I’ve figured out a new equation. Work meeting = baking. I feel weird not baking something the night before to bring with me, I’ve been doing it pretty much since I started with the company. I wanted to do something with a bit of a grown up flavour and I love coffee so I thought I’d do something with coffee in it. As I said before, the coffee liqueur has been winking at me for weeks so my mind was kind of made up for me!
So first you need to cream together the butter and sugar until pale, smooth and creamy. The original recipe for this (which you can find the link to at the bottom of this page) calls for using all caster sugar but I had a little bit of dark muscovado left so did half and half. I am really liking baking with the dark muscovado sugar, it really lends a nice flavour to whatever you are baking.
Add the eggs and beat in. If the mixture looks like curdling, add a tablespoonful of the flour. I didn’t need to do this but it’s a helpful tip to know!
Next, sift the flour and baking powder in and then fold gently with a spatula or metal spoon.
Add the coffee and milk, folding through until there are no streaks.
Add in the chopped walnut pieces and fold in until you can see they are evenly distributed through the mix. I doubled the amount that Mary lists in the ingredients so I was worried it would dry out the mixture. You could always add a little extra milk but it turned out ok for me.
Spoon into prepared cases until approx. 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven. I forgot to take a picture as this point (I don’t know how, I always remember!) but I’m sure you know how to do this part. Take the cakes out of the oven and leave to cool completely before icing.
To make the buttercream, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth then add the coffee liqueur to taste.
I have to say, that liqueur is good stuff! It smelled just fabulous in the bottle and gave the buttercream a really nice taste – it was distinctly and obviously coffee but was subtle and not too overpowering (making buttercream can get messy, I got some on my finger and had to lick it off!)
Once the cakes are completely cooled, spoon on the coffee buttercream and spread slightly with the back of the spoon. I don’t think these need to be completely covered, about how much I used in the picture below seemed to work well.
I forgot that I bought this posh chocolate from my trip to Berlin last year and realised it would be a perfect accompaniment to these cupcakes. The espresso flavour is immense, it’s almost bitter but really compliments the other more subtle coffee flavours in the cakes and the buttercream.
Top the cupcakes with squares of the chocolate or some of the leftover walnuts if you don’t have any chocolate and enjoy!
And there you have it, coffee and walnut cupcakes! I actually had one and can definitely tell you that despite the funky, childish wrappers(!), they have a very mature, grown up flavour to them. All the elements seem to come together nicely and basically what you end up with, is a nice tasting cupcake, what more could you ask for!?
Here’s a list of ingredients and method for those that prefer. It’s based loosely on a Mary Berry recipe from her new book Cook Up a Feast, written with Lucy Young. As you can see, I did tweak a few things like using half muscovado and half caster and I doubled the amount of walnuts but the basic recipe is the same. I used my own buttercream recipe too. Click the link above if you want to follow the original. It says it makes 12 cupcakes but 18 fairy cakes. I got 19, so not too far off!
Ingredients for the cupcakes
- 1 tbsp coffee granules
- 1 tbsp boiling water
- 115g unsalted butter
- 140g self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 70g caster sugar
- 70g dark muscovado sugar
- 2 tbsp milk (I used skimmed)
- 2 eggs
- 50g walnuts, chopped
Ingredients for the buttercream
- 50g unsalted butter
- 200g icing sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp coffee liqueur
- walnuts and chocolate squares, to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180º and line a muffin tin with paper cases.
- Place the coffee and water together in a mug and stir until smooth.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until it gets paler in colour and creamier in texture.
- Add the eggs then whisk until fully incorporated. Add a tbsp of flour if it looks like the mix is curdling.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder, folding in gently with a spatula or metal spoon.
- Add the coffee, stirring through the batter then add the milk.
- Fold through the chopped walnuts until evenly distributed through the mixture.
- Spoon into the paper cases and bake for 20-25 minutes, until risen and a skewer/toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- To make the buttercream, beat together the icing sugar and butter then add the coffee liqueur to taste.
- Top with a walnut or chocolate square to decorate. Enjoy!