When a colleague presented me with a mini bottle of whiskey from a trip to Scotland, I wasn’t sure what to do with it.
I’d pretty much gone off whiskey since a bad drinking experience in my early 20s (lots of puke, suffice to say), so I certainly wasn’t going to drink it. So I did what I always do — stick it in cake. (The whiskey, not the puke, of course.)
I’m certainly no stranger to using alcoholic beverages in drinks. In particular, I’m a big fan of using beer in soda bread (like this one) to give it that yeasty flavour similar to yeast-leavened breads.
But when it comes to whiskey, I was on uncharted territory.
My Internet research for “whiskey cakes” yielded a lot of interesting recipes, but this one from the Baking Bird caught my attention for complementing the malt flavours in whiskey with the bergamot fragrance of earl grey tea and the floral sweetness of honey. I played with the proportions of the recipe and reduced some of the spices because I felt the cake certainly didn’t need it with all the strong flavours going on.
- 225g all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/3 cup oil
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup honey
- 150g soft brown sugar
- 1/2 cup strong brewed earl grey tea
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice (from half an orange)
- 1/4 cup whiskey
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Grease and line (with baking paper) one 9×5-inch loaf tin.
Step 2: In one bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together. In another bowl, add all the wet ingredients and beat well until combined. Pour the wet mixture over the dry one and mix well.
Step 3: Pour batter into the loaf tin and bake for 50-60 minutes.
This recipe makes a moist, rich cake that’s full of spicy, floral and malty notes. Best of all, the whiskey flavour actually develops and strengthens over time, so the cake is really at its best the next day or even the day after.