Get your Bake on: The Queen’s 90th Birthday Gin and Tonic Loaf Cake

“The only time I ever enjoyed ironing was the day I accidentally got gin in the steam iron” ― Phyllis Diller

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This recipe was mentioned in my blog post for World Gin Day.

I promised you all the recipe, and so here it is!

In homage to our dear Queenie, the warmer of the Throne, the Tonic to our Gin, on her 90th Birthday, I give you all my 2 main loves in life combined into a concoction of utter deliciousness…

Gin and Tonic Loaf cake.

I used Silent Pool Distillery, English Rose Gin in this cake. A Gin made specifically to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday this year, which just so happens to fall on World Gin Day!

Tally ho chums! Here we go!


Ingredients

4 eggs, weighed whilst in their shells
Now measure an equal weight of:
Unsalted Butter – Room temperature
Caster sugar
Self-raising flour
1 Lemon
1 Lime
10 shots of your favourite gin
A Dash of Tonic water
150g granulated sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Weigh your eggs whilst in their shells, and make a note of their exact weight.
  3. Weigh out this much butter and caster sugar, and then cream them together until they’re light, fluffy and pale.
  4. Crack the eggs into the bowl, and mix on a medium speed until combined.
  5. Sieve in the flour, mix again, then grate in the zest of both the Lemon and the Lime into the bowl.
  6. Stir through the juice of the Lemon and 5 shots of your chosen gin.
  7. Pour the mixture into a lined 1kg loaf tin.
  8. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes, or until the cake passes the knife test, where the knife comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside while you make the Gin and Sugar Glaze.
  10. Combine the granulated sugar, the remaining 5 shots of gin, dash of tonic and the juice from your lime into a bowl.
  11. Prick the surface of the cake with a fork, then poor over the glaze.
  12. Leave to cool entirely

 So there we have it! A cake fit for a Queen!

Have a good one Queenie, and Happy World Gin Day to you all on 11th June!

Gems.x

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World Gin Day Event at Silent Pool Distillery & Parent Apparel Clothing Review

“It’s never too early for Gin O’Clock”

If you guys hadn’t realised yet, I love Gin. Have I ever mentioned it?!

Everyone needs a hobby, right?!

This year, World Gin Day is on Saturday 11th June and I was wracking my brain for the best way to do this most wonderful day justice in a blog post.

I decided to be brave and contact the absoloutely spiffing guys at Silent Pool Distillery in Surrey (they are in our beautiful neck of the woods) and the lovely ladies at Parent Apparel Clothing to see if they minded me doing a bit of a post about them. Not expecting to hear back, I got on with my day and later on I was over the moon to see a reply in my inbox from them saying that they would love me to do one. Fantastic!

So without further ado, here we go!


Silent Pool Gin and Distillery

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Silent Pool is a magical, and peaceful, place in Guildford, Surrey.

It is a spring-fed lake at the foot of the North Downs, within the privately owned Albury Estate, which itself has a wonderful vineyard. The outflow of water from Silent Pool runs into a second lake called, Sherbourne Pond. It was created in the mid-seventeenth century. The Distillery uses the water from this in it’s Gin.

The water in the pool itself is stunning, and crystal clear. Sadly it cannot be drunk from directly, nor swum in, due to an infestation of harmful weeds taking over the pool. Work is currently underway to prevent the spread of the weed and to maintain the pool in all it’s original glory.

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There are many walks near and around the pool itslef and it is a stunning place to visit with the family.

Silent Pool is considered by some to be a sacred, and haunted, site. It is linked to an old tale that says King John arrived at Silent Pool on his horse and attempted to abduct a woodcutter’s daughter. In her panic, she was forced into the deep water of the Pool and she drowned. According to the legend, the ghost of ‘The Maiden of the Pool’ can be seen there at midnight.

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The guys down at Silent Pool Distillery, which started life about 15 months ago, are hosting a super event on Saturday 11th June in honour of her Majesty’s 90th Birthday and also, World Gin Day.

How appropriate the two events fall on the same day this year! I’m sure her Majesty is over the moon with this coincidence as she is rumoured to drink a straight Gin just before lunch every day. What a superstar! She was already pretty high up in my estimations after her epic performance with 007 in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, but that takes it to a whole new level.

