be able to light a fire in your heart. (please forgive me this cheesy quote, pun not intended.)

Gin, Passion Fruit and Lime Cheesecake on a Lime and Coconut Crust

Ingredients:

For the lime and coconut crust:

  • 100gr plain flour
  • Zest of one lime
  • 50gr caster sugar
  • 30gr desiccated coconut
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 20 gr peanut butter
  • 30gr butter

For the cheesecake:

  • 150gr sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 400gr Philadelphia light
  • Juice of 6 passion fruits, seeds removed
  • Juice of one lime
  • Zest of one lime
  • 100ml Gin

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment. Put all the ingredients for the crust into a mixer and mix until you get a crumb-like consistency. Press the mix into the bottom of your tin and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
  2. Lower the oven temperature to 150°C and start with your cheesecake filling.
  3. Mix together the eggs and sugar until light and frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together the lime, passion fruit juice and gin. Pour the liquid into the egg mixture. Stir well.
  4. Slowly fold in the cream cheese until everything is well combined. Pour the mixture onto your baked crust and sprinkle the lime zest over the top.
  5. Bake in the oven for 1 hour/ 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  6. Leave to cool completely before serving (with a gin & tonic, obv. )

Meet My Inner Magician: Banana and Cardamom Upside-Down Cake

Published July 6, 2014 by The Feminist

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Admittedly, this is not the most attractive looking cake, but trust me when I say that what it may lack in appearance it totally makes up for in flavour. The great benefit of baking things upside down is that it creates the loveliest and moistest of all cakes. Moreover, successfully flipping the cake once it has come out of the oven (and has cooled) makes you feel like a million dollar magician. In one fell swoop I managed to transform a plain, dull-looking cake into something that looks somewhat außerirdisch exotic. (Eat this David Copperfield! I’d like to see you conjure a delicious banana upside-down cake out of a top hat!)

This exquisite cake has an incredible “banany” flavour. However, while I was assembling the cake, I suddenly realized that I didn’t have enough bananas lying around in my kitchen to fill the entire bottom of the cake tin.

Quel problème.

So I decided to add some sweet melon as well. This added an extra fruity dimension, but given that this cake is called a banana upside-down cake, you don’t need to add the melon, should you decide to bake this one yourself. (and let’s be honest, you would be mad not to give this one a try!)

This is not where our flavour palate ends, dear readers. Because besides the gorgeous banana (and melon), I also added aromatic cardamom seeds and –brace yourself! – gin.

Yes, gin.

It didn’t make the cake taste boozy, but it added some extra herby and aromatic freshness together with the cardamom. (Plus: it’s just really cool to say that I put gin in my cake)

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Ingredients:
• (at least) 3 bananas, sliced
• 1 tsp cardamom seeds
• 4 tbsp gin (I used Bombay sapphire)
• 150gr butter
• 150gr caster sugar, plus two tablespoons extra
• 3 eggs
• 150gr plain flour
• ¾ tsp Baking powder
• ½ tsp Bicarbonate of soda

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Put baking parchment at the bottom of a loose-bottomed cake tin and grease with butter. Sprinkle two tablespoons of caster sugar on the bottom of your tin and layer the banana slices snugly on top of it. Sprinkle some cardamom seeds on top of the bananas (approx. ½ tsp)
2. Make the batter by mixing together the butter and sugar until pale. Mix in the eggs one at a time. Now add the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and the remaining cardamom.
3. Finally stir in the gin and pour the mixture on top of the banana slices.
4. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes and leave to cool completely before flipping the cake upside down.
5. If you want to add an extra caramelized top, sprinkle some extra sugar on top of the cake and put it bake under the grill for a couple of minutes.
6. Tadaa!

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Summertime Sweetness: Mango and Lime Coconut Cake With a Gin Syrup

Published April 26, 2014 by The Feminist

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I think I am going through a coconut phase. I simply can’t seem to get enough of it. Whether it is coconut milk, cream or oil, I somehow end up throwing it in practically all of my dishes, from savory curries to sugary desserts.

Oh yes, I am going coconuts. (Pardon the silly word play.)

