Friday, 29 May 2009

Rachel Allen's Mocha Cake

The funniest thing about running a blog is Google Analytics. The initial excitement that somebody other than me had read it, then finding out in map view that person is from Argentina! Apart from trying to collect a reader in every country (gotta catch 'em all) I love reading the search results. The most common search is for Press Coffee, although I get some very strange ones too. Try "I don't like eating with other people" and "Tania Tang". I have no idea who she is although she sounds dubious to me.

This post is dedicated to the person who searched for "Rachel Allen mocha cake review".

As someone with a rather large baking store-cupboard, the only ingredients I had to buy for this cake were fresh eggs and some butter. Usually I have some of them in the house but this time they had run out. Luckily, as E was craving cake (he was finishing uni that morning) he offered to pick them up on the way home from his exam.

The cake batter was simple to pull together, and "Bake" is rapidly becoming my book of choice for sweet treats. I couldn't be bothered baking a layered cake, as my sandwich pans are teeny, so to get a decent size cake I usually use the springform pan and wash it out between layers. However, the recipe gave alternate timings for cupcakes, so I went with this.

Mocha cupcake

The cakes cooked well, although I had to turn the pan to combat a cool spot in the front of the oven. The icing is a simple coffee buttercream. Usually, I pipe in a spiral inwards, but I'd seen online that piping in a spiral outwards from the centre created a rose petal effect. Seeing as E was going to snaffle these down with whisky and beer, I was sure he wouldn't mind if I experimented with the decor a little.

My roses were pretty poor, although for a first attempt I was impressed. I think with a little practice I might be able to produce something quite pretty. I also made a few traditional ones to take pictures of.

More Mocha Cupcake-ary

The cakes were generally light and moist, and kept well until the next day. The buttercream was very sweet, but went well with the cake. I've noticed buttercream gets a lot of "haterz" online, either as it is too sweet or too fatty tasting. I think if it's well whipped and spread sparingly it tastes great. (Plus, we're talking cake here, if you want something non sugary and fatty I suggest a salad.)

I think next time I will make this cake as a proper cake rather than cupcakes. As is the way with cupcakes, the icing to cake ratio was a bit off. Actually, the ratio wasn't too bad, it was the distribution. I like layer cakes as the icing is spread evenly, whereas the combination the cupcake shape and a small mouth means I invariably get icing up my nose, and one bite of icing followed by another solely of cake.


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Yum! I love the elegant simplicity of that. And isn't google analytics funny stuff. I agree finding out you have readers in Outer Mongolia and Kazakhstan was a real highlight for me! :P