Good Together: Cake & Cocktails

Another recipe collaboration from Ryan Cheityawardana's new book 'Good Together', sees two of our favourite pastimes combined... cake and cocktails! 

Ryan called upon Scandi cake-queen Signe Johansen, author behind two brilliant baking books 'Scandilicious Baking' and 'How to Hygge', for his 'Cake and cocktails' chapter, where she created a light, cherry cake with a subtle savoury note. 

And although baked treats are normally associated with a classic cup of tea, why not try mixing up your afternoon tea with a cocktail (or two) while you're catching up with friends.

Cherry Kirsch Cake 

"In Scandinavia we never need an excuse for a slice of cake, and cherries give this one some real summertime zing. You can use raspberries, blueberries or a mix of forest fruits instead, but cherries work best with the cocktails." 

I N G R E D I E N T S 

480g (17oz/2 cups) fresh pitted cherries (or use frozen, defrosted)
100ml (3½oz/scant ½ cup) kirsch liqueur, plus 2 tbsp for the cake mixture and a drizzle to serve
200g (7oz/scant 1 cup) lightly salted butter, at room temperature
150g (5½oz/¾ cup) golden caster (superfine) sugar
4 medium eggs
125g (4½oz/1 cup) plain, self-raising cake flour
200g (7oz/2⅓ cups) ground almonds
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp fine sea salt
1 tbsp plain yogurt
Toasted almond flakes, to decorate

M E T H O D 

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F/ gas mark 3). Lightly grease and line a 23cm (9 inch) round baking tin (with a detachable bottom) with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, soak the cherries in the kirsch liqueur.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy (about 10 minutes).

Add each egg, one at a time, with a spoonful of flour to prevent the mixture from splitting. Beat well, so each egg incorporates with the butter mixture.

Add the rest of the ingredients, including the 2 tablespoons of kirsch, and gently fold everything together so you don’t knock out the air added while creaming the butter.

Place the tipsy cherries and their liqueur at the bottom of the lined cake tin, making sure they’re in an even layer.

Carefully dollop the cake mixture over the cherries and use the back of the spoon or spatula to smooth the mixture so it’s even.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour. If you have a fan oven, check after 40 minutes – the cake should look golden brown on top and feel firm to the touch. If in doubt, insert a skewer and it should come out with no raw mixture on it. If you have an older oven or one that’s a little temperamental, it may take a little longer to bake this cake. Be patient and keep an eye on it.

Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, tip it out upside down on a platter or board and gently remove the baking paper. You can add an extra drizzle of kirsch liqueur over the cherry topping if you wish!

Serve as is, or scatter over some toasted almond flakes to decorate.

Reverse Cherry Gibson 

"This ‘reverse’ martini weights the gin and vermouth ratio in favour of the vermouth for a lighter serve. This is contrasted with some sweet acidity from the pickled cherry. The brands here make good partners, but experiment away!"

I N G R E D I E N T S 

Half vanilla pod
4 shots (100ml/4oz) cider vinegar
50g (1¾oz) sugar
3 strips orange peel
1 stick cinnamon
100g (31/2oz) fresh cherries (Rainier if possible)
Just under 1 shot (20ml/0.8oz) absinthe
4 shots (200ml/4oz) Cointreau
Just under 2 shots (40ml/1.6oz)
Martini Extra Dry vermouth
1 tbsp Star of Bombay gin

M E T H O D 

For the pickled cherries scrape out the vanilla seeds and put them and the pod in a pan with the cider vinegar, sugar, orange peel and cinnamon. Heat over a medium heat for 10 minutes then allow to cool. Add to a clean preserving jar with fresh cherries, absinthe and Cointreau. Leave to infuse in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.

To serve, stir vermouth and gin over ice. Strain into a frozen cocktail glass and garnish with a pickled cherry.

Cupboard Cocktail

"This uses things that are stable and always in the house (they are in mine at least!) and can be twisted with different teas and jams, but like a cake, it can always be rustled up. It’s boozeless, but takes a spike of gin if need be!"

I N G R E D I E N T S 

7g (1/3oz) white tea
1 tsp raspberry jam
Pinch sea salt

M E T H O D 

Brew white tea in 8 shots (200ml/8oz) water at 85°C/185°F water for 4 minutes and allow to cool.

Put 6 shots (150ml/6oz) in a cocktail shaker then throw with the jam and salt – to do this, fill one side of the shaker with ice, then using a strainer, ‘throw’ the liquid in a long arc and catch in the empty tin, repeat – pouring the liquid over ice each time.

Then strain into a small hi-ball or rocks glass filled with ice.

Recipes from 'Good Together: Drink & Feast with Mr Lyan & Friends' by Ryan Chetiyawardana out 1st October, pre-order here