Liquorice & Blackcurrant Monster Cupcakes

Liquorice And Blackcurrant Monster Cupcakes (12)

These were undoubtedly the most fun of all my recent Halloween bakes and I think they will definitely become a regular recipe for me.  Decorating them allows for great creativity, in terms of the colour of the icing and the sweets used for the faces – I think next year I’ll use some bolder colours for the buttercream and try to get hold of a few more sweets than the Smarties, dolly mixtures, teeth and lips I used here.  These would look great at a Halloween party!

Liquorice And Blackcurrant Monster Cupcakes (11)

The cakes themselves are my first bake from the book I got for my birthday back in April, and the recipe appealed to me as soon as I saw it.  When I was little, my mum and I would always go to Woolworth’s to get a pick’n’mix for the journey whenever we went on holiday.  There was invariably a scoop of liquorice and blackcurrant sweets in the mix, and I loved crunching through to the gooey, flavoursome centre (thus breaking my mother’s strict ‘no crunching’ rule – what a tyrant!).  The cakes have that same flavour, and it is beautifully balanced.  Not scary at all, but a real Halloween treat.

Liquorice & Blackcurrant Monster Cupcakes

Makes 18, slightly adapted from Home Sweet Home

Ingredients:

4 liquorice tea bags

210ml milk

70 butter, softened

210g plain flour

250g caster sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

100g blackcurrant jam

For the icing:

500g icing sugar, sifted

160g butter, softened

50ml milk

2 tbsp blackcurrant cordial

For the decoration:

Dolly Mixtures, Teeth & Lips Mix, Smarties, etc

Method:

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1.  Soak the liquorice tea bags in the milk for an hour or so.

2.  Preheat the oven to 170C and line a muffin tin with paper cases.

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3.  Use an electric whisk to mix together the butter, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

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4.  Squeeze the tea bags and discard, then beat the eggs into the infused milk.

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5.  With the whisk running, gradually pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix together well.

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6.  Swirl through the blackcurrant jam.

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7.  Spoon the batter into the paper cases, filling them two thirds full.

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8.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

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9.  Stand in the tin for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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10.  To make the icing, simply beat all the ingredients together with the electric whisk.

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11.  Spread the icing onto the cakes, and decorate with sweets to make monster faces! Enjoy!

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2 Responses to Liquorice & Blackcurrant Monster Cupcakes

  1. These look great! Do they taste of liquorice/aniseed? Like blackcurrant liquorice sweets?

    • Jenny says:

      Yes, exactly like blackcurrant liquorice sweets, though the icing makes them a bit heavier on the blackcurrant, which I think is a good thing. I was worried the liquorice flavour would be a bit too overpowering, but it was really nicely balanced.

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