Chin Chin Liz!

Distillery Event Open Day Information

You can help celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday & World Gin Day at the Silent Pool Distillery. They will be toasting the Queen’s 90th birthday on June 11th 2016 with a spirit specially created in her honour – English Rose Gin – which will be available to sample and buy. There will be Distillery tours, food and drink, as well as live music. The event will run from 11am – 6pm.

Entrance to the Open Day and distillery tour is free.

If you fancy it, get yourselves down there for a day of Gin, Food and Frivolity!

What better way to spend your weekend?!


Here is some more information on this event from the Distillery itself:

Visitors can taste and buy the new English Rose Gin plus the full range of Silent Pool international award winning spirits and enjoy free tours of the still house with its fabulous copper cauldron and swirling pipework. Craft beer from Little Beer Corporation, gin cocktails, ice creams from Purely Ice Cream and hot food from Coverwood Lakes, Farm, The Fillet & Bean & Surrey Hills Cow Parade HQ will be served in the distillery courtyard. There will be Silent Pool merchandise to buy and fun activities to help raise money for local Surrey charity Cherry Trees

There will also be music from the wonderful Rory Scott and flowers on the day courtesy of Little Stems

Come and blow the old steam whistle, which normally echoes across the Tillingbourne Valley in the traditional announcement that gin is being distilled, and guess the number of corks in the Silent Pool’s unique 9 litre gin bottle. Prizes include tickets for a 90 minute Gin Experience Tour plus £5 voucher to be used towards a purchase on the tour night.


In the evening, they will be holding an Outdoor Cinema Night where they will be showing the classic movie, High Society with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly. This is a ticketable event. Purchase tickets by emailing a contact name and telephone number to: tickets@silentpooldistillers.com or by clicking this link.


You can purchase the wonderful Silent Pool Gin here.


 

A review of Silent Pool, English Rose Gin.

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This Gin has been specially comissioned by the guys at the Silent Pool Distillery for the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations.

It’s a tipple I’m sure the queen herself would love.

Fragrant rose, subtle enough to not smell and taste like your Granny’s knicker drawer, and smooth, this Gin is one of my new favourites.

I tried it neat at the Distillery and found it quite potent, but not so bad that I felt like my throat was on fire! You get a definite Turkish Delight taste lingering in your mouth after you’ve swallowed it and it really is very pleasant. As I like to have tonic with my gin, I tried a few different ones out to see what partnered up best with it. My favourite one was Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic, followed closely by Fentimans Herbal Tonic water. Both tonics completely changed the way the gin tasted, but both were extremely good with it. I personally felt that the Elderflower Tonic, with it’s floral notes, complimented the rose gin very nicely and this is now my Friday night tipple of choice. The perfect summer Gin.

I would say it is best to have this gin neat, or just with a tonic. I feel it’s subtle rose notes would be lost slightly in a cocktail. Enjoy it in it’s purest, and most traditional, of forms.

If you’re looking for a slightly unusual Gin, or a special gift for someone over the summer months, look no further than Silent Pool’s English Rose Gin.

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 A cake fit for a Queen – using English Rose Gin

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I love to bake cakes. And I also love Gin. When the two combine, it’s a match made in Life is Knutts heaven to be quite honest.

I wonder if The Queen would agree…?

A fabulous friend of mine, Ashleigh, who blogs over at Hey Little Sweet Thing, sent me a message earlier in the week along with a recipe for a Gin and Tonic Loaf cake. It was love at first sight, she clearly knows me too well!

I had a look at the recipe, and a few others, and jiggled some things about in the recipes to come up with my own version that works for me, using one of my late nan’s basic cake recipes as a starting point. She would have loved to have seen The Queen turn 90. She was a real fan of the Royals, she also went as far to believe that she looked like The Queen and often told me that people told her as such too. Bless her, she will always be my Queen regardless.

It’s a basic cake recipe which uses 4 eggs which you weigh whilst still in their shells. You then use that exact same weight of the 4 eggs to measure out the other ingredients; butter, sugar and self raising flour. Pretty fool proof really. Even I can make it!

I used ‘normal’ Gin in the cake itself as I thought the English Rose Gin would get lost in the cake mix, but I did use the English Rose Gin for the Sugar Icing Glaze as it’s drizzled on neat and you can taste the Gin much better. If you wish to use it both in the cake and the icing, however, you can. Who am I to say otherwise?!