One of the reasons for my coconut phase is my desire for hot and sunny weather. I even think this droopy winter has made me a bit bonkers in the head, because I honestly keep having day dreams about bounty white beaches, waving palm trees and hot dudes stepping out of the sea in tight speedo shorts…

Mmmm….

Wait, where was I?

Oh yeah, coconut.

This time I decided to use desiccated coconut in a lusciously exotic cake that is totally reminiscent of summer, hot and steamy weather and cocktail parties. The coconut gives this cake a sweet aroma but is not too overpowering and works wonders in combination with the zingy lime. The virgin white sponge is dotted with bright spots of gorgeously juicy mango and last but not least, there is a gin syrup to transport you to one of those sunny Caribbean beaches.

Summer may still be a couple of months away, but at least I have this cake to keep me warm until it arrives.

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Ingredients:

  • 170gr self-rising flour
  • 55gr desiccated coconut
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • Zest of half a lime
  • Juice of one lime
  • 80gr caster sugar
  • 30gr soy spread
  • 165gr Greek Yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp soy milk
  • ¾ mango, diced

For the gin syrup:

  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp Gin (I used Bombay Sapphire Gin East)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl and make a well in the middle.
  3. Lightly mix together the soy spread (or butter), yoghurt, egg and milk and pour into the well.
  4. Mix vigorously using all the arm muscles you’ve got but don’t beat the mixture for too long, otherwise you will get a tough dough.
  5. Stir in the juice and zest of lime and the diced mango.
  6. Pour the mixture into your baking tin and bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
  7. Once your cake comes out of the oven, quickly heat the gin with sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Now pour the syrup over the hot cake and let it soak up all the delicious booziness.

 

A Fool’s Foolish Week Recap: Leather Pants, Bombay Sapphire Gin and One Direction Craziness

Published August 18, 2013 by The Feminist

This was just one of those weeks. You know, those weeks when everything you do is based on silliness and an I-don’t-really-care-what-happens attitude, rather than being based on solid arguments or basic intelligence. Yes, those weeks.

A couple of days ago, my laptop decided he would no longer be my friend. Sad, really, because “Mr Bass” and I go way back. Since technology isn’t one of my strongest suits –and that’s putting it lightly- I gave him the honorable title of “Mr. Bass”, named after the sexiest TV character in history, Chuck Bass. I thought it would help me to grow fond of technology (I didn’t) or that his name would bring soothing in times of technological misfortune (it didn’t). So after a stormy relationship with quite a lot of lows and not so many highs, our union ship hit rock bottom. Mr. Bass dumped me. (read: the laptop crashed). After some obligatory sobs and frantic bashing of Mr. Bass against the wall, I took the moral high ground and decided to move on.

And what better way to move on than to go shopping for some leather pants? Ha! I can just feel y’all nodding in agreement! In an attempt to make Mr. Bass a tiny bit jealous, I wanted to treat myself to a wonderfully wicked outfit. Since leather is still a big trend next season, I deemed it was appropriate to go looking for a bold and figure-hugging (faux) leather pants. Contrary to common belief, leather pants aren’t just for cheap sluts or tough biker chicks, they are for every young and fashionable woman who wants to show the world that Mr. Bass can go screw himself (and for those who still got a tight booty to rely on). My best friend approved of the outfit(always a good sign) and told me I looked like Olivia Newton John in Grease. (maybe not always a good sign, but in this case, I’ll take that as a compliment)What do you think?

leather full

So this was my first impulsive act of the week. Many followed, and let’s just say that some of them are not to be shared with the blogosphere. No offence, I love you all but there are some things that are better left a secret. E.g. me sitting on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, watching Mad Men and eating my way through an entire can of pickled green chillies… (You didn’t hear that one from me)

One of the other silly things I did this week was bake. You might say that baking isn’t something to be ashamed of, that it is something to be boastful about. And you would have been quite right, dear readers, if it weren’t for the fact that I just wanted an excuse to open that bottle of Bombay Sapphire Gin.

bombay_sapphire_east

Blush. I’m not an alcoholic, far from it, but sometimes I do enjoy that wonderful prickling taste of a good spicy gin on my tongue (Like, say, when Mr. Bass just decided to bail on me). Pouring myself a gin and tonic of course would have been to straightforward; just having been through a tough break up I didn’t want to be boring. I wanted to do something exciting! So I decided to throw some gin into my cookies mixture. My pineapple, nuts and gin cookies were delicious.

