As a child of the nineties, Charles Dickens’ tragic heroine taught me from an early age that small pleasures make for a very fine life indeed. I’d even go so far as to suggest that Nancy paid her spirit of choice a bit of a disservice. To this writer at least, large measures make for large pleasures – but maybe that’s just personal preference.
4 eggs, weighed in their shells
equal weight of:
8-10 shots of your favourite gin
dash tonic water (optional)
150g granulated sugar
Ensure that all your ingredients are at room temperature, and preheat the oven to 180C. Weigh your eggs in their shells, and make a note of the exact weight. Weigh out this much butter and caster sugar, and cream together until light, fluffy and pale. Crack in the eggs, and beat until combined. Sieve in the flour, mix again, then grate in the zest of both lemons. Stir through the juice of 1 lemon and 3-4 shots of gin, then pour into a lined 1kg loaf tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes, or until the cake passes the knife test.
Remove from the oven, and set aside while you make the drizzle. combine the sugar, gin, tonic and remaining lemon in a bowl. Prick the surface of the cake with a fork, then poor over the drizzle. Don’t worry if it looks messy – it will more than make up for it in flavour.