Gin and Tonic 'Opera' Cake

Bake this gin-soaked white chocolate celebration cake for an indulgently decadent treat
Gin and Tonic 'Opera' Cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-10, makes one 23cm round cake
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: plus one hr chilling time
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the gin and tonic syrup

  • 50 g sugar
  • 50 ml water
  • 100 ml gin
  • 200 ml tonic water
  • 50 ml lime juice

For the sponge

  • 90 g butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 260 g plain flour

For the Earl Grey tea ganache

  • 500 ml single cream
  • 50 g loose leaf Earl Grey tea leaves, <P> </P>
  • 1 kg white chocolate, chopped

For the strawberry puree

  • 500 g strawberries
  • 250 g icing sugar
  • 1 lemon, juice only

Method

1. For the sponge, preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4, and grease and line a 23cm round cake tin with greaseproof paper. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and leave on one side to cool - it shouldn't solidify though. Whisk the eggs and sugar until light and mousse-like. Sift in the flour and carefully fold in.

2. Add the cooled melted butter and gently fold into the cake mixture. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 15-20 minutes - until well risen and firm to the touch. Cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely.

3. For the ganache, bring the cream to scalding point and remove the pan from the heat. Add the tea leaves and leave to steep for 5 minutes before straining through a sieve.

4. Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the flavoured cream into the melted white chocolate and stir until it takes on a glossy sheen. Leave on one side while you make the soaking syrup for the cake.

5. For the syrup, dissolve the sugar in the water in a small saucepan over a moderate heat. Simmer for 2-3 minutes before removing from the heat and leaving to cool. Measure about 100ml of the cooled syrup and combine with the gin, tonic water and lime juice.

6. For the strawberry puree, tip the strawberries into an electric blender and add the icing sugar and lemon juice. Process until smooth, before straining through a sieve.

7. To assemble the cake, slice the sponge horizontally, into 3 equal sized layers. Place the first sponge round on a serving plate on tray, and drizzle over one third of the gin-flavoured syrup.

8. Spread one third of the tea-flavoured white chocolate ganache over the first layer of soaked sponge. Cover with the second layer of sponge. Soak this layer with more gin syrup and spread with another layer of earl grey tea ganache. Place the third layer of sponge over the ganache. Soak once more with syrup and spread with the remaining ganache.

9. Refrigerate for 1 hour before cutting into wedges. Serve with the strawberry puree around separately.

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