The full recipe for my, “Queen’s 90th Birthday Gin and Tonic loaf cake”, can be found here.

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 Thanks so much to the guys at Silent Pool Gin for letting me ramble about their wonderful Gin, and if you’re not too far away from Guildford on Saturday, be sure to visit them!

They’re super friendly and their copper pots and equipment in the barn at the Albury Estate are truly stunning.

All the best for the main event on Saturday guys!



Parent Apparel Clothing Review

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Seen as it is almost World Gin Day, I thought I would do a little review of a clothing brand I stumbled across on my blogging travels last week.

The company is called The Dandy Kid and they have a brillaint brand on their website called, Parent Apparel, by the wonderfully talented blogger, Mother Pukka.

They do some super funky, and sometimes slightly cheeky, clothing and merchandise for Parents. I think they’re bloomin’ brillaint!

From School Run slogans to ones about parenting, these t-shirts and jumpers are sure to get you noticed, and probably cause a wry/knowing smile from other parents whilst out and about.

I chose to get the ‘Gin & on it” jumper because…well, why do you think?! I really love Gin!!!!!!!

Because they are so lovely, they also sent me a little, “Gin & on it” badge, which I fully intend to pin on my handbag and I shall wear it with pride.

The jumper arrived and I ordered a small. It would fit a size 8-10 person perfectly and I was over the moon with the fit of it.

It’s quirky, it’s colourful without being too ‘in your face’, and I can’t help but giggle to myself when I have it on.

The material is super soft and after washing it, it’s retained it’s colour and shape really well.

If you’re looking for a unique gift for a new parent, a parent to be, or just want to buy yourself something because you bloody well deserve it, look no further than Parent Apparel’s clothing range!

With fathers day creeping up on us here in the UK soon too (Sunday 19th June people!), why not get one of these fabulous t-shirts as a gift for your other half?!

They’re ace and he’s sure to love them! If he’s not brave enough to wear one, get him a Snickers… 😉 (or maybe a cool Pin Badge to pop on his work bag?!)

Parent Apparel 'Breaking Dad' Navy Blue Tee

Parent Apparel 'DadAss' Navy Blue Tee

They also sell tote bags, perfect for popping to the shops or doing the school run!

You can buy their epic clothing and merch by clicking here!

Thanks so much for the super-duper jumper and badge! I am literally in love with them, as are a few of my readers!

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Many thanks to both Silent Pool Distillery and Parent Apparel for allowing me to write this post.

Have a completely amazing World Gin Day on Saturday everyone!

Gem.x




The Optimist…

Just a little something silly for the weekend…


“Do you view the glass as half full or half empty?”

“I’d say half full, but if the glass contains Gin, it’s always Full!”

 

A Husband says to his wife..."Darling, why is my Gin half empty?!"




The elixir of Youth…

You heard it here first people…the Elixir of Youth has been found!

And it is Gin based!

I told you all Gin is good for you, medicinal, and now there is a product on the market to backup my arguement (if I needed to…)


Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you…

Anti-AGin

(Anti Ageing Gin)

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Made by Warner Leisure Hotels, in conjunction with Bompas & Parr, this Gin claims to be the only one in the world with Anti-ageing properties.

It contains collagen, yep, think The Only Way is Essex trout lips and expressionless faces you’re on the right path, but instead of painfully injecting the stuff into your face, you can drink it in a delicious cocktail instead! No brainer for me my friends, an absoloute, 100% certainty that the Gin will win my vote!

Priced at £34.99 (yep, it’s also a lot cheaper than Botox!), this magical elixir claims to rid you of wrinkles by using ingestable collagen and age defying botanicals in it’s distillation process.

Ingestable Collagen has apparently been a feature in Japanese culture for a while now, and they’re pinning their hopes on it. There are even, apparently, restauraunts which serve food with large lumps of collagen in it to get the same results. Nom nom, collagen on toast. Move over Avocado, there’s a new kid on the block…

To be honest, I’m sceptical. But, if it means I don’t look like a haggard witch by the age of 50 (who I am kidding, I’m already looking like a haggard witch) I’m willing to give it a go.

