Monday, September 30

Mocha Traybake

The baking is back!
After a full week of settling in and a good five bakes later, I'm slowly working out how to tame our dodgy student oven and get back to blogging.
*Sighs of relief all around*.

Since I really don't trust our ancient and rather menacing looking 8 door oven, I chose a simple and classic bake of mine to test those baking boundaries.
My house was all feeling far from 'fresh' after our hockey Otley Run the day before (a beast of a 12 hour pub crawl) and it was a lazy Sunday morning which demanded that the smell of fresh cake waft around the house.

This is my Dad's favourite bake of mine. The recipe in itself is actually an 'Espresso Cake', and even though I do love coffee, even I think its a little bit boring by itself.
But... Once this beautiful, moist and light cake is mixed in with either some chocolate chunks or a packet or crunchy walnuts, well then we are on to a winner!

Since many of the boys in the house proclaimed that, "I'm only a fan of my own nuts..", I ditched my Dad's favourite combination of walnuts for some Dairy Milk.
Seriously, you can't get much cheaper than this recipe for a scrummy bake!
Budget Baking at its best!

I dare you to resist eating all of this enormous tray bake. There might be nine of us in this house, but I reckon that the fact that the whole gigantic tin was demolished within 30 minutes says a lot.
A great beginners bake that is a crowd pleaser, feeds the five thousand and is beyond addictive.

All hail the Mocha traybake!

To make your own Espresso Traybake you will need:
- 225g butter, softened
- 225g light muscavado sugar (caster will suffice if you are on a student budget.)
- 300g self raising flour
- 2 level tsp baking powder
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tbsp milk
- 3-5 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in boiling water
- A 200g chocolate bar (e.g. Dairy Milk) chopped up into chunks
(Of course, you can switch the chocolate chunks for walnuts instead)

(For the icing):
- 350g icing sugar
- 2 tsp milk
- 75g butter, softened
- 1-2 tbsps instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water.
(You might also like to get some cocoa powder or a second bar of chocolate to add some curls and decoration for on top.)

Like my new work station?
It might not be up in the likes of Nigella or Mary Berry's but this is a student's blog after all!

Anyhow, preheat your oven to 180C/160fan and line a baking tray with parchment.

Measure out all of the ingredients (minus the chocolate and the coffee) and pour them into a large mixing bowl.

Now the coffee strength is entirely up to you.
Personally, I like my coffee cake to have a kick & punch of flavour.
To begin with I would add two tablespoons of instant coffee and dissolve it in a little hot water, add this into your batter and mix until smooth and entirely combined with some electric beaters.

Now taste test it. If you like yours to have a stronger flavour, then just dissolve some more coffee and add until you're satisfied with the strength.
(Personally I go for a good 5-6 tbsp).
If you do add some more coffee, you might need a touch more flour to re-thicken the batter.

Chop up the good quality chocolate into sizeable chunks and tip into the golden brown batter.
Stir it all in with a spatula.

Tip into the lined baking tray and smoothen out with the spatula.

Slide into the oven for about 35-40 minutes until a skewer emerges clean, the bake is coming away slightly from the edges and it is springy to touch.
Leave to cool completely and in the mean time, get on with the icing.
Simply add the butter, half of the icing sugar, milk and the dissolved coffee into a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the rest of the icing sugar until thick, glossy and tasting to your liking.

Smother all over the sweet smelling cake and smoothen to the far edges.
To create some chocolate curls, drag a knife at the angle seen below harshly across the bar of chocolate.

Sprinkle on top of the icing and grate the rest of the bar on top.

Simple wasn't it?

Gooey sweet chocolate combined with a bitter punch of coffee flavour... Pure mocha tasting bliss!
A light fluffy sponge, thick sweet frosting and delicate curls that tickle your taste buds on top.

Don't worry Dad, I'll send you a piece in the post!



  1. Mocha is such a dreamy combination!
    I had been thinking of baking some of the like over the weekend, but now you've solved my dramas!
    Brownies/muffins/nibbles can wait til next week, this beauty is needed in my belly ASAP
    x x x
    The Lobster & Me

    1. How did it go Ibbs?! Its one of my foolproof/go to staples... Showing the boys my beast of a banana bread this week too! x

  2. You and I are having the same problem! This does look scrummy though- and I'm not a lover of coffee!
    Lottie xxx

    1. Ahhh nightmare... Switch the coffee for chocolate powder! x

  3. This looks incredible! Total yum fest! need need need!!

    Katie <3

  4. this is sucha yummy treat for the entire boarding house! :D

    REAlity Bites

    1. Correction... I ate it before the boarding house could! x

  5. Emily, my mouth started watering as soon as I saw this pop up on my Bloglovin. Seriously, all of your baking posts do this to me!

    Lucy x

    1. Just the effect I was hoping for then! Just imagine how tempting it is in front of my face then! x

  6. Oh this looks glorious, I am in serious need of chocolate, mmmmmmxx

  7. Bloody hell Em, my hips have gained several kilos just looking at those photos. Must. Make. Mocha. Traybake. Pronto!


    1. Aww thanks Em! Let me know how it goes if you make it :) Trust me...I did gain several kilos. Temptation is a horrible devil! x

  8. Wow, that looks pretty yummy. On my to-bake list for sure!


  9. That looks so good - and I don't even like coffee!! I may have to just bake and give away to my house mates!
    Charlotte x
    La Vie en Gâteaux

    1. Thanks Charlotte :) Just switch it for cocoa powder instead!! x


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