The Coffee Round-up – Part II

Every great book or film has a sequel and this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge is no different. Fasten your seatbelts, as Bette Davis once said in a completely different context, there’s a lot more coffee and chocolate to get through…

Is it too early for a splash of Amaretto? Of course not, it’s never too early, especially if it’s in these Amaretto Coffee Brownies as made by Georgina at Culinary Travels.

7337469914 826825e2d1 Amaretto Coffee Brownies
Amaretto Coffee Brownies

If you’d rather brownies with a hint of spice, with is perhaps more appropriate first thing in the morning, you might prefer these Spiced Brownies made by Janet at The Taste Space.

Spiced Brownies

I’m sure you couldn’t say no to one of these Coffee-Iced Brownies from the Hungry Hinny. Go on, just one won’t hurt.

Coffee-Iced Brownies

Still not convinced? Then what about this Mocha Fudge Brownie Slice – the brownie that combines all that fudgy goodness AND a shortbread base – made by Suelle at Mainly Baking?

Mocha Fudge Brownie Slice

Ok, no more brownies, I promise. Let’s move on to something with a bit of crunch, like these Happiness Cookies, inspired by Joy the Baker and made by everyone’s favourite femme fatale, Delaney at Heartbreak Pie. Here’s a tantalising shot of the bowl…

Happiness Cookies – in process

Harriet at Food Love Food also went in for biscuits – these Chocolate Espresso Biscuits look divine.

Chocolate Espresso Fingers

I absolutely love the look of these Mocha Viennese Fingers from Cookbooks Galore, particularly because they look exactly like something from the Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook circa 1970 (and I mean that as a compliment).

Mocha Viennese Fingers

And the precision of these Mocha Bourbon Biscuits (that’s Bourbon as in the packaged biscuit, not the drink) blows me away. Take a bow, Becky of Mint Custard!

Mocha Bourbon Biscuits

Caroline from Cake, Crumbs and Cooking detests coffee but she gritted her teeth and got stuck in with these Coffee Chocolate Chunk Cookies (while offering the helpful suggestion that the coffee can be omitted in favour of ginger).

Coffee Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I felt terrible when Choclette, the founder of We Should Cocoa, confessed she couldn’t stand coffee either, but the sight of her lovely Espresso and Cappuccino Cupcakes cheered me up no end.

Espresso And Cappuccino Cupcakes

Juliet from The Crazy Gypsy Chronicles doesn’t drink coffee either, but she admits being addicted to these sweet little Mocha Cookie Kisses.

Mocha Cookie Kisses

Actually, I should probably come clean and this point and confess that I don’t drink the stuff either. But I do occasionally eat it in things, such as Mary Mathis’ Chocolate Biscuits.

Mary Mathis’ Chocolate Biscuits

But enough of these caffeine confessions, let’s get back to the baking. Katie from Apple and Spice made her We Should Cocoa debut with this delectable, gluten-free, Coffee Swirl Cake With Chocolate Chips. She can come again, right?

Coffee Swirl Cake With Chocolate Chips

Sarah at Sarah Bakes wins the prize for the cutest cupcake tin – her Cappuccino Cupcakes are actually baked in these silicon cases.

Cappuccino Cupcakes

Mac at Chocolate Recipes – a blog that has what it says on the tin – made me swoon with this Chocolate Cake with Coffee Syrup (and I don’t really like chocolate cake, much).

Chocolate Cake With Coffee Syrup

But that’s not to say that I didn’t also love the look of this Vanilla Iced Coffee And Chocolate Cake from Jo at Comfort Bites…

Vanilla Iced Coffee and Chocolate Cake

… or this Chocolate And Coffee Cake With Espresso Buttercream from Susie at Fold In The Flour (I have just found Susie’s blog – her baking is incredible).

Chocolate And Coffee Cake With Espresso Buttercream

Time for a break from cake? Ok, here’s a Frozen Mocha Cheesecake from Susan at Spice Garden, dating back to her days of singleton debauchery. She says this cheesecake serves 12, but I reckon she’s not trying hard enough.

Frozen Mocha Cheesecake

This Dark Chocolate And Coffee Mousse from TangoLikeRaindrop also looks just the ticket for a night of decadence. Preferably one spent home alone on the sofa, in front of Coronation St. Have I just shared too much?

Dark Chocolate And Coffee Mousse

Enough about my Coro habits (is it just me, or do Carla and Michelle look like they’ve been dip-dyed in Nescafe?), Jen at Blue Kitchen Bakes knocked out this very respectable-looking Chocolate And Coffee Loaf.

