Chocolate espresso cupcakes

These are one of my favourite things to make when I’m at home – really easy, everything just goes in the blender, and really yummy too. They’re not so suited for uni baking (how many students have espresso powder lying around? Or a blender for that matter?) but every holidays I bake a batch or two of these. Incidentally, they’re also the only cupcakes my dad will admit to liking – perhaps the espresso and dark chocolate are manly enough to cancel out their cuteness?! Anyhow this is the recipe I use – adapted slightly from one of Nigella Lawson’s in How to be a Domestic Goddess. It makes about 15 fairy cakes (I think our tins are a bit smaller than reguar cupcake tins):

Ingredients:

125g butter or margarine

125g dark muscovado sugar

2 eggs

125g self-raising flour

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

50g dark (70% cocoa) chocolate, melted (but don’t melt it too early or else it will start to solidify the mixture when you add it)

1-2 tablespoons milk

For the icing (these are my own quantities; the original is twice this but I find that is too much):

150g dark (70%) chocolate

25g butter

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

1.Oven to 200c

2. Cream the butter/margarine and sugar in a blender – I normally whizz the sugar by itself first to try to get rid of some lumps, though in all honesty I’m not sure if it helps or matters.

3. Add the eggs one at a time, whizzing between.

4. Add the flour, cocoa and espresso powder and beat some more.

5. Add the melted chocolate and milk and whizz until you have a smooth batter.

6. Divide into cupcake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes, then cool on a wire cooling rack

7. To make the icing, melt the chocolate, butter and espresso powder all together – takes 1-2 minutes in the microwave at 600W, but check and stir regularly.

8. Spread some icing over each cake – I find these quantities make enough for a little over 1 desertspoon per cake.

9. Eat!

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