Forget strawberries and cream, rhubarb and custard or pea and mint; if there is a winning food combination that hits the spot every time it has to be chocolate and coffee. It can’t just be me who gets stuck between choosing a cappachino or a hot choc so opts for a trusty mocha nearly every time? So why then, when we think of coffee cake, do we always associate it with evil walnuts? These little cakes do away with those demon cake spoilers, and instead pair coffee and chocolate together as they were meant to be. They’re easy to make, freeze well (before decorating) and taste lush, so why not give them a try?
Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)
150g Caster sugar
150g Self-raising flour
2 tsp Instant coffee
20g Cocoa powder
200g Icing sugar
1 tbsp Milk
Before you begin, pre-heat your oven to 170° or Gas Mark 3 and line your cake trays with 12 cake cases.
First of all you want to make yourself a basic cup cake mix. Start by creaming together the butter and sugar until it’s well blended and light. Next, beat the eggs in the separate dish and then add them a bit at a time, mixing well in-between.
Once you’ve mixed together your wet ingredients, sift in the flour and fold it in with a large spoon.
Next, seperate half of the mix into a different bowl. Don’t worry about measuring it out exactly, as long as you can tell there will be a decent amount of each flavour.
Dissolve your coffee in about 2 tbsp boiling water. Add this to one bowl a bit at a time, and stop adding once the mix has reached your desired strength of caffeinated goodness.
In the other bowl, sift in the cocoa powder and fold with a large spoon. You’re now ready to work some marble magic.
Some marble cake recipes will tell you to mix it all together in the mixing bowl, but I always end up over-swirling and creating an un-appetising new colour. Instead, place one tablespoon of mix to one side of each cake case, and repeat on the other side with the other mix. It’s not as fiddly as it sounds, and you’ll have much more control over your marble effect.
With the handle of a teaspoon, gently swirl your mixture to create the marble effect. By careful not to get carried away as intricate patterns will be lost during the baking – so the bolder the better.
Pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes (fork test at 20), then take out and place on a cooling rack. Leave to cool completely before icing.
For decoration I have gone for a classic buttercream frosting, and dusted it with hot chocolate powder to create the effect of a mocha. The trick to not ending up with yellow icing (because that would really not look like a mocha) is to whisk your butter for bloody ages, until it loses its colour. Then fold in the icing sugar and cautiously add milk whilst mixing.
Spread the icing on with a palette knife then sift over the hot chocolate powder, and hey presto, you have yourself 12 adorable marble mocha cupcakes!