fennel seeds help to aid digestion) and I love them. And being me, I couldn't look at the beautiful colours of the coated fennel seeds without thinking, 'Cupcake decorations!".
french yoghurt cake recipe that I tested out a long time ago on this blog, but paired it with an orange buttercream rather than a marmalade glaze. The addition of fennel seeds in the batter infuses it with a very light, fragrant aroma of anise, not the least bit overpowering. Even if you don't like liquorice, you will like these. I've had this recipe waiting in the sidelines for a while, I made it for my brother's birthday but then all the hectic Christmas baking came straight after it. I mucked up the buttercream slightly when I made it for him, but have since improved it. But it seems appropriate to try something new on my brother, since he's the one who taught me to get over my silly fears.
Fennel Seed & Orange Cupcakes
(adapted from this Dorie Greenspan recipe)
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup almond meal (can replace with another 1/2 cup plain flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup flavorless oil, such canola or safflower (I used about 2 tbsp less of this)
1 tsp fennel seeds
For the buttercream:
125g unsalted butter, softened slightly
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
1 tbsp sugar-coated (or regular) fennel seeds to sprinkle on top (available at Indian grocery stores)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Put the sugar and zest in a medium bowl and rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic.