Whether for your one true love, or just to share with family and friends, Valentines day offers a great opportunity to do some baking. I recently indulged in some sweet treats of my own, baking a batch of Smores and Mocha (chocolate and coffee) flavoured cupcakes.
I love baking but don’t get the opportunity to do it very often, especially the time to experiment or try new recipes. However, I had to do some baking for school a few weeks ago so and managed to squeeze in an evening to bake. Not only did I have a fun time baking (let’s be honest, by this I mean licking the spoon), but I also made some really tasty treats- perfect for indulgent Valentines gifts or sorrows.
The Smores cupcakes were made using a Tanya Bakes recipe from Tanya Burr. They were really inventive, if a little difficult, but came out pretty well and still tasted heavenly. I’d actually really recommend the book if you’re a fan of hers or not, as it is filled with some great recipes- all the ones I’ve tried, I’ve loved.
It is basically a biscuit-bottomed vanilla sponge with chocolate buttercream icing and a dollop of melted marshmallow… with a square of milk chocolate to finish off the indulgence. In other words- YUM.
The second set of cakes were actually my own brain child, mixing a combination of different recipes from books and online to create the finished cupcake- along with my grandma’s tip of Flake decoration.
To begin making the batch of around 15 cupcakes (I’m not too sure of the final amount it made but it was quite a lot!), you will need to preheat the oven to 180.
Make up a cup of strong coffee and set it aside to cool- this is to add in later.
Grab a mixing bowl and cream together 225g of unsalted butter and 225g of caster sugar.
When combined, mix in 4 eggs, 250g of self-raising flour, baking powder (if you have any, I didn’t…) and 50g cocoa power. If cool, then add 150ml of the strong cool coffee to the batter.
Set out all your cupcake cases into a cupcake tray and spoon in the mixture evenly, ensure you have at least two reasonable teaspoons of mixture in each. Then put in the oven and leave to bake for 20 minutes, testing to see if they’re done with a wooden skewer (it should come out clean).
It’s probably worth cleaning up a bit at this point- my kitchen sides were a chaotic clutter of emptied bowls and dusted cocoa- as you won’t be able to put the icing onto the cakes until they’re cool… you may think you don’t have time but it will NOT WORK IF YOU PUT IT ON WHEN THEY’RE STILL WARM. Be patient and wait. You can even do that ever so important bowl-lick in this time.
Then for the icing, which is essential, take 200g of soft butter and gradually add 200g of icing sugar- you may need a slight bit more depending on the texture. Be careful as this is the stage of the deadly icing cloud fumes which smoke up your kitchen.
For the icing’s coffee element, take two teaspoons of instant expresso and mix is up with 1 tablespoon of water (this can be cold). Once combined into a coffee liquid, add this to your icing. Using the bain marie method, place 50g of chocolate- broken into chunks- in a bowl over boiled water. You may need a smidge of butter to help this help too. Let it cool briefly before adding this to the icing mix.
When the cakes are cool, using the back of a spoon or a knife, apply a generous amount of icing to the cupcakes. I also took a few Flakes are crumbled them up, scattering the chocolate sawdust on top of the icing, to finish these indulgent treats.
I also picked up these adorable heart cake toppers from Tiger (literally like £1), and popped them in for that Valentines feel.
So happy Valentine’s Day and happy baking, to all you of you. Although we all know its food before dudes.