Chocolate And Coffee Loaf

Karen at Lavender and Lovage never ceases to amaze me with her incredibly detailed and inventive recipes – and her entry this month was every bit as incredible as I expected. These Little Coffee Chocolate Chip Cupcakes With Vanilla Cream Froth are a delight to behold (and I’m sure they’re even better to eat).

Little Coffee Cup Chocolate-Chip Cakes with Vanilla Cream Froth
Little Coffee Chocolate-Chip Cupcakes With Vanilla Cream Froth

Given that she zips back and forth between France and the UK, Jean at Baking In Franglais is pretty inventive too. Here’s her Cappuccino Cake, whipped up in haste for her dad.

cappuccino cake1
Cappuccino Cake

Fleur at Homemade By Fleur is also a cake whiz and she created this Chocolate And Coffee Celebration Cake With Whipped Vanilla Icing for her entry. That’s worth celebrating in itself, surely.

Chocolate And Coffee Celebration Cake With Whipped Vanilla Icing

Meanwhile, Cheah at No-Frills Recipes solved the problem of what to do with the bottle of Kahlua sitting in her cupboard by pouring some of it into these Almond Coffee Cakes. Shall we speculate on what happened to the rest?

Almond Coffee Cakes

No, let’s gaze at the fantastically drippy icing on this Spiced Espresso Loaf Cake, made by Laura at How To Cook Good Food. I love drippy icing.

Spiced Espresso Loaf Cake

Speaking of which, Janine at Cake Of The Week also went all out on the icing front with these Mocha Marble Cupcakes. This is icing porn at its best!

Mocha Marble Cupcakes

I’ll leave the last word to Iva, organiser of the New Zealand Chocolate Festival. She says her truffle making efforts are worthy of epic laughter and finger pointing. I think she’s wrong (even though her post made me laugh so much I nearly fell off the uncomfortable stool that masquerades as my ‘office’ chair).

Coffee and chocolate – what could go wrong?

Thanks to everyone who participated in this month’s challenge. If you’re up for more chocolate fun and games, head over to Chocolate Log Blog tomorrow (July 1) to find out what the special ingredient will be.

We Should Cocoa: Coffee Round-up

Excuse me if I seem a little wired, it’s just that I wasn’t expecting nearly 50 We Should Cocoa entries this month. Who could have anticipated mixing coffee and chocolate would be so popular?

Here’s part one of the round-up…

Hannah from Corner Cottage Bakery whipped up these Mocha Mousse Pots for the sole reason of showing off her beautiful weddng gift espresso cups. If ever there was a reason to get married, these cups would be it, don’t you think?

Mocha Mousse Pots

Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen won me over with this Chocca Mocha Date and Walnut Loaf, which looks remarkably like something my mum used to make, albeit with more chocolate, coffee and, err, walnuts.

Chocca Mocha Date & Walnut Loaf

It is a truth universally acknowledged – at least by Kit at Lost in Austen – that Coffee Cheesecake is an ideal Father’s Day treat (whatever would Mrs Bennett have thought of that?) and this one certainly looks worth a novel in its honour.

Coffee Cheesecake

Ros, aka The More Than Occasional Baker, turned a gift package from Joy the Baker into these Deep Dark Mocha Cupcakes. As a big fan of Joy’s blog I can’t wait to try these (ahem, Ros, let me know if you want my address).

Deep Dark Mocha Cupcakes

Just when it was all getting a bit too decadent, Linzi from Lancashire Food swung by with this Fruity Mocha Vegan Cake. Right on, sister!

Fruity Mocha Vegan Cake

But then Caroline from Caroline Makes turned up with a trayful of Toffee Walnut Blondies and the calorie-fest continued. I love blondies. And Blondie. Don’t you?

Toffee Walnut Blondies

Jo from Food, Travel, Life made her We Should Cocoa debut with these homemade Oreos, which she learned to make as an au pair in the US. How cool is that? You’re welcome any time, Jo!


Cakeboule celebrated surviving a wet week in a restored VW camper by making these Triple Chocolate Mocha Brownies. If the brownies don’t get you, the pics of the camper will. It’s gorgeous.

Triple Chocolate Mocha Brownies
Triple Chocolate Mocha Brownies

Mel at Sharky Oven Gloves also went in for brownies, though no brownie points for her after she accidentally fed her Coffee and Walnut Brownies to some small children. (They survived, but their parents may still be bearing emotional scars.)