You can buy this magical concoction at Drink Supermarket and it is available in all Warner Leisure Hotels.

Would you give it a go?

Would you dare to give it to someone as a gift?! (haha!!!!)


They have some cocktail suggestions for their Gin with ‘interesting’ names such as;

Skin and Tonic

(not sure that’s the most appetising of names but I get the gist, I just hope there isn’t any actual skin in it…)

Silver Fizz

(good job it’s not Silver Fuzz…a whole world of wrong that is! Time for a wax maybe?!)

Sixty going on Fortini

(you can find these cocktail recipes by clicking on the link to, Drink Supermarket, mentioned above)

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Chin, chin everyone!




Game of (Porcelain) Thrones…

GEEK ALERT!

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Game of Thrones is back!

(and I’m perhaps a tiny little bit excited about it…)

I love Game of Thrones, as does half the world, and it starts again tonight on Sky Atlantic, 9pm.

I have it all planned out, the kids will be in bed by 7pm, asleep by 8:30pm at the latest, I will have made dinner in advance and we can eat before sitting down with a G&T to watch the new series at 9pm.

In reality, the toddler will probably play up and not go to sleep until 10pm, I won’t have time to prepare dinner for me and my husband before 10:30pm, the older ones will keep getting up because they need a poo, they have an itch in a random place or because they saw a UFO and we will have a storm arrive meaning the Sky signal disappears and we are faced with the blue screen of doom…

Regardless of what happens family schedule wise, I shall be watching at some point tonight.


Here is a conversation between myself and my 8 year old this morning

(when I was still half asleep due to a lack of coffee intake)

 

(Luke is shouting to me in the kitchen whilst I make packed lunches and breakfast…)

Luke: “Mummy!”

Me: “Yep…”

Luke: “There’s a new programme on the sky box, can I watch it?

Me: “What’s it called?”

Luke: “Erm, I’m not sure but the programme picture has a dragon on it…”

Me: “Right, ok. Well wait a minute so I can come and see what it is…”

Luke: “I think it’s ok Mummy, really, it is on the front page of the sky planner and it has dragon on and I think it’s a kids programme. It looks a bit like Harry Potter…”

Me: “Ok, wait a bit and I’ll come and look”.

Luke: “Well, I’ll start downloading it then when you get here you can tell me if I can press play”.

(2 minute pause whilst I finish doing lunches)

Me: “Right, okie dokie, let’s see what this new programme is you’ve downloaded…”

Luke: “It’s this one, Mummy”.

Me: “Ah. Right. Yes. That’s called Game of Thrones, Luke, and I’m afraid you can’t watch that”.

Luke: “Ahhhhh, man!!! Why not?! It looks cool!”

Me: “I know it looks cool (and it really chuffing well is as it goes!) but it is a grown up programme. Not for kids”.

Luke: “Well that’s rubbish. Why is it not for kids? What’s in it?! What’s it about?”

(Oh goodness…..don’t tell him about all the nudity, bonking, violence and the fact you think Jon Snow is more beautiful than a skip full of Terry’s chocolate oranges…)

Me: “It’s just a bit gruesome and scary for kids so it’s just for grown ups to watch”.

Luke: “But I’m not easily scared, I’ll be ok watching it Mummy!”

Me: “Trust me, no. Not for the next 10 years”.

Luke: “I hate being a kid…”

(Close call avoided….just. I really hope he doesn’t go off and look it up on YouTube now. I could do without that. It’s safe to say, I’ll be keeping a very close eye on him!)

 

My 6 year old was in Game of Thrones once by the way…

Get it?! Games. On a ‘Throne” – hahahahaha!!!!!

Sorry… 😉

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If he is still desperate to watch it later, I will show him this instead. It’s just like the real thing…honest, Luke 😉

Click here to watch Seasame Street’s Game of Thrones Parody, ‘Game of Chairs’…


On a seperate note, I’ve discovered a “Game of Thrones Gin’, which is distilled in Northern Ireland where some parts of Game of Thrones was filmed. I might have to buy a bottle to drink whilst I watch the new series for the ‘fully immersive’ GOT experience… (any excuse eh?!)

Shortcross Gin – Game of Thrones Gin


Are you a Game of Thrones Fan? Will you be watching tonight?

 

 

Little Hearts, Big Love