A Cornish girl's food adventures

Bergamot & gin soak cake

So you’ve heard of lemon drizzle cake right? Well soak cake is what happens when you make a little too much delicious drizzling syrup and don’t want to waste any of it! Seriously, this cake is literally drenched in deliciously fragrant, sweet, sticky syrup. Because I don’t like icing. If I could stomach icing then I could have just added a heap of icing sugar to the syrup to thicken it and used it to decorate the cake, which you can of course do if you’re on board with the idea.
I love this cake as it is though. It’s so soft, tender and moist (obviously) and the flavour of the bergamot is just amazing (I do love Earl Grey though!). I know that it’s not an easy fruit to get hold of though, my mum gave me this one, so feel free to swap it to a different fragrant, sour citrus fruit if you want. Lemon and lime would make a nice combination.

makes 1 medium bundt or loaf cake
100g butter
125g sugar
zest of one bergamot
2 eggs
100g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
50g ground almonds
pinch of salt
3 tbsp milk
30ml gin
juice of one bergamot
50g icing sugar (plus extra 50g more to finish)

Pre-heat your oven 180°c and prepare your tin. Grease and line it if you’re using a loaf tin or grease it and dust it with flour if you’re using a bundt tin.
For extra flavour you can blitz together the sugar and zest in a food processor if you like but don’t worry if you’re short on time. Cream together the butter, zest, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, before sifting in the flour and baking powder. Stir in the ground almonds and then mix through the milk to give the batter a nice dropping consistency. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake the cake for around 45 minutes. It should be well risen and golden on top and feel springy to the touch when it’s done.
While the cake bakes you can make the soaking syrup. Combine 50g of icing sugar with the gin and fruit juice in a small pan and heat gently. Let the syrup bubble until it thickens and reduces a little. Set it aside to cool a bit.
Take the cake out of the oven and pop it on a wire rack to cool but leave it in the tin. Use a cake tester or a cocktail stick to poke the cake all over. Use a spoon to drizzle about half of the syrup over the warm cake before leaving it to cool completely. Add the remaining icing sugar to the leftover syrup to thicken it, use as much as you need to get your desired consistency. Turn out the cake onto a serving plate and pour over as much or as little of the thickened syrup as you like to glaze the cake.

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