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  1. Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting recipe

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    This is really nice and easy chocolate cupcake recipe, which is also quick to bake. I've never had any major disasters with this recipe and the chocolate flavour is amazing, especially in the chocolate frosting.

    As always, the better the ingredients the better the flavour and the final result is going to be. Saying that, there are few tricks which you can use with this recipe, such as to add a coffee paste (one teaspoon of instant coffee granules with dash of hot water - just enough to make it into a paste) to the chocolate cupcakes batter.<blog_break>

    The coffee just helps to bring out the chocolate flavour more. Another trick is to add a half a pinch of salt to the frosting. It amazingly balances the sweetness and again works great with the chocolate. It won't taste salty and it can make a real difference between frosting that's just O.K to the most amazing chocolate frosting you've ever tasted. 

    If you find the chocolate frosting too rich you can always swap the milk with water or use 50% water and 50% milk. It still works great and it makes the frosting slightly lighter.

    Chocolate Cupcake Recipe with Chocolate Frosting

    100g plain flour

    20 g cocoa powder

    140g caster sugar

    1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder

    40g unsalted butter

    120ml whole milk

    1 egg

    A pinch of salt

    ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract


    Chocolate Frosting

    250g icing sugar

    80g unsalted butter

    25ml whole milk

    50g melted plain chocolate or cocoa powder

    Makes 12 chocolate cupcakes

    First of all, preheat the oven to 170 C (Gas 3). Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cocoa and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

    Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated. Whisk the egg and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple of more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not over mix.

    Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

    When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the chocolate frosting on top and decorate.

    To make the chocolate frosting beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Turn the mixer down to slow speed. This can be fairly tricky as the icing sugar will go everywhere, so I normally use clean teatowel loosely wrapped around the bowl (or on top) of my handheld whisk.

    Combine the milk and chocolate in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time.

    Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed. Continue beating until the chocolate frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.

    These chocolate cupcakes are always a big hit with my friends, so I'm sure you'll enjoy them too! If you bake your batch using my chocolate cupcake recipe, do let me know how you get on in the comments below.

    Happy Baking!



    Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe >>

    Easy Chocolate Brownie Recipe >>

    Chocolate Buttermilk Cake Recipe >>

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  2. Vegan Chocolate Icing

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    vegan chocolate icing

    I'm always interested to learn more about how to make things different and always curious about new recipes. This vegan chocolate icing is currently my favourite one! Very simple to make, taste delicious and keeps in the fridge for few days. Obviously it's perfect for vegan diets, but since it's also dairy free, it's suitable for anyone who is trying to cut out dairy from their diets. I've included few different versions of this recipe, since all of them have slightly different taste and will suit different styles of your chocolate cakes. Also if you are sensitive to soya, avoid the first recipe.

    There are few little tricks to make any vegan chocolate icing absolutely delicious.

    First of all if you'd like to enhance the flavour of chocolate in your chocolate icing, use about 1/2 teaspoon (or more if you are making a large batch of icing) of granulated instant coffee (decaf if the icing is for children). dissolve in a tiny amount of boiling or hot water and blend into your icing. The chocolate icing won't taste like a coffee, instead the coffee intensifies the chocolate flavour. 

  3. Belgium Chocolate

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    Belgium Chocolate

    The background of Belgium Chocolate

    Belgium is justly famous for its chocolate. It may be a small country but a whole array of beautifully decorated and immaculately finished chocolate truffles looms large in so many shops, particularly in Brussels and Bruges (Brugge). Sometimes, it doesn’t feel like there’s a chocolate quarter, so much as a whole district in itself, solely devoted to all things chocolate.

    And no quarter is given or taken when it comes to perfecting the art of making gorgeous looking and tasting chocolate truffles. So, after a recent visit to the capital of chocolate, we wondered what is Belgium chocolate, why do we call it that and what makes it so special that makes so many of us want to come back for more?

  4. How are cocoa beans harvested

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    How are cocoa beans harvested

    How are cocoa beans harvested? It’s a question we’re often asked, here at Cocoa & Heart by our curious and interested students who naturally want to know more about the origins of the chocolate they’re working with.

    Harvesting cocoa beans is a time consuming and largely highly intensive manual labour activity where a large machete like knife plays a starring role. So, let’s cut to the chase.

    The pods containing cocoa beans grow right from the trunk of the cocoa tree. This means harvesting requires cutting down the ripe pods from the trees and opening them up to remove the wet, sticky, pulp like, white beans.

  5. Marmalade Brownies Recipe

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    Marmalade Brownies Recipe

    The best thing about making your own marmalade is that you can use it for other baking recipes and the flavour is going to be so much better than a basic supermarket marmalade.

    This simple brownie recipe is delicious with very chunky bitter seville orange marmalade, but you can easily use any other type. And you know what? I'm not going to judge you if you use a shop bought one either!

    Marmalade Brownie Recipe

    200g dark chocolate 

    175g unsalted butter

    325g caster sugar

    130g plain flour

    3 eggs

    3 table spoons of seville orange marmalade

    icing sugar to decorate

    33x23x5cm baking tray lined with greaseproof paper

    Makes about 12 portions

    Here is what to do:

    1. Preheat your oven to 170C (325F) Gas 3. 

    2. Break your chocolate into small pieces and place it with butter in a heatproof bowl melt it slowly in microwave, 20 seconds at a time and stiring until completely melted.

    3. Add the sugar stirring well until incorporated.

    4. Add the flour and stir well.

    5. Stir in the eggs and mix until thick and smooth.   

    6. Add the marmalade and stir the mixture carefully.

    7.Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until flaky on the top but still soft in the centre. 

    8. Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack, before dusting with icing sugar to decorate.

    Hope you enjoy this recipe 

    Happy Baking



    Simple Brownie Recipe >>

    Oatmeal Brownie Recipe >>

  6. Easy Chocolate Brownie Recipe

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    Easy Brownie Recipe

    This easy chocolate brownie recipe is perfect for when you have spare 20 minutes or so and want to make a desert really quickly.

    The recipe is also great to make with children - you can't over mix it and you don't even need electric whisk to mix everything together. I often bake this recipe to serve at my bread baking workshops and since a lot of people asked me for the recipe, I've decided to share it here.

  7. The Ultimate Guide to Ruby Chocolate

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    What is Ruby chocolate_

    By now, I’m sure you have heard about so called ruby chocolate. It’s been widely talked about topic in the chocolate world and chocolatiers around the world are using this chocolate to create amazing chocolate treats. So, what’s so special about this type of chocolate? How was this chocolate discovered?

    So, let’s start at the beginning.

    Ruby chocolate was created by a leading chocolate brand, Barry Callebaut and introduced to the world in 2017. Ruby chocolate wasn’t just discovered, it was invented and carefully researched by a team of chocolate experts at Barry Callebaut over the last ten years prior to the launch. The ruby chocolate was registered as a patent in 2009. As you would have expected, the actual recipe is a secret, but the flavour and colour of the chocolate comes directly from the special cross bread ruby cocoa beans which were cultivated in the Ivory Coast, Equador and Brazil.