Chef Ron Block shares his recipe for lemon cakes and gin rickey as his pairings with the classic book "The Great Gatsby."

Daisy’s Elegant Lemon Cakes

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. lemon zest
1 drop yellow food coloring
8 oz. sour cream
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Sifted powdered sugar
Raspberries for garnish
Candied lemon peel (see below)
Raspberry lemon sauce (see below)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-muffin tin. 
  • In bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and set aside
  • In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating with each addition. Stir in vanilla, food coloring and lemon zest.
  • In a third bowl, combine sour cream and lemon juice. Alternate flour mixture and sour cream mixture additions to butter mixture, beating with each addition.
  • Fill muffin tins ½ -2/3 full with batter and bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Take cakes out of tin and cool on wire rack. While cooling combine another 1/3 cup lemon juice and 2/3 cup water and brush the top of the cakes as they cool.


Garnish:

Candied Lemon Peel

Use a zesting tool (or paring knife) that pulls 2 inch long peel sections and take skin from three lemons
Dissolve 2 cups of sugar in 3 cups of water over medium heat. When dissolved, add the lemon peel, reduce heat to low and simmer for up to 2 hours, making sure the peel is translucent.

Remove to dry on wire rack.

Raspberry lemon sauce

Place 2 tbsp. sugar, 6 oz. fresh raspberries and 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring often and mashing the berries. At the point of boiling, continue for 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Put mixture in food processor and process until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl so seeds are removed.

Place a lemon cake on a plate and a stripe of raspberry lemon sauce along one side. Sift a small amount of powdered sugar over the top. Place candied lemon peel and a raspberry on top and serve.

Gatsby’s Gin Rickey

2 oz. gin
Juice of 1 lime
Lime wedges
2 oz. chilled sparkling water, or to taste
Ice

Stir gin, lime juice and sparkling water with ice and strain to martini or highball glass. Float lime wedge in the drink and serve.