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Best Ever Chocolate Cupcakes!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Guess who has gotten back into writing recipes?! Here’s a little hint: she’s a fairly cute, 20 – something black female who has a very active Instagram account but will find every excuse under the sun to procrastinate from actually writing!

I know that I shouldn’t necessarily be proud of my inconsistency when it comes to keeping this blog up-to-date but I’m only human. However, this would be a good time to plug my Instagram account (@diaryofahopefulcook) where I post content consistently. It also where you can find my Tea Time Tuesday videos where I post a little catch up of what my week’s been like or things that I plan on making.

For example, on my account a few weeks ago I was recipe testing a new chocolate cake recipe. Well, to be honest, it’s not completely new recipe as it was heavily inspired by a recipe handed down by my auntie. She lives in Nigeria and makes the most amazing cakes – whether it’s for family or for occasions. She came over a few years ago and showed me a few of them and they all tasted so good! I even fell in love with her chocolate cake recipe which says a lot because I have always disliked chocolate cake. Now, before you all leave angry messages in the comments, I do not have a problem with chocolate. I am a self-professed chocoholic (particularly when I’m PMS-ing) but something about chocolate cake just never really appealed to me. It was either never chocolatey enough or was just a bit too dry or was just a bit too bitter. But not my auntie’s cake… it was… Perfect.

There were only two minor hiccups with the recipe. Firstly, the recipe she gave isn’t the easiest to follow. I was able to figure out because I saw her do it and I have a respectable amount of baking knowledge. Secondly, the ingredients are always the easiest to get hold of. For example, the recipe called for milk powder which most people do not generally use. I think the last time I saw a tub of milk powder was when I was a little kid and my mum thought it would be a great money saving hack.

Spoiler alert: it was not.

Therefore, I decided I wanted to tweak the recipe in a way that I felt would be more accessible without taking away from what I deem to be the perfect chocolate cake. Thankfully, when I was planning on how I was going to make changes, I had recently started watching Claire Saffitz on YouTube and she reminded me about the different ways in which you can emulsify fats and sugar when making a cake. This recipe is oil-based but my auntie had basically said to mix the oil sugar and eggs together all at once. This works but you do sometimes risk the cake being slightly greasy. To prevent this, it’s better to whip the eggs and sugar for a ridiculous amount of time and then slowly drip in the oil – essentially making a sweet mayonnaise. Then you add in the dry ingredients and bake as you normally would.

You would think that a simple adjustment of the recipe would be enough but I am a textbook over achiever. So, I decided that I wanted to try and make Aztec inspired spiced chocolate cake. I use the word “inspired” quite literally because Aztec chocolate is quite a traditional combination of spices whilst I just wanted to use spices in my cupboard that I thought would taste nice! I was quite happy with how the spices tasted with the chocolate. I used nutmeg, cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper. The first thing you taste is cinnamon and it gives you all the same feelings of when you have a cinnamon sugar doughnut that is dipped in chocolate sauce. Then the nutmeg comes in and all tastes very Christmas-y. And then finally the cayenne pepper creeps up the back of your throat and just leaves your tongue buzzing in the best of ways. Chocolate and spices isn’t for everyone (I mean I once ate whole bar of dark chocolate that was covered in crushed chili flakes) so by all means you can leave it out. Just know, that I’m judging you.

Finally, instead of cocoa powder this recipe uses hot chocolate powder. I purchased a tub of Whittard’s Chilli Hot Chocolate powder and did not like it at all. It had a heavy dose of cinnamon powder in it to recreate the burning sensation of chilli in your throat but it was unpleasant. Therefore, I have been looking for ways to use up the stuff since I hate wastage.

If you make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram! It feels really nice to know that other people are using recipes that I’ve posted. Also, let me know in the comments below, what's your favourite cake to eat, bake or both?

Wishing you all a lovely week and speak soon!

Mary xx


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