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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Lemon and Blueberry Gin Loaf Cake

 Lemon and Blueberry Gin...Doesn't that just *RING* with the sound of an amazing cocktail?! Too?  This recipe is from Erica's Sweet Tooth, a very cute blog hosted by Erica who makes super adorable and yummy things.  I covet her photos and ability to make everything look just like it tastes: Delicious!  The Blueberry-infused gin idea originates from Post Prohibition a very stylin' and hip web site embracing the concept of traditional cocktails plus much more. 

Gin is made from distilling grain alcohol with juniper berries and has lots of flavor profiles.  And, once again, I was exceedingly happy to learn that 11th century ITALIAN monks first mixed juniper berries with crude distillates.  This concoction was even used as a remedy during the Black Death.  Gin has a very long and interesting history including bathtub gin made for the speakeasies during Prohibition.  I'm pretty sure that's when my grandmother, Bambi, gained her pension for Sloe Gin Fizz....

If you are a gin drinker, I am sure you know all the subtleties of gin: fruit and citrus palates, sloe gin versus London dry gin, country of origin, and favorite cocktail.  What I bet you don't know is that there are very, very few (if any) baked goods which call for gin.  Let's just say, I had to get creative...Lord knows I wasn't EVER going to drink this stuff.  And, as gin is flavored with berries, blueberries and gin just seem to go together.

This *EASY* and *SUPER DUPER MOIST* loaf cake is so luscious, I may just have a Nigella moment and pull out the thesaurus to find more words!  Plumb, juicy and sweet blueberries surrounded by tart and tangy lemon yogurt cake...With just a subtle hint of gin in the cake and in the syrup that wraps its arms around this cake.  Perfect for breakfast.  Lunch.  Dinner.  You decide.

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I needed to get rid of a good half "handle" of Tanquerey Gin.  Yes, even I have booze that isn't consumed.  I had this bottle for about, oh, 8 years.  Booze rarely goes bad, especially pure distillates.  So, I decided that I would try my hands at infusing booze.  I'm making orangecello as well (using Everclear), but blueberry infused gin would require a lot less time and ingredients.  Check out Post Prohibition for making fruit infused booze if you're interested.   

You could also mash up some blueberries in gin.  Let it soak for a day and strain.  Should work and would be super easy.  Plus, you'd probably have enough for cocktails!!
I only use the full-fat type of yogurt now.  Yogurt replaces the BUTTER in this recipe.  I figure with 6gr of fat/8 oz of yogurt, that's A LOT less fat than a 80gr of fat/8 tbsp butter.  Toss the blueberries with the 1 tbsp flour.  Mix together the wet ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Mix just to incorporate, do not over mix.  Fold in the blueberries and lemon zest by hand.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake as directed.  Let the loaf cool in the pan while you make the lemon-blueberry-gin syrup.
Combine the lemon juice, blueberry gin and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer and cook as directed.  Let it cool slightly to thicken, but don't let it harden.  I tell you, this has cocktail making all over it!!
While the loaf is still warm, poke holes in the sides and top.  Brush the sides and top with the lemon-blueberry-gin syrup.  Use up all that luscious and sweet syrup.  This syrup is sure to find its way to a cocktail very, very soon...
Make the lemon glaze.  And, then let the unctuous and velvety glaze ooze over the top and down the sides.
 This is why you want that wax paper under your wire rack...Mmkay?

Best to let the lemon glaze harden before serving.

Lemon and Blueberry Gin Loaf Cake
Recipe adapted from Sweet Pea's Kitchen and Erica’s Sweet Tooth
Makes one 9” x 5” loaf

2 cups + 1 tbsp all purpose flour, divided
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain yogurt (use the full-fat kind)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup Blueberry-infused Gin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups blueberries, fresh with stems removed (or frozen—I don’t use these)

Lemon-blueberry-gin syrup
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp Blueberry-infused Gin
1/3 cup sugar

Lemon glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
3-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour the bottom and sides of a 9x5" loaf pan.
2. In a bowl, combine together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, toss the blueberries with the 1 tbsp flour. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, on low speed mix together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, vanilla, blueberry gin and oil.
4. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Mix just to incorporate, do not over mix. 
5. Fold in the blueberries and lemon zest by hand.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
7. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes and remove it to a wire rack to cool completely.  Place wax paper or foil under the wire rack.
8. While the loaf is cooling, combine the lemon juice, blueberry gin and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir continuously until sugar is dissolved, and then continue cooking for 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
9. Use a toothpick or wooden skewer to poke holes in the top and sides of the warm loaf and brush with the lemon-blueberry-gin syrup.  Use up all the syrup.
10. Let the loaf cool completely.
11. Make the lemon glaze.  Whisk or mix together the powdered sugar, 3 tbsp of the lemon juice and zest in a small bowl.  Add more lemon juice to make a thick glaze.  Spoon the glaze over the top of the loaf allowing it to run down the sides.  
12. Best to let the lemon glaze harden before serving.

Added benefit: you have amazing blueberry gin for ALL sorts of cocktails!


Sometimes, she just wants to watch the birds...
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  1. You have me at Lemon...but Blueberry Gin, Oh my! Why or why don't you live next door; oh, I know we'd be baking all the time and forget about our other chores (and jobs!!) Love you, XOXO

    1. :) If only we lived closer...And, my dear friend, the cocktail I created with this blueberry gin just might make a gin cocktail drinker of me yet. Well, fruity and sweet gin cocktails that is! I already neglect chores for baking for the blog and not to mention my complete absence from the gym; I can only image what it would be like to have more time to bake...Nirvana or Shangri La, I can't decide which!! :)

  2. I am always so intrigued - blueberry gin? In bread? So awesome! You've inspired me, I'm making wine frosting later this week. :)

    1. Glad you're on the wine frosting express train this week...Can't WAIT to see what you create. :) And, are you kidding? I'm totally amazed and in awe every time I read your posts. I'm always trying to figure out how to add a bit of booze here and there. Your creations put my use of sprinkles to shame. Shame. You must come by for a blueberry gin cocktail this summer, mmkay? :)

  3. I love love LOVE loaf cakes. They make me so happy and so does this gorgeous one!

    1. Thanks, Hayley! This was a big hit at work, too. Super moist and a nice combo. :)

    2. Yes, yes it was a big hit at work! :) Beautiful and delicious creation. BTW I like the mini history lesson about gin! I feel more cultured being your friend!


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