Every week I am faced with the challenge of coming up with two new cupcake flavours to sell in the restaurant where I work. I decided to make these liquorice cupcakes for something a bit different in the shop.
The sponge is almond and vanilla flavoured, topped with an anise extract double swirl and some liquorice allsort decorations to top. I made black cupcake wrappers after deciding white cupcake cases were too pale for a liquorice allsorts design.
Use your preferred vanilla cupcake recipe for 12;
500g icing sugar
250g unsalted butter, softened
Yellow food colouring
1) When preparing your batch of vanilla cupcakes, add almond flavouring to taste depending on how strong you want the almond component to be. I added about 1/4 tsp.
2) Bake your cupcakes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
3) Beat icing sugar and butter together until desired consistency is reached (I have provided amounts to frost 12 cupcakes). Beating for a minimum of five minutes will give the lightest and fluffiest buttercream. Add anise extract to taste. I wanted to make the anise component the strongest so had to add quite a bit.
4) Once cupcakes have cooled, prepare your piping bag. Separate the buttercream into two bowls and colour one bowl yellow (or any other of the liquorice allsorts colours!). Using clingfilm, roll the coloured buttercream into a sausage and tie at one end. Do the same with the uncoloured buttercream in another piece of clingfilm. Cut one of the ends of each of the bags of icing and insert both tubes into a piping bag. When you start to pipe, you should see the two colours appearing together.
5) Decorate as you please. I chose to place two allsorts on top of each cake and then placed the cupcakes in black wrappers for contrast.
Interestingly, even if you don’t like liquorice (which I don’t particularly), these cupcakes are surprisingly tasty. They definitely evoke a taste of liquorice but the almond sponge tames it down for the non-liquorice lovers!
Sam’s Opinion: Sam went in the huff because I wouldn’t give him a bit of my liquorice cupcake. I thought it would be a bit too strong for a dog, even him. Sam thought otherwise. He spotted a liquorice allsort I had dropped on the floor and scooped it up. What a shame. He hated it and spat it out quite far away from himself.