A couple of weeks ago, I went grocery shopping and was taken in by the mysterious plant called rhubarb. I recall learning the name back when I was a teenager and being obsessed with the idea, but I had never seen, tasted or cooked with it up until this point in time.
My first attempt came with a rhubarb gin which was alright. I stewed the stalks with sugar until the rhubarb (not sure if it is a fruit or a vegetable) was soft and then poured the entire mixture into a decanter. In hindsight, I should have strained it and used just the syrup because it wasn’t very pleasant sucking on little rhubarb fibres whilst trying to enjoy a gin and tonic.
I felt that my second attempt be better in some form of baking. Initially I wanted to do an entire tart but changed my mind to cupcakes which I figured I would have less of a chance of screwing up.
I went through a number of recipes until I came to this one. The measurements are in ounces so I had to convert to metric and also because I didn’t have as much rhubarb, I had to half the recipe which yielded eight wonderful cupcakes.
Here are my measurements.
For the syrup:
½ Cup Water
1 ½ TBS sugar
For the cupcakes:
¼ Cup Butter
½ Cup + 1 TBS Sugar
½ Cup Flour
½ Cup + ½ TBS Self Raising Flour
½ TSP Ginger
3 TBS + 2 TSP Milk
½ Shot of Opihr Spiced Gin
For the icing:
¼ Cup Butter
2 ½ Cups Icing Sugar (or as you see fit)
1 Shot of Opihr Spiced Gin
Setting up all the ingredients before filming
I opted for this recipe because it involved stewing the rhubarb and using the syrup where the other recipes involved adding raw chopped rhubarb directly to the mixture.
This being my first time baking with it and the second time ever tasting it, I was concerned that adding raw stalks might give too much of a tart taste and be unpleasant.
So with my recipe in hand, I went to do the next step we all follow when embarking upon baking – ingredient checking.
I looked at the most vital ingredient – the rhubarb – and noticed that I didn’t have as much as I initially anticipated. Some had gone off and I had used a couple in the gin concoction which had left only enough for half of the original recipe.
So I halved every other ingredient and write down those measurements. Then began the search for bowls.
I watch a lot of Tasty videos and notice that they put their ingredients in from small bowls that are exactly the same, all nicely lined up and ready around the main mixing bowl. I looked around the house and noted that I had about two of any type of container that matched. The only thing that I had enough of was glasses, shot glasses to be specific. So those were what I opted for, along with some glass bowls.
Finally after setting out the measurements and laying them nicely around the mixing bowl, I could focus on my filming rig.
I gathered two sticks and hung them out the window whilst suspending a Gopro from them.
And from behind me, I set up a second camera to film from a second POV.
I assumed that everything would go smoothly from there.
Instead, I fell off of the counter (luckily the camera was fine), the Gopro did not record the majority of what I needed it to film and the main camera somehow corrupted its own filming.
LUCKILY with a lot of hard work, I was able to put together a fairly decent video but know that it was not without its own set of challenges.
Now to the recipe.
I recommend following the exact recipe as I found on the site.
Like I said, I halved everything and it turned out alright, I also didn’t exactly follow the recipe in terms of mixing in separate bowls and it still turned out fine.
Finally, I decided that a little gin wouldn’t hurt anyone.
I did previously bake a gin and tonic loaf but felt like I could barely taste any of the alcohol, in spite of the fairly large amount that had been put in.
I realised that a lot of heat had been applied to the measurings of gin in the recipe meaning that majority of the alcohol had actually been burnt off.
So this time around, I added a little to the mixture, and a lot to the icing, without adding any heat at all.
You could definitely taste it. I opted for Opihr Oriental Spiced gin because I knew it had exotic botanicals and flavours that I felt could easily work with the rhubarb and I was not wrong.
The peppery taste of the Opihr was brought out by the tartness of the rhubarb and everyone who has tasted these cupcakes has enjoyed them.
I can safely say that the recipe was a success and I hope that it encourages you to work with gin in unique ways. Do let me know if you have ventured into cooking or baking with gin and exactly what your experiences have been because I am curious to find out how you work with this lovely drink. If you missed out on the video, then be sure to check out my escapades below!