Archive for the ‘Whisky’ Category

Perfect Pecan Pie (Felicity Cloake)

November 27, 2013

(Makes 1 x 23cm pie)

For the pastry
190g plain flour
¼tsp salt
75g cream cheese
110g butter, chilled
1.5tbsp very cold water
1.5tsp cider vinegar

For the filling
125g pecans
100g dark muscovado sugar
100g maple syrup
85g butter
200ml single cream
2tbsp cornflour
2tbsp bourbon
2 egg yolks
¼tsp salt

To make the pastry, mix the flour with the salt. Add the cream cheese and rub in, or pulse briefly in the food processor to combine, then cut the butter into 2cm chunks and rub in or pulse until it’s the size of a garden pea. Stir in the water and vinegar and pulse or rub in until the butter is the size of small petits pois.

Tip into a bag and knead until it comes together into a dough and feels slightly elastic. Form into a disc and chill for 45 minutes or up to 12 hours.

Grease a 23cm loose-based tart tin and roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thick. Use to line the tin, then chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C. Tip the pecans on to a lined baking tray and bake for about 6 minutes until toasted. Allow to cool slightly, then roughly crush half of them.

Prick the pastry base several times with a fork, line with foil and fill with baking beans, rice or dried pulses. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and beans and bake for another 6 minutes until golden.

Meanwhile, put the sugar, syrup, butter and cream into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and stir together until it melts. Sprinkle over the cornflour and whisk until it thickens into a smooth, silky mixture. Take off the heat and stir in the bourbon, egg yolks and salt, followed by the crushed pecans.

Tip into the pie crust and arrange the remaining pecans on top. Bake for about 25 minutes until set on top. Allow to cool before serving.

Marmalade, orange and whisky sponge pudding (Dan Lepard)

October 9, 2013

Makes 6

A jar of Seville marmalade
125g unsalted butter, plus more for the cups
125g caster sugar
Zest of two oranges, finely grated
2 medium eggs
125g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Whisky and double cream to finish

1 Rub the inside of five or six microwaveable china cups with butter, and put one or two tbsp of marmalade in the base of each.

2 Beat the butter, sugar and orange zest till smooth, then add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well each time until smooth.

3 Add the flour and baking powder, stir until smooth and then fill each cup to about two-thirds full.

4 Cover each cup with clingfilm, then microwave in batches of two or three for about a minute. Check to see how cooked they are with a skewer, putting them back in for another 30 seconds each time until a skewer poked in comes out clean.

5 Leave to sit for a minute to settle, then run a knife around the edge of the puddings and upturn on to serving plates. Spoon some whisky and cream over each to serve

Chocolate Whiskey Layer Cake (

November 27, 2012

Chocolate Whiskey Layer Cake
(adapted from this recipe by way of the BBC website)

It looks like a lot of ingredients but don’t be put off, the cake is a one bowl wonder and takes minutes to make. If you can’t be bothered to make buttercream and ganache, just up the quantities of one and use that to fill and frost the cake.


For the cake
340g plain flour
525g golden caster sugar
128g cocoa powder
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
2 ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 large free range eggs
375ml full fat milk
188ml groundnut oil
3 tsp vanilla extract
375ml boiling water

For the whiskey syrup
100ml water
100g caster sugar
50ml whiskey

For the buttercream
150g unsalted butter, room temperature
350g icing sugar
4 tbsp condensed milk
2 tbsp whiskey, or to taste

For the ganache
250g dark chocolate, chopped
250ml double cream
100g light brown muscovado sugar


For the cake
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line three 20cm cake tins.

Sift the flour, caster sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk for one minute to combine. You could also do this using an electric whisk.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs then add the milk and groundnut oil. Pour into the dry mixture and whisk for two to three minutes until well combined.

With the whisk running, add the boiling water to your mixture a little at a time until combined. The batter will be extremely liquid.

Pour into your prepared cake tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 – 35 minutes, or until the tops are firm and a skewer or toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven.

For the whiskey syrup
Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Add the whiskey and simmer for one minute more then remove from the heat.

Trickle the syrup over the top of each cake while still warm then set aside to cool completely.

For the buttercream
Make sure your butter is nice and soft. In a stand mixer or using an electric whisk, beat the butter until pale and fluffy. Sift in the icing sugar and whisk to combine, then add the condensed milk. Continue to beat until light and fluffy, slowly incorporating the whiskey until fully combined.

For the ganache
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.

Heat the cream and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer for one minute.

Remove the cream from the heat and allow to stand for one minute – pouring it directly over the chocolate will cause it to split. Once it has rested, pour over the chocolate and stir until smooth and glossy, using a rubber spatula or whisk.

Set aside for thirty minutes or until it has cooled to a spreadable consistency.

To assemble the cake

Smear a small amount of whiskey buttercream on a serving plate or cake stand. Place one round of cake on top. Slather over half the quantity of whiskey buttercream, top with a second round of cake and repeat. Top with the final round of cake and smooth any buttercream that has squidged out the sides.

Dollop your ganache on top of the cake then use a spatula or palette knife to spread it down and round the edges. Use a slightly heated palette knife for a smooth finish or do what I did and swirl the ganache for a more rustic, flicked effect.

This cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days. After driving it to Rutland in 26 degree heat I had to pop it in the fridge to firm the ganache, but unless it’s a very hot day you should be ok.

*This recipe makes one 20cm round, 3 tier cake. When baking this cake at 6am before work my half conscious brain couldn’t find the right tins so I made it in 3 tins of 23, 20 and 18cm, hence the slightly strange appearance of the slice in the photos. It will taste exactly the same, but for the best looking cake I’d suggest sticking with 3 x 20cm tins.

