• 150 g (5 oz) lightly salted butter, softened
  • 150 g (5 oz) caster sugar
  • 175 g (6 oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon espresso or strong coffee powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons coffee-flavoured liqueur
  • 300 ml (½ pint) double cream
  • 75 g (3 oz) piece of plain or milk chocolate
  • cocoa or drinking chocolate powder, for dusting

Line a 12-section bun tray with paper cake cases. Put all the cake ingredients in a bowl and beat with a hand-held electric whisk for 1–2 minutes until light and creamy. Divide the cake mixture evenly between the paper cases.

Bake in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for 20 minutes or until risen and just firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Drizzle the cooled cupcakes with 2 tablespoons of the coffee-flavoured liqueur.

Put the remaining liqueur in a bowl with the cream and whip until the cream is thickened and only just holds its shape. Spread the cream over the tops of the cakes using a small palette knife, swirling it right to the edges.

Pare curls from the piece of chocolate using a vegetable peeler – if the chocolate breaks off in small, brittle shards, try softening it in the microwave for a few seconds first, but take care not to overheat and melt it. Scatter the chocolate curls over the cakes and dust with a little cocoa or drinking chocolate powder. Store the cakes in a cool place until ready to serve.

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