Coffee & Walnut Brownies

On the subject of children – a topic always dear to my heart – Wartegganziantep  let her 15-month-old twins sample her Choco Coffee Cookies and they loved them. What a brave woman.

Choco Coffee Cookies

Busy mum-of-three Michelle at Munch also considered her children when making these adults-only Chocolate Mocha Fondants (best enjoyed when the little darlings are sound asleep).

Chocolate Mocha Fondants

Jacqui at Where The Wind Blows Me also felt like fondant, but generously shared her Fondant au Mocha with her pals at Perth’s Clandestine Cake Club.

Fondant au Mocha

Vivian Pang fiddled with one of her favourite recipes to produce this deep, dark Cocoa Condensed Milk Cake, which looks like a real crowd-pleaser too.

Cocoa Condensed Milk Cake

Need a break from all that cake? Righto then. Sink your teeth into this Chocolate and Raspberry Tiramisu made by Maggie from Kitchen Delights.

Chocolate and Raspberry Tiramisu

 Or you could try this delightfully Irish version of the Italian favourite – Chris from Cooking Around The World came up with this Galway Irish Coffee Tiramisu. Mamma mia!

Galway Irish Coffee Tiramisu

This elegant Affogato from the ever-creative Debby at Cooking Up A Storm In A Teacup will also revive you after a hard afternoon spent ogling pictures of cakes on your PC.


The chocolate-loving Lapin d’Or And More also opted for something stylish from the Continent – Bicerin, as inspired by David Lebovitz. I’ll take two, thanks.


I’m not sure how you pronounce these, but Under The Bluegum Tree has surely outdone herself with these heavenly Cardamom-scented Vetkoek Twists with a Chocolate and Coffee Dipping Sauce.

Cardamom-scented Vetkoek Twists with a Chocolate and Coffee Dipping SauceHo

How do you make a Swiss roll? Push him off an alp, of course! Or, you could make like Anuja at Simply Baking and turn a Swiss roll into a Swiss Roll Ice Cream Cake.

Swiss Roll Ice Cream Cake

Some bird calling herself The Kitchenmaid went all white trash and made White Mocha Fudge with instant coffee and condensed milk (and had to be forcibly restrained from eating it all).

White Mocha Fudge

But she was pleased that she’d paced herself, because then she happened across dashing Dom at Belleau Kitchen and his Coffee and Chocolate Meringues. Yum!

Coffee & Chocolate Meringues

She also couldn’t say no to one of Alli from Pease Pudding’s Chocolate Espresso Melting Moment Cookies. I mean, look at them – you want one, don’t you?

Chocolate Espresso Melting Moment Cookies

I don’t know about you, but I need a run around the block and cup of peppermint tea. Come back tomorrow for another heapin’ helping of the June We Should Cocoa challenge.

Have a great weekend, everyone x

Sweet sweet Friday: White mocha fudge

Most nights this week I’ve lain awake in the early hours of the morning listening to the wind and worrying about whether our roof was going to lift off or if the window in the dining room was going to make a last break for freedom. Last night, as frost settled silently across the grass, I lay awake thinking about making white chocolate, coffee and walnut fudge. Because, obviously, someone who’s sleeping badly needs all the caffeine and sugar they can get to keep them functioning in daylight hours. And boy, this is a good way to do it.

White Mocha Fudge

This is like a coffee and walnut sponge in denser, fudgier form. One small square – the dimensions of half a walnut – goes a long way.

Have you dreamt up something fabulous for June’s We Should Cocoa yet? Go on, you know you want to. Once you start tinking about mixing coffee and chocolate it’s hard to stop…

300ml (1 375g tin) condensed milk

500g white chocolate, roughly chopped
4 tsp instant coffee, dissolved in 2 tsp hot water (or Tia Maria)

100g walnut halves, optional

Pour the condensed milk and the dissolved coffee into a heatproof bowl that can nestle comfortably in a saucepan. Put a inch or two of hot water in the saucepan, fit the bowl on top and put the whole contraption over low heat. Let the condensed milk warm up a bit, then add the chopped chocolate. Stir well, then watch carefully as the white chocolate starts to melt. Remove it from the heat and stir again. Tip the mixture into a lined tin (a plastic takeaway container is a good size) and smooth the top. Gently press the walnut halves on top – you won’t need all of them but it’s helpful to have a selection to choose from. Cover loosely with more plastic wrap and put in the fridge to set. Leave for at least two hours if you can. Cut into small squares and store in a lidded (hidden?) container in the fridge.

