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Chocolate aniseed ice-cream cake


  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 250g (1 punnet) strawberries, washed, hulled, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Annisette liqueur (Baitz brand)
  • 1 teaspoon aniseed essence
  • 1L good-quality vanilla ice-cream
  • Cocoa powder, to dust
  • Good-quality chocolate sauce, to serve
  • 250g (1 punnet) strawberries, washed, halved, extra, to serve


  • 160g (1 cup, lightly packed) brown sugar
  • 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 1 tablespoon aniseed essence
  • 150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
  • 50g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice


  • Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a 20cm (base measurement) square cake pan with the melted butter to grease. Line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing the paper to overhang the sides.
  • Step 2 - To make the chocolate aniseed cake, use an electric beater to beat the sugar and butter in a medium bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Use a large metal spoon to fold in the milk and aniseed essence. Sift the flour, cocoa and Chinese five spice over the bowl and fold in until well combined.
  • Step 3 - Pour the cake mixture into the lined pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Step 4 - Meanwhile, use a small sharp knife to split the vanilla bean in half lengthways, scrape out the seeds and place in a large bowl. Add the strawberries, liqueur and aniseed essence, and toss to combine. Set aside for 30 minutes to macerate.
  • Step 5 - Use a potato masher or fork to mash the strawberry mixture until roughly crushed.
  • Step 6 - Wash and dry the cake pan. Line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing the paper to overhang the sides. Place the ice-cream in a large bowl and set aside for 10 minutes or until it softens slightly. Fold the strawberry mixture through the softened ice-cream until well combined. Spoon into the lined pan and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface. Place in the freezer for 4 hours or until firm.
  • Step 7 - Use a large serrated knife to cut the cake in half horizontally.
  • Step 8 - Place one half of the cake cut-side up on a chopping board. Top with the frozen ice-cream. Sandwich with the remaining cake half. Use a serrated knife to cut evenly into 9 squares. Place on serving plates. Dust with cocoa and drizzle with the chocolate sauce. Serve immediately with the extra strawberries.

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