#52: Mother’s Ruin? Mother’s Intrinsic Joy in a Clear Liquid, More Like.

#52: Mother’s Ruin? Mother’s Intrinsic Joy in a Clear Liquid, More Like.
3 minutes to read

When Mouse was born, my fabulous friend Beta Mummy gave me a very lovely, well researched care package. It contained a Babygro, Little Miss tissue handypack, a cute notebook and pen for recording feeds, some lip balm, and some chocolate. Very sweet, very first time mum.

When Moo arrived, she gave me a stack of homemade flapjacks and a fuck off mahoosive bottle of gin, and I could have snogged the face off her.

So when Gin Explorer contacted me and asked if I fancied reviewing their monthly subscription box, I was as giddy as I imagine I would be if Hugh of the Jackman asked me out.

The box is pleasantly heavy, and contains four lovely little bottles of artisan gin (enough to make eight drinkies), some fancy tonic, tasting notes and a few surprises to boot.



Shows open box of Gin Explorer contents: leaflets, explorer map, 4x bottles gin, 2x bottles tonic, sweets and biscotti.



They set me a baking challenge which I accepted with a tremendous amount of honour – to combine my two great loves of cake and gin is to combine immortality with being on a date with Hugh Jackman. I’ve mentioned Hugh too much, haven’t I?

So, as it’s coming up to Halloween, and my cake has green bits, please find herewith my recipe for FrankenGin’s Monster. Enjoy, and eat / drink / fantasise about Hugh responsibly.

FrankenGin's Monster by Mouse, Moo & Me Too

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: fairly easy
  • Print

Basically, for you purists, this is a Gin and Elderflower Victoria Sandwich with Lime Buttercream.


    For the cake

  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 250g unsalted butter at room temperature (please keep it real and use butter folks, margarine has no place in my kitchen!)
  • 1 lime – zest and juice
  • 50ml gin – I used Slingsby Artisan Gin from my Gin Explorer box
  • 50ml elderflower cordial

    For the buttercream

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 2 limes – zest and juice
  • few drops green food colouring

    For the topping

  • 30g of good quality dark chocolate, chopped finely or grated (watch your digits)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  3. Grease and line 2 x 20cm/8in sandwich tins.

  5. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, then add the butter, sugar, flour and baking powder.

  7. Use an electric mixer (if you have a free standing mixture then well fucking done you) to blend all the ingredients together until you have a pale batter at “dropping” consistency.

  9. Add the lime zest, juice, elderflower cordial and gin, and mix for a further 30 seconds.

  11. Divide the mixture between the two tins, and drop each tin firmly onto the worktop from a height of about six inches. I saw Nigel Slater do this once, I can’t recall why, but if it’s good enough for Nige then it’s sure as hell good enough for me.

  13. Place the tins on the middle shelf of your oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. You’re looking for a golden brown sponge that’s a bit springy. Remove them from the oven and leave to cool for ten minutes or so, then loosen each sponge by running a palette knife around the edge of the tin. Give it another twenty minuttes then turn the sponges out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

  15. While the cakes are cooling, make the buttercream by mixing all ingredients together in a clean bowl, and adding the food colouring drop by drop until you get a nice vivid green.

  17. Smooth a generous layer of buttercream over one of the sponges, and quickly whack the other one on top, adjusting it so that it’s straight. Spoon more buttercream on top of the sponge and spread to form an even layer, then sprinkle over the chocolate shavings.

  19. No idea how long it keeps for in an airtight container. Just eat the damned thing.

Would you like to try a Gin Explorer Subscription Box for yourself? Navigate your way over to Gin Explorer and have a mooch at the different packages on offer.

-SJW October 2016


  1. October 21, 2016 / 8:15 am

    I didn’t know you and B were long time friends! How lovely! Also cake looks fab. X

    • October 21, 2016 / 11:33 am

      Yep, we worked together in boring day job land and she’s not been able to shake me off since!

  2. October 21, 2016 / 8:17 am

    Gin. Cake. What’s not to like?!
    I live in hope that a gin company will want to sponsor me or send me loads of free booze…

  3. Ellen
    October 21, 2016 / 8:32 am

    Oh how fabulous!! Ok, I don’t want to be ostracised for this but I don’t drink gin. I mean if push comes to shove I’ll stick some OJ in and rap a bit of Snoop Dogg and I can get it down me but I hate g & t’s. Please still love me. I think I’d still have a good crack at the cake though, it looks AMAZING.

    • October 21, 2016 / 11:31 am

      It’s an acquired taste – often only truly appreciated once you hit 30 so I’ll let you off. Report back in 4 years ???? Thanks for reading lovely xx

  4. October 24, 2016 / 11:20 am

    Lush! Lush friend (Beta Mummy), lush gin! lush cake, lush post and you’ve inspired me to be a lush as now want a large gin!!! #lush xx

  5. October 25, 2016 / 12:23 pm

    just brilliant! Gorgeous pictures – cake looks amaaaazing you talented girl you! Wish we lived nearer to share a chat over coffee and some of that cake! xx

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