With the combined incentives of a visit from a coffee loving friend and this month’s We Should Cocoa ingredient being coffee, it was time to revive a couple of bakes I used to make regularly when hosting a party: Nigella’s Espresso and Cappuccino Cupcakes from How to be a Domestic Goddess. I haven’t made these since I started this blog. I’m not sure why, ahh, is it because I don’t like coffee? If truth be told, coffee is not a flavour I’m particularly fond of. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee I find most tempting, but unfortunately, not the taste. CT on the other hand, whilst not particularly fond of the drink, likes the flavour in bakes & chocolates – guess who always gets passed the coffee chocolates? Lucy blogging at The KitchenMaid is hosting this month’s We Should Cocoa and she has chosen coffee – I could hardly demur!
Although I made a few changes to Nigella’s recipe, I can’t for the life of me remember what I did; it was a few days ago and I foolishly didn’t write it down after baking. I remember using half spelt flour and adding yogurt to the cake mix to lighten them a bit and some maca powder for its health benefits. So I am, sadly, unable to tell you exactly how I made them, but I do remember used lots of dark chocolate as well as white chocolate and I only made six of each.
Anyway, reports were good and despite my lack of enthusiasm for coffee, I did try them both. The espresso cakes were dark and bitter and gave a real jolt from the combination of dark chocolate and strong coffee. The rich espresso ganache topping and chocolate covered coffee bean on top added to the indelible stamp of a good espresso – so I’m told. The cappuccino ones, I found more palatable. They tasted of coffee for sure, but not as strongly and the creamy mascarpone and white chocolate top helped calm things down a bit. The cream and dark coffee colours looked quite spectacular together, although, due to the bad weather, my photographs don’t capture this very well.
The cakes were enjoyed after a session with the bees. Yes, that’s right, bees. Three years after having a top bar hive built for my mother, we have finally sourced some bees. They arrived less than two weeks ago and this was the first time the lid was being taken off to check that all was OK – a momentous occasion. We were somewhat concerned as a) the weather has been atrocious and b) there was the possibility of the comb being built the wrong way. When I say session, I mean CT and my mother; both I and our friend kept a wary distance. As it happened, all seemed absolutely fine. A comb had been built and in the right place too (we think)!
Not having taken part in the Forever Nigella challenge, the brainchild of Sarah of Maison Cupcake, for a while, I thought it was about time I did. So, I was really pleased to find out that this month’s theme, guest hosted by Homemade by Fleur is Afternoon Tea. Well, what a relief for those tea sceptics to find some very welcome coffee! So please find my espresso and cappuccino cupcakes sitting demurely at the Afternoon Tea table – but be warned, they are anything but demure!