July is a busy time, particularly for birthdays. This week was my lovely colleague Charlie's birthday. Charlie likes cake and he loves coffee so it was obvious that coffee cup cakes were the order of the day. He jokes with me that I am his Cornish mother and as such I joke that he should therefore listen to his mother and become vegan. He sees sense in it but feels that it will be something that he will realise in about 10 years time. All I can do in the meantime is to wait, continue to be his Cornish mother and ply him with vegan cake.
I didn't have a specific coffee cupcake recipe so I adapted my usual cake recipe (here is another adaptation but leave the carob, almond essence, cherries and raisins out of it for the basic cake recipe). I took some of the milk out at the first stage and heated it before dissolving some instant coffee into it. After it cooled I added it back to the milk and carried on with the rest of the recipe as normal.
The cakes simply had to have icing on them too and again I didn't have a coffee icing recipe so busked it with what I had to hand. I have no specific measurements to give you but you'll get the idea - just make it gooey, that's all you need to aim for! I dissolved some more coffee granules in hot water and then added icing sugar, stirring until dissolved. A touch of creaminess was required so I chucked a couple of tablespoons of almond butter in and also about a tablespoon of coconut oil. The latter was to help it set well. The coconut oil and almond butter dissolved in nicely whilst the mixture was still warmish but I knew once chilled the coconut oil would harden. It took a bit of mixing and a bit more icing sugar before I got it to a soft gooey mixture that could easily be swirled on top of the cooled cakes but didn't just ooze down the sides. A flurry of vegan marshmallows finished off the tops before I popped them in the fridge to set.
The next morning they were perfect and ready to take to work for Charlie and the crew. Nine out of five was the score given for them, whilst another member of the team hinted that a bigger version cut up and finished with a dollop of custard would be very much appreciated next time.
And Charlie.....I know you are reading this....do the right thing by your mum and you could be living the vegan cake dream everyday.