White chocolate and Whisky Bread and Butter Pudding (James Martin)

March 15, 2012


  • 350ml/12fl oz milk
  • 350ml/12fl oz double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 4 free-range egg yolks
  • 150g/5oz caster sugar
  • 150g/6oz white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 8-10 slices white bread, cut into quarters
  • 110g/4oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 60ml/2½fl oz whisky
  • 25g/1oz sultanas
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar, to dust
  • ice cream, to serve

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Place the milk, cream and vanilla pod into a saucepan and bring slowly to the boil.
  3. Place the eggs, egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk to combine.
  4. When the cream mixture has come to the boil, remove from the heat and remove the vanilla pod. Whisk the egg mixture into the cream mixture.
  5. Add the white chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.
  6. Grease an ovenproof dish and butter the bread. Place the bread into the dish, overlapping the slices.
  7. Drizzle the whisky over the bread, then scatter over the sultanas. Pour over the custard mixture.
  8. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown and just set.
  9. Remove from the oven and dust with icing sugar. Place under a preheated grill or use a mini-blowtorch to caramelise the top.

Perfect Christmas cake (Felicity Cloake)

December 5, 2011

A Christmas cake should be rich and spicy; bursting with boozy fruit but never, ever heavy. After all, you need to leave room for a mince pie.

250g currants

250g sultanas

100g dried figs, roughly chopped

100g glacé cherries, cut in half

100g mixed peel

125ml whisky, plus extra to feed

125g butter, softened

125g muscovado sugar

4 eggs, beaten

130g plain flour

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp mixed spice

50g ground almonds

Grated zest of 1 lemon

50g whole almonds

25g crystallised ginger, chopped

1. Put the dried fruit and peel in a bowl along with the whisky, cover and leave to soak overnight. Stir well before use. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin with 2 layers of baking parchment. 2. Preheat the oven to 140C. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition so the mixture doesn’t curdle. 3. Mix together the sifted flour, baking powder, spice, ground almonds and a pinch of salt and then fold this into the butter and sugar mixture. Add the soaked fruits, and any remaining whisky, the lemon zest, chopped almonds and ginger, and stir to combine. 4. Tip the mixture into your prepared tin and smooth the surface, scooping out a small hollow in the middle to prevent a doming effect. 5. Put the cake in the oven for about an hour, then cover with foil, and bake for another 30 minutes and then check the cake. It’s done when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean – check every 10 minutes until it’s cooked. 6. Leave to cool in the tin then use the skewer to poke a few holes almost all the way through the cake, and brush them with more whisky. With the baking parchment still attached, wrap well in greaseproof paper and store in an airtight tin or a layer of foil, repeating the feeding every week or so until you’re ready to ice just before Christmas. (I’d recommend Nigel Slater’s instructions on these matters).

Pumpkin cheesecake with pecan crust and whiskey-caramel topping (David Lebovitz)

November 25, 2011

Makes one 23cm cheesecake, 12 to 14 servings.

For the crust:
150g pecans, toasted
45g packed light brown sugar
45g unsalted or salted butter, melted
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the filling:
675g cream cheese, at room temperature
250g granulated sugar
Grated zest of ½ lemon, preferably organic
4 large eggs, at room temperature
15g plain flour
120g plain whole-milk yoghurt
1 tin (425g) pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Large pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping:
85 g salted butter, cut into small pieces
125ml double cream
215g packed dark brown sugar
60ml corn or glucose syrup or agave nectar
½ teaspoon salt
60ml whiskey
150g pecan pieces, toasted
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

This recipe uses tinned pumpkin rather than home-cooked fresh pumpkin simply because the moisture content is consistent and no one wants to take any chances with a cheesecake after spending all that money on cream cheese.
This is a fantastic holiday recipe, and as with regular cheesecakes, the secret to great results is to begin with all the ingredients at room temperature and to not overbeat the filling.

Preheat the oven to 180C (gas mark 4). Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 23cm springform tin. To make the crust, in a food processor fitted with the
metal blade, pulse the 150g pecans, light brown sugar, 45g melted butter, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon until the nuts are in fine pieces and the mixture begins to hold together. Transfer the mixture to the prepared springform tin and press it evenly into the bottom and a little way up the sides. Bake until deep golden brown, about 15 minutes. Leave to cool completely.

Wrap a large sheet of aluminium foil around the outside of the springform tin, making sure it’s absolutely watertight. Set the tin in a large roasting pan. To make the filling, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl by hand), beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and lemon zest on medium-low speed just until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until completely incorporated.

Mix in the yoghurt, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, large pinch of salt, and vanilla until combined.

Scrape the filling into the crust in the tin. Pour hot water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the outside of the springform tin. Bake until the edges are just set and the center still quivers, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven and let the cheesecake stand in the bain marie for 30 minutes. Dip the blade of a sharp knife in hot water and run it around the sides of the cheesecake to loosen it from the sides of the tin, then remove the cheesecake from the bain marie. Leave to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.

To make the topping, in a medium saucepan, bring the 85g salted butter, the cream, dark brown sugar, corn or glucose syrup or agave nectar, and ½ teaspoon salt to a gentle but full boil stirring gently until the sugar dissolves.
Cook for 2 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the whiskey and 150g pecan pieces. Leave to cool to room temperature and stir in the lemon juice.

Serve the cheesecake chilled or at room temperature. Cut into wedges and spoon topping over each serving.

Storage: The cheesecake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The topping should be made the day of serving; if chilled, it will lose its shine and will need to be rewarmed.

Whisky Panettone Pudding

January 6, 2011