Because what goes better than black licorice and birthday cake? (Answer: Anything!!)
My mom's love for black licorice is unlike anything you can imagine. She gets a family-sized bag for Christmas and for her birthday and it is usually eaten within the hour she receives it (which is why we reserve it for special occasions). So when I asked her what type of cake she'd like for her 45th birthday, it should have come as no surprise to me that she would ask for a black licorice birthday cake. After racking my brain for ideas, I finally created her cake: a black and white zebra cake (made out of licorice, of course) with pink accents around the bottom.
The cake was a funfetti vanilla cake with a homemade vanilla buttercream frosting. For the zebra stripes, I took pieces of the licorice and after carefully cleaning a pair of kitchen scissors, cut the pieces to resemble a zebra pattern, snipping the ends on a diagonal and trimming some of the pieces in the middle.
The smaller bits that I cut off the strips I placed around the cake sides to continue the pattern, and then for the bottom of the cake I tinted some of the vanilla icing pink and piped pearls along the bottom of the cake to give it some color and look a bit more finished.
While everyone else had to pick the licorice off of their piece, mom loved the cake and could not believe that I was actually able to incorporate her love of black licorice in her birthday cake.
What's the weirdest candy you've used in making cakes/cupcakes?