200 g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
200 g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs
175 g plain flour
75 g full-fat lemon yoghurt
100 g self-raising flour
3 tbsp gin
3 lemons, zested, juice reserved to use in syrup
crème fraîche or more lemon yoghurt to serve
5 lemons, juiced
2 small lemons, sliced, end slices discarded
125 g golden caster sugar
12 juniper berries
6 tbsp tonic water
2 tbsp gin
- Heat the oven to 160C. Butter a deep, 23×13cm tin and line the base with baking paper (or use a 20cm round or 18cm square tin if you like). Beat the butter and sugar together with a pinch of salt until pale and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Don’t rush this bit, make sure the mix is really well beaten with each addition, and add a tbsp of the plain flour with each of the last 2 eggs. Beat in the lemon yoghurt, then tip in the flours but fold in with a metal spoon. Finally fold in the gin and lemon zest.
- Spoon the mix into the tin and bake for 1 hour - 1 hour 10 minutes until risen and golden, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Meanwhile, make the syrup by combining the lemon juice (including the juice from the zested lemons), sugar, juniper berries and tonic water in a wide pan such as a frying pan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then drop in the lemon slices and bubble for 3 minutes, to thicken slightly, and infuse with the berries. Take off the heat, stir in the gin, and leave to cool.
- Cool the cake in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out upside down onto a serving plate and poke a few holes over the base. Spoon over about half of the syrup to soak in.
- To serve, spoon the rest of the syrup and lemon slices over the cake, letting some soak in before adding more. Fish out the juniper berries if you like – you won’t eat them, but they look pretty. Then serve the cake cut into bars or thin slices with spoonfuls of crème fraîche or more lemon yoghurt on the side.