You've heard the old saying, "If you can't beat them, join them." As the desire to imbibe still ensues me, I've decided to get creative with the liquor cabinet. I used to really enjoy a good cocktail; a nice salty dog, mojito, or bourbon on the rocks. So, it struck me, I'll turn the occasional evening cocktail into a seductive, after-dinner dessert.
This next dessert was inspired by summertime parties, outings, and late nights on the deck. The gin & tonic is crisp, refreshing, and hits all the right notes. Here's what you'll need to make this sweet, memorable cake.
Box of white cake mix
3.4 ounce box of white chocolate instant pudding
Juice of two limes
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup gin
1/4 cup of water
Cup of macadamia nuts (crushed)
Assortment of berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries)
Gin & Tonic Glaze:
1/2 cup gin
1/2 cup tonic
Cup of sugar
Stick of butter
Three cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter (softened)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 - 4 T. heavy cream
Dash of gin and 1/2 teaspoon of lime zest
How to make the cake batter: Mix the white cake mix and the pudding together. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl then add to the dry ingredients along with the lime juice, vegetable oil, gin, and water. Mix until just smooth. Be careful not to overmix. Tip: Overmixing can result in a gummy texture. If this should happen, slowly add sifted flour a tablespoon at a time. You can also stick the batter in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
The oven should be preheated to 350 degrees. You'll need two equal size nonstick pans for a double-layer cake. Grease and flour both pans. Pour equal amounts of batter into each pan. Place in the oven for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. The gin and tonic glaze will come next.
How to make the glaze: Add the butter, gin, tonic, and sugar to a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves (approximately five minutes). Stir continuously.
Once the glaze is made, you'll want to add it to the cakes. Take each cake out of the tin. Add 1/4 of the glaze to the bottom of each pan and reinsert the cakes. Punch holes in the tops of the cakes with a toothpick and add the remaining glaze to each cake distributing equally until the glaze is gone. If you have 30 minutes, let the cakes sit to soak up the gin and tonic glaze.
How to make the buttercream frosting: Using a mixer, combine the powdered sugar and the butter. After combining, add the vanilla and the heavy cream. Once the buttercream is mixed, add the gin and lime zest and mix.
Assembling the cake: It's a two-layer cake. After the first layer is placed on the cake plate, add a layer of buttercream frosting and crushed macadamia nuts. Add the second layer to the cake and frost the entire cake. Decorate with berries, slices of lime, some crushed nuts, and a little lime zest. Serve with a stiff drink or a flavorful cup of coffee.