As I said in my last post, this unfortunate baker is on a diet so I had a good idea of baking some cupcakes with a flavour I really don’t like but the hubby does – liquorice!
Every Christmas I, or the cat, will buy him a box of liquorice allsorts; which is good because you know there is at least 1 present you’re not out of mind trying to choose, even if its not very original.
I had this cupcake idea a while ago so I had already bought a bag of liquorice allsorts in preparation to use as decoration. He had spotted them in the cupboard one day and moaned that they weren’t Bassett’s which is probably the only reason they survived to be used on the cakes. Either that or a short memory retention.
As I made these for my husband I tried not to make the decoration too girly. This time I went for the ‘dog poo’ swirl on the top instead of my usual rose shape and didn’t use a single bit of glitter.
I asked for his rating out of ten and he gave them an 8. He said the 8 was for the liquorice decoration and not the cake, but he still ate 4 in a day so I think they were reasonably successful.
For the cakes
4.5oz Self Raising Flour
4oz Margarine (you can use half/half butter and marg if you prefer)
2oz Dark brown sugar
2oz Caster sugar
2 Medium eggs
2 tsp Anise extract
For the icing
In a bowl add a extremely generous tablespoon of Margarine (I always use Stork as I’ve found other brands split) Then add approx 5-6 tablespoons of icing sugar and beat together until very light and fluffy. Add a teaspoon of Anise extract and a small amount of black gel food colouring. Don’t use liquid food colouring as this will cause the mix to be too runny. Mix in another tablespoon of icing sugar and beat until combined. This can be stored in the fridge until needed and either piped on or use a flat knife.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 180oC
In a bowl mix the margarine with the two sugars and beat until it looks lovely and has changed into a paler colour. You can’t over beat at this stage.
Add an egg and a tablespoon of flour and mix until just combined. Do the same with the second egg and another tablespoon of flour.
Add the remaining flour and Anise extract and gently mix together. You don’t want to over beat the eggs in the mix, just to combine them.
If the mix looks a tad dry (this can happen due to variations with the size of the eggs or the different brands of flour) then add a small dash of milk.
Spoon the mixture equally between your cake cases. I used cupcake cases and these made 8 cakes.
Bake in the oven for at least 20 minutes before opening the door to see if they are done. Larger cakes will need 25-30 minutes but very small fairy cake cases will cook in 20 minutes.
To check they are done they should look a light brown colour and should spring back when you gently press on the top.
Once cooked, remove and cool before decorating with the buttercream icing and adding a liquorice sweet to the top.