All cakes are trying to tell you something. Some cakes say things like “Happy Birthday” or “Congratulations,” but if you read between the lines they all say “Eat Me.”
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and butter two 8-inch (20 cm) or 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pans.
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In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar for a few minutes, until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
By hand or with the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour and mixing after each addition just until combined.
Divide the batter between the pans and if you like, scatter blackcurrants overtop.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Invert onto wire racks to cool completely, then cut into small rounds or squares using a 1 1/2-inch (4 cm) round cookie cutter or a knife.
4 to 5 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water or blackcurrant concentrate
1/4 tsp vanilla
Whisk all the ingredients together in a double boiler set over simmering water. When warm and smooth, remove from heat and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
Place the cut-out cakes on a wire rack and pour the icing slowly and evenly over them, coating them completely. If the icing cools and gets too thick, rewarm it a bit.
If you like, top with fresh blackcurrants and allow the cakes to set. Otherwise, let the icing set before writing on top (see Alice’s advice).
Makes about 18 little cakes, and lots of scraps to nibble. This recipe is easily doubled if you expect many guests for tea.
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Alice"s advice: Spell “Eat Me” on your cakes in extra blackcurrants, or if you have none, stir water or bottled blackcurrant concentrate into icing sugar until you have a squeezable consistency. Spoon the icing into a small ziplock bag and snip a teeny bit off one corner. Gently squeeze the icing out while writing.
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