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They really were! You just couldn’t taste the gin, which I considered a really big bummer, since the whole point of this baking concoction was to taste gin. I should have just poured myself a glass. Tssss. Silly me.

Apart from the gin debacle, these cookies were absolute treats!

Pineapple, nuts and gin cookies

Ingredients (makes 12)
• 125gr butter
• 150gr caster sugar
• 1 egg
• 200gr plain flour
• A pinch of salt
• 1/8 tsp baking powder
• 50gr chopped nuts, I used a mix of almonds, cashews and macadamia nuts
• 60gr dried pineapple, finely chopped
• 30ml Bombay Sapphire Gin East ( I thought the flavour of lemongrass would go brilliantly with the pineapple but any kind of gin will do, or none, as explained above.)

Method

1. Put the butter and sugar together and cream until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well.
2. Add the flour salt and baking powder and mix until a smooth dough has formed. Stir in the chopped nuts and dried pineapple.
3. Stir in the gin. (Apparently) optional
4. Shape the dough into a roll and wrap in clingfilm. Put in the freezer for at least one hour to firm up.
5. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
6. Remove the clingfilm and cut the dough into 1cm disks. Arrange the cookies on a prepared baking tray and make sure they are spaced apart to allow for spreading while baking.
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown around the edges. The cookies should be soft and chewy.

Luckily for me and my week of “je m’en fou” impulsiveness, silliness isn’t just reserved for me and only me. A lot of teenage girls seemed to have been bitten by the silly-bug as well this week. A 1D World, aka a pop-up One Direction Store, opened in Belgium this week. In the exact same shopping mall as where I’m currently working as a student employee. (So imagine my excitement!) From the moment I set foot into the shopping mall, it felt as if I’d just stepped into a whole other world. Crazy girls, jumping up and down, singing the same One Direction songs over and over again. The 1D store would open at 10 o’clock in the morning, but some apparently had been there since midnight, camping in front of the door. “Let’s go crazy, crazy, crazy ‘till we see the sun”, they definitely take the boys’ lyrics too literally. So during my break, I went to take a little peak and observed the crowd. It was like going to zoo. They were no longer girls, they were a whole other species entirely.

one direction

Most of them had bought a life-size cardboard cutout of their favourite 1D’er. I overheard one girl (who had bought her very own Harry Styles) saying to her friend (with a Zayn Malik cutout): “I’m going to put him beside my bed and kiss him every night before I go to bed! I will never have bad dreams again!” They both sniggered.

Like I said, some things are better left a secret. These girls are probably too young to understand that. And I thank them for it. Because after observing so much One Direction craziness, I feel a great sense of relief. Maybe I’m not crazy after all? I’m probably just mentally creative 😉

Nigella would be so proud of me! Making Leftovers Right: Courgette towers with a feta-soufflé filling and tomato-oregano risotto

Published December 18, 2012 by The Feminist

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This dish was literally and figuratively a mouthful. Literally, because it was simply delicious and I wanted to shove everything in my mouth at once. Figuratively, because it takes at least seven seconds to pronounce this eleven-word-long phrase.

I love using leftovers ( in this case: feta cheese, overripe tomatoes and courgettes) because it makes me feel very productive and resourceful. A bit like the culinary equivalent of David Copperfield turning “the ordinary into the extraordinary”. (Did I just quote the Bombay Sapphire Gin slogan? … OMG, I so did that accidentally on purpose! 😉 ) Turning leftovers into spectacular dishes is what distinguishes the good cooks from the magical cooks. It takes a lot of creativity, imagination and –dare I say it- talent to come with inventive dishes like this one. Me, boastful? I did manage to create a feta soufflé INSIDE a courgette, you know! I deserve some credit for that!

Oh, Nigella would be so proud of me…