Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ginny, very ginny

Opinions, please:

I am straining and decanting my black and red currant gins (also the sumac vodka). I am spattered with amber and amethyst juices and the cat is looking at me funny.

The question is, what to do with this very alcoholic fruit? I can't just chuck these gin-rich currants. They cost a packet and, well, they're delicious! Hic. Jam is the obvious answer, about a cake?

I think these currants would adapt very well to the Nigel Slater-inspired peach and blueberry cake recipe. But if anyone who tastes it is on the wagon, these currants would knock them straight off.

The etiquette of caking baking...


  1. How about a fruit cake? I have a recipe for Jamaican Rum cake that start with you marinating the fruit in rum for 24 hours :-)

    1. Mmm, could you please share that with all of us?

    2. Sure, here you go. I don't like the candied fruit so I used dried and it gets rehydrated by the rum :-)

      Jamaican Rum Cake

      Rich dark fruit cake that takes 2 days to make and 3 weeks to ripen. Makes 2 9”X 5” X 3” loaves.

      1 cup dried currants
      2 ½ cups raisins
      ¾ cup coarsely chopped dried black figs
      ¾ cup coarsely chopped pitted dates
      2 cups mixed dried fruit or mixed candied fruit
      1 ½ cups dark Jamaican rum – I’ve been know to add more 
      2 cups sifted flour
      2 teaspoons baking powder
      1 teaspoon cinnamon
      1 teaspoon nutmeg
      ½ teaspoon salt
      1 cup butter or margarine, softened to room temperature
      2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
      5 eggs
      1 cup blanched, toasted, sliced almonds

      Additional items:
       Loaf pans
       Covered bowl or other covered container to soak fruit
       Cheesecloth
       Airtight containers for storing loaves – large sealable plastic bags (Ziploc) works well
       Foil

      The day before you bake the cake, place all the fruits in large bowl, add rum, mix well, cover, and let stand overnight at room temperature.

      Next day grease and line the bottom and sides of loaf pans with brown paper or foil; grease linings well (or just spray well with PAM). Preheat oven to 275F.

      Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together into a bowl.

      Cream butter until light; add sugar gradually and cream until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

      Add dry ingredients, about ½ cup at a time, alternately with fruit (including any liquid in bottom of bowl), beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Fold in most of the almonds.

      Spoon batter into pans (it will be thick) and decorate with a few almonds sprinkled across the top.

      Place loaves on center oven rack; half fill a roasting pan (the bottom of a broiler pan works well) and place on rack below loaves. Bake 4 hours until cakes shrink slightly from the sides of the pan.

      Cool upright in pans on wire racks for 1 hour. Carefully, turn out and peel off paper. Turn cakes right side up and cool thoroughly. Wrap in rum-soaked cheesecloth, then in foil and store in airtight container for about 3 weeks to ripen.

    3. Thank you, Kath! Will be perfect for this Christmas.

    4. Thank you for the recipe, Kath!

    5. I have never baked this, but had it. OMG, to die for - new Christmas cake.

      Lisa, London

  2. CAKE. Nigel's recipe is perfect to carry these!!

  3. What about ice-cream/sorbet?
    (And cake, of course cake! I'd suggest to bake it in a muffin tin, so that you can freeze it - as per experience, people do not tend to eat a lot of alcoholic berry cakes (but they very much enjoy it). If you try the recipe above, be sure to add more dry ingredients than indicated, as you use 'fresh', juiciy berries and not dried ones. But you probably know that already.)


    1. Brilliant idea but storage an issue for us. Teeny freezer.

  4. Cake, yes. Add to ice-cream. Jam, sure.
    Now this is off the top of my head (a weird old place at the best of times but I like to experiment) - but, add to pickles/preserves?

    1. Ah - now you're talking my language. Pickles. I can see those on a picnic. Thank you.

  5. 101 cookbooks had a recipe for green olives baked with gin. it was this month i think, i made it and they were very good. the feta cheese was a key ingredient.

  6. what about a lovely chutney with a kick?


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