Toasted Quinoa Cake with Fig-Balsamic Drizzle and Gin & Gin-Gins Whipped Cream by Nathan Bethell

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Toasted Quinoa Cake with Fig-Balsamic Drizzle and Gin & Gin-Gins Whipped Cream

Toasted Quinoa Flour:
– 5 tbsp quinoa

Toasted Quinoa Cake
– ¼ cup butter, softened
– ½ cup sugar
– 1 egg, room temperature
– ¼ cup milk, room temperature
– ½ tsp vanilla
– 6 tbsp toasted quinoa flour
– 6 tbsp cake flour
– ¾ tsp baking powder

Fig-Balsamic Drizzle
– Six dried figs quartered
– 1 ½ cups water
– 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Gin & Gin-Gins Infusion
– 6 gin-gin candies
– Inch-long piece of ginger, peeled
– 1 sprig of thyme
– ¾ cup water
– ¼ cup Nolet’s or Hendrick’s Gin

Gin & Gin-Gins Whipped Cream
– ½ cup whipping cream
– 1 tbsp gin & gin-gins infusion
– Thyme leaves

1. Preheat oven to 350

Toasted Quinoa Flour
1. Rinse the quinoa in fine mesh sieve under running water (I find inserting a coffee filter into your fine mesh sieve helps with clean-up). Shake off as much excess water as possible.
2. Spread the quinoa in a thin layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes until dry and some kernels have begun to turn golden brown, giving off a nutty aroma.
3. Transfer toasted quinoa to a bowl, and let cool. Leave oven at 350.
4. In batches, grind toasted quinoa in a spice grinder until it is a coarse flour. You should have about 7 tbsp.

Toasted Quinoa Cake:
1. Mix together 6 tbsp of the toasted quinoa flour, the cake flour, and the baking powder in a small bowl.
2. Butter a 6 inch cake pan, and flour it with some of the remaining quinoa flour.
3. In another bowl, beat together the softened butter and sugar until fluffy.
4. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat them together with the butter and sugar.
5. Add half the milk and half the flour mixture. Stir until combined. And the rest of the milk and the rest of the flour mixture and stir until combined.
6. Transfer the batter to the buttered-and-floured cake pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool in its pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Fig-Balsamic Drizzle
1. Put quartered figs and water into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
2. Drain fig liquid through a fine mesh sieve. After draining you should have about ½ cup of fig liquid.
3. Return fig liquid to the sauce pan. Add the balsamic, and reduce until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.

Gin and Gin-Gins Infusion
1. Combine Gin-Gins and water in a sauce pan. Heat over low heat, stirring frequently until gin-gins are dissolved. Add the ginger and the sprig of thyme. Let simmer 10 minutes. Remove the piece of ginger and thyme and discard.
2. Raise heat to medium low, add the gin. Using a long match, ignite the gin. Let it burn for 15 seconds, and then blow it out or cover the pot to extinguish the flame.
3. Let the infusion reduce a little longer, but don’t let it reach the consistency of a syrup. Remove from heat.

Gin and Gin-Gins Infused Whipped Cream
1. In a bowl, whip the cream. When the cream begins to thicken, add the tbsp of the Gin and Gin-Gins Infusion. Continue whipping the cream until soft peaks form. Stir in thyme leaves.
To Plate: Put a slice of cake on the plate, and drizzle the fig-balsamic drizzle over top in lines. Put a spoonful of the infused whipped cream next to the cake.

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