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The Freewheel line with a couple of English friends.

It takes a lot of beer to keep the wine business running smoothly. Here in Redwood City, we are very fortunate to have a great English style ale producer right in our backyard: Freewheel Brewing Company. The staff of K&L are fictures at our local pub, and it is a rare moment when one of us isn't there having a pint and a bite of their excellent food. We are also lucky enough to be the first place to offer their bottled beer for sale. If you have never had it, the Freewheel Brewing "FSB" Freewheel Special Bitter, California (500ml) is the benchmark in fresh, balanced, smashable ale. We will do our best to keep some in stock for you, the customer too!

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Boozy Confections

Dear Sprinkles,

This is the hardest letter I've had to write, so I'm just going to get straight to the point. After countless carrot, red velvet and coconut cupcakes I'm leaving you. You see, I'm in love. And this time my sweets are spiked.

Lucy Baker, who I knew in my previous life as an editorial assistant at Harper Collins (she had the enviable job of working upstairs in cookbooks), has just published her own first book, The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets. This slender volume is like a secret life for your bar, its recipes incorporating everything from Limoncello and Campari to Rum or Walnut Liqueur into decadent desserts like Lemon Layer Cake with Campari Frosting.

Of course, using booze in sweets isn't anything new. Liqueurs and spirits have been moonlighting in confectionary classics such as tiramisu and baba au rhum for generations. But the Boozy Baker, along with another recently published book, Booze Cakes: Confections Spiked with Spirits, Wine and Beer by Krystina Castella and Terry Lee Stone, are as creative with their Kitchen Aides as mix-master Scott Beattie is with a Boston shaker.

So next time you're contemplating splurging on a bottle of vintage Single Barrel Bourbon or just wish there was something (anything?) that you could do with that bottle of Kahlua your mother insists you keep on hand, why not bake something?


Lemon Layer Cake with Campari Frosting

from Serious Eats, adapted from the Boozy Baker by Lucy Baker


For the cake:

11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
11/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons limoncello
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

For the buttercream frosting:

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons limoncello
1 tablespoon Campari


1. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans or spray them with nonstick spray. Line the bottoms with parchment paper. Dust the pans with flour and tap out the excess.

2. In a medium bowl whisk the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

4. Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour, and beating well after each addition. Add the limoncello, lemon juice, and lemon zest and beat just until incorporated.

5. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 30 minutes, until the cakes are puffed and set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes for 10 minutes in the pans, the remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

6. To make the Campari buttercream, beat the butter and 2 cups of confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the milk, limoncello, and Campari. Gradually beat in 1 to 2 more cups of confectioners sugar until the buttercream is thick and creamy.

7. Place one cake layer on a plate and spread with half of the buttercream. Top with the remaining cake layer and spread with the remaining buttercream.

Leah Greenstein

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Reader Comments (1)

I rarely crave sweets, but this afternoon I really wanted something just like this.

Can't wait to make these.

Double YUM!!

Thanks for posting this!!!
July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArtisan Mixers

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