Have a great weekend, everyone x

We Should Cocoa – June 2012

After the exhaustion success of the Small Girl’s birthday bash last weekend I’m now taking it upon myself to host a month-long party involving chocolate and coffee and a bunch of people I’ve never met. Do you want to join in?

Choclette, who I imagine as a kind of chocolate Wikipedia, has asked me to host the June edition of We Should Cocoa, a monthly blogging challenge in which participants work their culinary magic on recipes involving chocolate and a special guest ingredient.

I have a special soft spot (also known as an especially soft middle section) for WSC, not just due to the chocolate factor but also because I’ve found so many lovely blogs (and recipes) through it.

So, without any further ado, I declare the June challenge open – and the special guest ingredient this month is… COFFEE.

Whether you fancy an iced coffee or a moccachino, a chocolate flecked coffee granita or a spongy coffee-laced steamed pud, this challenge should have something for everyone. Taking part is easy. The full rules of engagement are here – but essentially all you need to do is make something involving coffee and chocolate, write about it on your blog (including a link to this post, and to the blogs of the We Should Cocoa founders, Choclette and Chele). Then, come back and add your post to the linky thing below. Tweet me when you’re done (using the tag #weshouldcocoa), if Twitter is your thing, and I’ll spread the word.

Mary Mathis’ Chocolate Biscuits
Mary might have a fancier name for these but this is what they were called in Mum’s recipe book. Mary is an amazing woman who, along with my sister-in-law Jenny, revolutionised the culinary landscape of Atiamuri in the 1980s and 90s. This is just one of her excellent recipes,  reproduced here with her kind permission.

This recipe uses instant coffee – oh the shame of it! – use espresso grounds if you like but be aware they will leave a gritty residue in the biscuit (which is ok, if you like that sort of thing). Use either dark or white chocolate in the middle – this is not the time to be sitting on the fence with that vile milk stuff.

125g soft butter
125g sugar
2 tsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1tsp hot water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
20 squares good quality chocolate (plus a few more, if you think  you might get peckish)

Preheat the oven to 170C and line a baking tray.
Cream the butter and sugar together until soft and fluffy. Beat in the coffee and vanilla, then sift over the dry ingredients. Mix to a soft dough. Take small spoonfuls of the mixture and roll into balls.
Place the balls on the prepared tray and press down lightly, then top each one with a square of chocolate. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Leave to cool for five minutes, then let cool completely on a rack. Makes 18-20.

Have a great weekend, everyone x

Sweet sweet Friday: Double Choc Almond Cookies

One of my colleagues is forever sending me email links to recipes or food pictures, prefaced by the line “if you loved us, you’d make us these”. On Tuesday she sent me a link to this biscuit version of a turducken, which gave me the idea for these double chocolate, double almond delights. They look like ordinary chunky chocolate chip cookies from the outside, but there’s a scorched almond hidden inside. They are heavenly. Greer, if they actually make it out of the house this morning, you’re going to LOVE them…

Double chocolate and almond cookies
I’ve got a feeling scorched almonds are just an Antipodean thing – they’re basically roasted whole almonds enrobed in chocolate – so if you can’t get them then I suggest making a sandwich with two squares of dark chocolate and an almond, then wrapping the cookie dough around it. It’s still good, trust me. If you want to try making your own scorched almonds, check out this recipe.
This is my entry for May’s We Should Cocoa, hosted by Laura of How To Cook Good Food fame, in which almonds – scorched or otherwise – are the special guest ingredient.

125g softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
around 3/4
cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
around 3/4 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped
15-20 scorched almonds (or the equivalent amount of dark chocolate and almonds as suggested above)

Preheat the
oven to 180C and lightly grease an oven tray.
Cream the butter and sugars
until light and fluffy, then add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Stir in the
flour, then add the chopped nuts and chocolate. Mix well. Take generous teaspoon-sized
heaps of the mixture and roll into balls. Top one ball with a scorched almond, then stick another ball on top. Press together and roll between your hands so the scorched almond is completely enclosed.
Place on the tray – allow at least an
inch between each one for spreading. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until golden. Cool on a rack and store in an airtight tin.
If you eat these five minutes out of the oven, the middle is molten. I suspect you could recreate this with a microwave if you’re eating them cold, but they’re pretty good either way.

Have a sweet, sweet weekend, everyone. See you next week x