I went to my favourite baking shop in the Arndale Market to get a big cake box that fit 12 large cakes, as well as some edible gold glitter to try and make the cakes look a bit classier than my usual slapdash efforts.
As I was making the cakes for a present and I wanted them to be top notch, I decided from the start to be super organised about getting all my ingredients out ready at the start so I didn't have to scramble around for ingredients halfway through cooking. I almost managed it, but forgot the vanilla essence. No biggie - just the smallest, most difficult thing to find in the whole baking box. Grr. Oh well, it's a mistake I won't make twice.
The cakes actually turned out really nice. The use of the syrup makes the cakes really soft and moist and the Amaretto icing was very yummy and perfect for a wedding-related gift but very sweet indeed. These cakes are not for the faint hearted!
I tried to be super careful and gentle when icing the cakes to try and make sure they came out looking presentable. They were still a bit messy but much neater than usual!
For the cakes:
110g unsalted butter
180g caster sugar
2 large eggs
125g self-raising flour
120g plain flour
125ml semi-skimmed milk
1 teaspoon Amaretto
For the Amaretto syrup:
125g caster sugar
1 teaspoon Amaretto
For the icing
115g unsalted butter
60ml semi-skimmed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
500g icing sugar
2 teaspoons Amaretto
Start by making the cakes. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C and prepare your cake tins. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well.
Sift the two types of flour into a separate bowl.
Also, in a jug mix the milk and amaretto together.
To the original eggs, butter and sugar mix, add one third of the flour and beat. Then add one third of the milk mix and beat. Repeat this process until all the flour and milk is nicely beaten in and you have a smooth mix.
Add your mixture to the cake cases using two teaspoons and put into the oven. Cook the cakes for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and a skewer comes out clean from the middle of them.
While the cakes are cooking in the oven, you can get on with making the amaretto syrup and amaretto icing.
For the syrup, mix the water, amaretto and caster sugar together in a saucepan. Place the pan over the lowest heat until all the sugar has disappeared. You will now have a lovely runny clear syrup.
For the icing, mix together the butter, amaretto, milk, vanilla extract and half of the icing sugar in a bowl.
Beat the mixture until nice and smooth.
Gradually add the rest of the icing sugar until you have a nice thick icing. More amaretto can be added to taste or if the icing is looking too thick. Cover the icing until ready to ice the cakes.
When the cakes have been out of the oven and cooling in their tin for 10 minutes, it is time to add the syrup to the cakes.
With a teaspoon, drizzle the syrup over the cakes until they are fully covered in syrup. If you put too much on and there's a pool of syrup, you can always pour it onto another one of the cakes.
Once all cakes have been syrupped, take them out of the tin to finish cooling. When the cakes are cooled you can ice them using a palette knife. Once the cakes are iced, decorate with edible glitter. I used a (clean) make up brush to apply the glitter which seemed to work quite well - much neater than it would have been had I used my fingers!
So there we go, yet another great recipe from my beloved Primrose - lovely light amaretto cupcakes!