Mocha Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve been trying to be healthy, but the inevitable chocolate / cake craving rears its head from time to time.  My usual go-to recipe when this happens is my Chocolate Fudge cake.. But I decided I’d make a healthier version of chocolate cake, in the form of chocolate muffins.  The addition of coffee was an afterthought, but they turned out tasting really nice.  They’re mocha-ish and the tang of the cream cheese frosting works well with the flavours.

Ingredients

  • 280g self raising flour
  • 110g granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 8 fl oz. milk
  • 3 fl. oz. vegetable oil
  • 1 egg

Recipe

  1. Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Dissolve the coffee granules in 2 tablespoonfuls of boiling water, and leave to cool.
  3. Measure out the milk, vegetable oil and egg into a jug and whisk lightly to combine.  Add the coffee to this.
  4. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Spoon into muffin cases and bake at 180’C for 20 – 25 minutes.

Frosting

To make the frosting (optional), you will need:

  • 1 tsp soft (cream) cheese
  • water (optional – I used this to make the icing more runny.  Use as much as you want)
  • icing sugar – use as much as you want to get the consistency right.

Mix the cream cheese, icing sugar and water together until you get the consistency of icing you prefer, and then drizzle 1 tsp over each muffin whilst they’re still hot.  Leave the muffins to cool, and the icing will set.

Enjoy!

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Organising and Decluttering (New Year’s Resolution Update)

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to be more organised… I’ve been putting time aside each weekend since the beginning of January to organise and clear out my clutter. It’s a bit of a slow process admittedly – spending time doing this gets boring after a couple of hours (hence why I’m only doing it a couple of hours each weekend). So far I’ve:

  • Tidied and organised my clothes dresser
  • Cleared out 5 bags of old clothes and took to the charity shops
  • Tidied my living room bookcase
  • Tidied my wardrobe and organised my shoes and bags
  • Tidied my entrance hallway

Here are a couple of before and afters from my wardrobe and my living room bookcase.

Living Room bookcase - Before

I’m a bit funny about tidying things away – books are pretty, and I like showing them off.. But the mix of my DVD’s and books made my bookcase look messy (at least to my eyes)… So I went to IKEA and bought some DVD boxes (green of course, to go with my green colour scheme for the living room) and put all my DVDs in them.  Now all my books look tidier, and the bookcase looks more inviting.

Living Room bookcase - After

I especially like that the green is now more of a feature in the living room through the dvd boxes now on the bookcase, and they pick up the plant and green bottle on top of the bookcase as well. (You may be able to spot two copies of Game of Thrones in my bookcase – I bought the first book back in Easter last year, but the boxset of books 1 – 4 was on offer in the Black Friday sales in Amazon, so I ended up buying the set, as it was only £15, down from £39.99).

When it came to the bedroom wardrobe, I needed to sort through and declutter.  It was beginning to look very messy…

Top of the wardrobe - Before

I’d ended up putting all the bags that I didn’t use regularly (holdall, some tote bags, a rucksack) at the top of the wardrobe, out of easy reach (it’s a bit of a stretch up there for a girl of 5’4″!).  The bottom shelf of my wardrobe was even worse (how embarrassing!)… The majority of my shoes (over 30 pairs, yes I counted and was slightly horrified!) were in a higgledy piggledy heap at the bottom of the wardrobe, and I always had to root round a little to find a pair.  Something had to be done to sort this out, and make my wardrobe look neater and more welcoming every morning for me to open, so I got all my shoes out of the wardrobe, lined them up, and sorted them out.

I ended up boxing several of my shoes into the black IKEA boxes and put them up the top of the wardrobe:  I put canvas shoes and sandals in one box, and heels that I don’t wear very often in another box.  I then picked a couple of pairs that I wear regularly, and left them outside of boxes, so they’re easier to grab and put on in the mornings.

I then placed the bags in a large plastic box at the bottom of my wardrobe, within easy reach.

Top of the wardrobe - After

Bottom of the wardrobe - After

It may not look like much, but it took a while to sort out the mess that had accumulated in the top and bottom shelves of the wardrobe (the living room bookcase was a much easier remedy, taking only 10 mins).

So, after a couple of hours work over the weekend, I have managed to maintain my New Year’s resolution of being more organised and to tidy up a little round the place, so I’m quite pleased with myself!… Now if only I could find the willpower to organise my kitchen cupboards…