Espresso Romano Mocha Cakes
I like to get inspiration for my new dessert recipes from cocktails and coffee drinks. Espresso Romano is a traditional cup of espresso garnished with lemon peel. I don't typically pair chocolate with citrus, but with spring upon us, I was in the mood to experiment. I started with this easy one-bowl chocolate cake recipe then made a few changes to incorporate the lemon zest and espresso. The result was quite heavenly. It was slightly bitter from the espresso, but the lemon added just the right amount of zing, and of course the chocolate part makes anything better. Even my young children loved them! I knew I would, but they tend to prefer super-sweet frosted cakes. I don't think I have to tell you that these mini cakes are best served with coffee.
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk (or dairy-free option)
- juice from 2 medium to large size lemons (should equal 1/2 cup)
- zest of one lemon
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly-brewed espresso (must be very finely-ground and dark like Italian or French roast)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease two 6-cake mini bundt pans. You could also use cupcake pans or two 9-inch rounds - whatever you have on hand.
- In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt.
- Then add in all of the remaining wet ingredients, adding the espresso last, and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Bake about 35 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test and let cool before removing from the pans. *If you aren't skilled at layer cakes or inverted cakes, simply make them in cupcake liners in a cupcake pan, frost with chocolate butter cream, and garnish with lemon peel.
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