Slowly returning to routines - mini chocolate bundts to sustain the end of the holidays blues

And so September is slowly taking a hold, despite the extreme heat that reminds me of early August, late July. As far as Facebook allows me to remember, it's been the same for the past four years, early September has me complaining about the heat and yearning for Autumn. Every year I tell myself I am going to embrace the seasons as they are and while they last, and every year, comes September and March, I find myself unable to do it. I long for cooler temps, falling leaves, longer sleeves and maybe a coat. A light coat. I long for crisp mornings, socks on my feet, foggy air coming in from the sea. I long for Fall as soon as I return from our holidays.

Life is slowly returning to normal - despite the usual mess that always seems to hit us once we return from our holidays, I mean, September never seems to be a placid, peaceful month for us! - husband is back to work, kid is one week shy from returning to school, I'm trying to gather my thoughts and my mind so I can return to blogging full on and keep working on my novel. Everything is coming back to the usual routine, time going by at its own pace, the household chores taking front row as they always do in the first two weeks of September. I'm slowly going back to the normal exercise routine and the usual eating habits that tend to get a bit messed up during my hols, and I'm getting back to baking.

The first sweets I baked were these tiny bundts. I love tiny cakes, really, as I can indulge in one - always the smallest - and not feel the pangs of guilt at having gone overboard. I had a huge craving for chocolate when I baked these, so it meant I was going to have to incorporate cacao into the recipe I was thinking of. Also, I craved all the berries, you know, and I find that a mix of berries goes so well with the bitterest cacao. It was an easy decision, this one, the recipe for the cake coming to mind quick and speedy, a certainty that it would all combine and work out well grabing hold of me. On an afternoon where my son was feeling kind of bored, off to the kitchen we went to bake these beauties.

I love cooking with him more and more everytime. The older he gets, the better his understanding of food and ingredients and methods is, and the better he is at helping out and doing certain things by himself. And his genuine excitement at the thought of the results is a joy to watch, the funny way in which he expresses himself always makes my heart sing, he's such an expressive kid when he starts describing how he thinks it will taste, the food we cook together, and the way he later will describe how it actually tastes, it's beyond adorable. So we both had very high expectations for these mini bundts, and the truth is, we were not frustrated!

These little gems are sticky and sweet, but not overly sweet, they're very chocolaty and filled with fruit that explodes in your mouth when you bite into it. There's rushes of tartness and bitterness mingling with the sweet and the coffee brings out the cacao, while the vanilla enhances the berries. These are kind of to die for cakes, in my humble opinion, they're very more-ish, yes, but just the one will satisfy your cravings for something sweet, complex and yet simple at the same time. Do try these. And if you go for frozen berries, like I did, do keep this recipe around for an all year treat you can safely dive into! They cater every season's cravings, lemme tell ya!

So how do you go about jostling up these babes? You'll need:
  • 100gr flour
  • 50gr raw cacao powder
  • 150gr light muscavado sugar
  • 150gr butter, unsalted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 large-ish cup of mixed berries - I used frozen 
  • 1 tsp coffee powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Start by turning on your oven at 180ยบ. If using muffin tins, grease them and scatter some flour. I used silicon mini bundt moulds, so there was no need for this step - score!! In a bowl cream the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, alternating with the sugar, the flour, the baking powder and the cacao. Mix well and add the coffee powder and the vanilla extract. With a wooden spoon gently stir in the berries. Pour batter into moulds and bake for about half an hour, but check at the 25 minute mark, as every oven is different. Allow to cool completely before unmoulding, and serve with a scoop of sour cream icecream or a tablespon of natural yogurt! It's that good, seriously!