Archive for: mocha
There are times when a small piece of chocolate will satisfy a chocolate craving. And there are other times when it takes something big and very chocolatey to satisfy your sweet tooth. This Dark Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting is the kind of cake that you want to have on the occasions when you want something that really packs a lot of chocolate flavor in to every bite.
The cake has a strong dark chocolate flavor and is dense and brownie-like, although it has a much more tender, almost crumbly, texture to it when eaten alone. It is made with a generous amount of unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder, which give it is strong chocolate flavor. It isn’t too sweet and you’ll notice that there isn’t a lot of sugar in the cake itself, but this just helps make the cake a good candidate for a little frosting.
The cake goes perfectly with the frosting, both because the chocolate and mocha flavors work beautifully together and because the frosting provides exactly the right balance of flavor and texture to the cake. The frosting is also made with unsweetened chocolate, as well as instant coffee power (I used Starbucks Via), so it has a strong mocha flavor that matches the strongly-flavored cake well. It’s not too sweet, but is sweet enough to add just the right finishing touch to the dark chocolate cake. It’s always a pleasure to eat a piece of cake that really works well with the frosting!
This cake has a nice height to it, but it is not a towering cake because the layers are relatively thin. If you want to make it taller, bake a second batch of cakes and stack all four together. The recipe can be doubled, but it is a little easier (especially if you don’t have a lot of oven space!) to do one batch at a time. The cake can also be baked in 9-inch pans, instead of 8-inch pans, but the layers will be slightly thinner and you’ll need to check the cakes for doneness a few minutes early to ensure that the cake does not dry out.
A cold coffee drink is a great treat on a warm afternoon. Not only does it cool you off, but it will give you a little pick-me-up from the caffeine when you might need it after lunch. I’ve had a mocha-coconut combination in blended drinks before at various coffee shops and wanted to put together a Mocha Coconut Ice Blended drink at home. As a fan of coconut in general, I think that chocolate, coffee and coconut a great flavor combination, and I like that it delivers something a little different than your average coffee drink.
My blended drink starts off with some strong, hot coffee. You need strong coffee (and you can make it with instant) because you want the flavor of the coffee to come through in the finished drink and be able to stand up to the other flavors in here. I also use hot coffee because it is easy to dissolve the cocoa powder and sugar for the mocha base of the drink, though I do cool down the coffee before putting the rest of the drink together. I use coconut milk and shredded coconut in the drink for coconut flavor. You can use regular milk in this recipe instead of coconut milk, but coconut milk lends a little extra richness to the drink and adds a little coconut flavor. If you want to boost the coconut flavor when you’re using regular milk, you can add a few drops of coconut extract.
Even though I recommend measuring the ingredients in one large glass, this recipe makes two satisfying servings in slightly smaller glasses. Serve it topped with whipped cream, extra shredded coconut and, of course, a straw.
Streusel-topped coffee cake gets its name because it is the perfect thing to serve with a hot cup of coffee at brunch or as an afternoon snack, not because it is coffee-flavored. In fact, most coffee cakes have no coffee in them at all – a fact which throws people for a loop sometimes when they actually go in search of a cake that has a coffee kick to it. This Mocha Bundt Cake with Coffee Glaze fits the bill as a “coffee cake” that actually tastes like coffee.
The bundt cake is very moist and has a great balance of chocolate and coffee flavors in it. In some cakes, coffee is simply added to enhance the darker notes of the chocolate and is not expected to stand on its own. In this case, there is a lot of instant espresso powder in the batter that really intensifies that coffee flavor and makes it stand out against the chocolate of the cake, rather than being overwhelmed by it. Instant espresso powder is an ingredient that a lot of grocery stores will stock on their coffee aisles, but if you don’t have any I would recommend opting for a few packets of Starbucks Via as a replacement. Regular instant coffee will work in a pinch, but its flavor is not as intense as either the instant espresso powder or the Via.
I drizzled a coffee-flavored glaze on top of the cake to finish it off and boost the coffee flavor even further. A chocolate glaze would also work well here, if you prefer to emphasize the chocolate aspect of the cake (which is just as tasty). The cake keeps well for a couple of days when stored in an airtight container, so it can be made a day in advance if you want to serve it for a particular occasion (although it is just as good for everyday snacking). To dress it up, serve each slice with a spoonful of whipped cream and a couple of chocolate covered coffee beans!
I definitely like my muffins with a cup of coffee in the morning, and this muffin has a nice infusion of coffee on its own. Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffins have a nice combination of coffee and cocoa, thanks to the inclusion of some instant espresso powder to the recipe. They also get a little extra hit of chocolate from the generous amount of chocolate chips stirred into them!
These are big muffins that, thanks to a thick batter, rise up well over the top of the muffin pan. They’re very satisfying as breakfast or as a snack. The muffins are also very soft, tender and moist inside, though the have a good firm feel to their muffin tops (not too soft, like a cupcake). Most muffins can be served warm or at room temperature, but I would definitely recommend serving these just warm enough that the chocolate is slightly melty when you take a bite.
Because of the chocolate chips, these are a little bit more chocolate than coffee on the mocha scale. The muffins aren’t too sweet, largely because of the coffee and cocoa powder in the batter, but I used milk chocolate chips to add some extra sweetness back into them. Dark chocolate will work, too, if you’re more a fan of that, though I definitely thought that milk chocolate worked very well for these. If you want to increase the coffee flavor in these, just double the amount of instant espresso powder (or Starbucks Via, which is what I used) in the recipe.
Around Christmas time, I tend to have a surplus of peppermint candy canes lying around. They also last well into the new year because they keep very well (and go on sale after the holidays!). I like this about candy canes because if you’re a fan of peppermint, they make fantastic coffee stirs and it’s nice to have them around to infuse a little flavor into an otherwise plain cup of coffee.
This Double Chocolate Peppermint Mocha – inspired by the various peppermint-infused drinks I’ve had from coffee shops this season – is far from plain, however. It is a rich, creamy hot chocolate made with both dark and white chocolate. Milky white chocolate really adds a creaminess to the drink, while the dark chocolate makes for a very deep chocolate flavor. Truthfully, I rarely measure out any of the ingredients when I’m going to make up a batch of this drink. I just add a bit of white chocolate, a bit of dark chocolate and add more if I feel I need to. I recommend adopting the same strategy so you can make this at a moment’s notice, but use the recipe below as a jumping off point. Don’t forget to use the candy cane as a stirring stick to really infuse that peppermint flavor. It also adds some extra sweetness to the mocha, and most candy canes have a better flavor than simply adding in peppermint extract.
I garnish this with whipped cream and crushed peppermint, but a candy cane alone is a nice touch. A mini candy cane makes a cute garnish as well, especially if you want to double or triple the recipe for a bigger crowd.