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Tuesday 22 July 2014

Sluttishly Sweet: Cardamom Coffee Cakes

Here's one for wandering spirits: aromatic coffee and crushed cardamom seeds, sweet white chocolate and a hint of orange blossom... If you can't get away on holiday this summer, here's a trip to a souk in CAKE FORM.

Cardamom Coffee Cupcakes (makes 14-16, depending on cake cases)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 20-25 minutes

You will need:
For the cakes:
  • 200g butter, softened
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water (optional)
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 50g white chocolate, finely chopped
  • Splash of milk
For the topping:
  • 175g butter, softened
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 1 heaped tsp instant coffee / espresso powder
  • 50g white chocolate, finely grated
  • Sprinkling ground coffee, to decorate
Make it!
The cakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease the paper cupcake cases and place in a cupcake tin.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat the eggs in one at a time, with a tablespoon of the flour to stop the mixture from splitting.
  4. Add the orange blossom water, if using and stir in.
  5. Place the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar and bash until the seeds come out of the husks. Discard the husks then pound the seeds into a powder (or use a spice grinder for this).
  6. Stir into the cake mix, along with the white chocolate and the splash of milk.
  7. Sift the rest of flour into the mixture gradually, folding in gently with a metal spoon.
  8. Dollop into the paper cases, filling them 2/3 full.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and risen and a skewer comes out clean.
  10. Place on a wire rack to cool.
The topping:
  1. Place the butter in a large bowl and sift in the icing sugar. 
  2. Beat together until combined and fluffy.
  3. Dilute the coffee powder with about 50ml hot water to make very strong coffee: stir in to taste, 2 tbsps should do it.
  4. Cut a little inverted cone in the top of the cakes. Pipe onto the cakes or frost with a palette knife. 
  5. Sprinkle with grated white chocolate and a tiny pinch of ground coffee. 

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