I have been rushed off my feet this week. I've had to pack up most of my stuff for when I move out of my current student house and I've also had to clean the house: I finally got round to hoovering under my bed - there were some serious dust creatures under there. I also wanted to meet up with friends who are graduating next month and may not be around next year. This was all before I took the (8 hour) train home to Plymouth yesterday and went almost straight to work once I got there!
I did enjoy catching up with friends and was able to try one of the places I've been eyeing up for a while, called The Garden Kitchen, where I got battered hake in some kind of pea purée which was delicious. We then decided to go for drinks but instead stumbled across a new Italian café which served very cheap coffee, cake and ice cream. All I can say is it had better still be there when I return to Newcastle in August! I also went to a fancy café called The Olive & Bean with another friend and was quite surprised to find Luscombe bottles there, as I was under the impression that they were a Devon thing. I love eating out and would do it most days if I had the means and the company for it so I really enjoyed trying these places, particularly as they were with such lovely people!
Anyway, on to the cakes: they are called Mocha Marble because I marbled coffee cake batter with chocolate cake batter. I unwittingly used the last of the cocoa powder in the batter so the buttercream is unfortunately not mocha flavoured, but coffee flavoured. I'd originally wanted to make the buttercream thick enough to pipe but got a bit overenthusiastic with the coffee... We therefore have some runny coffee buttercream, but at least this lends itself to some sort-of attractive photography.
I had planned to take these into work earlier - there's still birthday cake left from my Dad's birthday at home so instead of overloading my family with cake I'll take them to my poor, starving work colleagues. We work in a restaurant, so it's not like they're short of food but they never seem to complain when I bring them more! Anyway, I ran out of time and had to rush off to work before I could bake them. I would have had time but the cupcake cases had disappeared and my sister, who I text frantically for help, had no idea of their whereabouts either. I'd already made the batter at this point so I just put it in the fridge while I went to work. When I came back (and having found the cupcake cases) I was a bit hesitant about putting the rather more solid batter straight in the oven, but my impatient side won over my cautious one. Predictably, the cupcakes didn't come out perfectly because the outside cooked faster than the inside, still resulting in perfect sponge but also causing some imperfect (and scone-like) shapes:
|Oh, and at home there are only eleven cupcake cases. Don't get me started.
I'm entering this post into the June We Should Cocoa Challenge, hosted alternately by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog and, for the moment, a guest because Chele of Chocolate Teapot is taking a break from blogging for a while. This month the guest host is Lucy of The Kitchenmaid and she has decided that we have to bake something with chocolate and coffee.
For the cake:
- 200g Self Raising Flour
- 2 Eggs
- 200g Light Brown Muscovado Sugar
- 200g Butter
- 5 Tbsp Milk
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 20g Cocoa Powder
- 3 Tsp Instant Coffee Granules
For the buttercream:
- 200g Icing sugar
- 1 Tsp Instant Coffee Granules
- 75g Butter
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan and line a cupcake tin with cupcake cases.
- Cream the butter and muscovado sugar together, then stir in the eggs.
- Gradually stir in the flour, then add the milk so that the batter has a soft dropping consistency.
- Put half of the batter in another bowl.
- Dissolve the coffee granules in a minimum amount of boiling water, then stir it into one half of the batter.
- Stir the cocoa powder into the second half of the batter.
- Pour the coffee cake batter onto the chocolate batter and gently fold the two together. Don't mix too thoroughly.
- Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
- To make the buttercream, dissolve the coffee granules in a minimum amount of boiling water, then stir into the sifted icing sugar.
- Add the butter and cream the mixture until it is well combined, then spread it over the cakes.
For tips on baking cakes, take a look at The Basics.
I have plans for three cakes this week; I may not show them to you immediately after making them, but they'll make their way onto here within the next week or two. They should be quite exciting so do look out for them. See you soon!