Gin’s quite a thing at the moment isn’t it? I’ve even spotted it in the dessert cabinet in Waitrose in the guise of Heston’s Earl Grey and Lemon Gin & Tonic Tart. According to various news reports, we’ve become a nation of gin lovers. In fact, last year us Brits spent more on gin than we did on beer and sparkling wine.

As it so happens, just a stone’s throw from VelvetFig HQ two amazing gin producers are making quite a stir. Thinking about gin (not something I do all the time, I promise!) got me thinking about an idea for something special that I’m really rather excited about. And as today is World Gin Day it seems perfect timing.

Developing new recipes and experimenting with flavour combinations is something I love. I quite like the occasional G&T in the summer too and, with picnic season approaching, I thought I’d try creating a posh picnic treat.

I’ve recently been working on ideas for a new product – a cake sundae - and, inspired by the distinctly delicious summer gin produced by the Gin Kitchen (Dorking’s very own artisan gin distillery), I’ve created a Pink Grapefruit, Cardamom and Gin Cake Sundae.

After experimenting with different combinations and methods, I’ve devised a recipe I’m really proud of. I used cardamom pods to infuse the milk and grated pink grapefruit zest in to the cake batter and buttercream. Adding a carefully measured amount of Dancing Dragontail (the summer gin – great name isn’t it?!) really adds something special. I’ve also made a grapefruit curd that is drizzled between each layer of the sundae and adds a refreshing citrus sweetness without being too sweet. The result is a scrumptious summery treat with a subtle zingy flavour.

I’ve also created a Pink Grapefruit and Cardamom Cake Sundae without the gin added to it which is delicious too.

Not only are these little treats the perfect tonic for perking up a picnic, they’re great for special celebrations and al fresco entertaining. They’re equally scrumptious with a cup of tea as they are with a G&T – as long as it’s Dancing Dragontail of course!

I popped in to the Gin Kitchen so Kate and her team could try out my Gin Sundaes – and they loved them. I’ll be working on a new batch very soon, so if you’d like to try my sundae specials for yourself just give me a call or ping an email to cakes@velvetfig.com.

Happy World Gin Day everyone – chin chin!

Emma X

PS You can find out more about the Gin Kitchen and their fabulous products here - http://gin.kitchen

@theginkitchen