Mocha Squares ‒ Mokkapalat

http://www.veganmofo.com/Random facts about Finnish coffee culture #7: There is usually milk and sugar available at the coffee table, or on special days cream instead of milk in a smaller jug. People have different but usually relatively permanent habits of whether they want to use these additions or not, and how much, so you don't need to explain yourself. Teenagers often start the habit with as much milk as coffee and several cubes of sugar, whereas drinking the black stuff straight as it is, is thought more like the territory of masculine men.
At the moment one of the most popular forms of cakes are the kinds you can quickly whip together, spread on a whole baking sheet and cut into convenient hand fitting pieces. Mocha squares aka. suklaapelti, chocolate sheet, are one of the hallmarks of this genre and resemble chocolate brownies quite a lot. The peak of their popularity was at the 80's but to this day they are going strong, although with an added retro feel.

People tend to have their own special recipes on how to make the squares. The one my mum used for example, was called Pate's cake, though I never found out who was this mysterious Pate, only that volunteering to make the icing part was my ticket to tasting that black grown-up drink with a lot of sugar and fat. The recipe I've used was originally from Jere Nieminen's book Vegaanin kotiruokakirja, but I've changed it here and there over time, especially the icing part.

The cake:
- 150 g margarine
- 3 dl sugar
- 5 dl wheat flour
- 2.5 dl oat or soy milk
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp vanilla sugar
- 1.5 tbsp apple wine vinegar
- 2 tsp baking soda

The icing:
- 50 g margarine
- 500 g icing sugar
- 4 tbsp strong coffee
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- colourful sprinkles straigth from the 80's

Whisk the cake margarine and the sugar until foamy. Add the vinegar and the milk to the bowl. Mix the dry ingredients and add them as well. Mix even. Spread on a baking sheet. Bake about 20 minutes in 200°C.

In the meanwhile, prepare the icing. Whisk the ingredients together, starting from the margarine and the coffee. Don't put everything in at once. Add more coffee if the result seems too sturdy and more icing sugar if too runny. Spread on the cake after it has cooled down a bit. Decorate liberally with sprinkles.

The cake is ready to be cut into squares and eaten after the icing has settled down. A cool place helps with this.

Nutritional values / 1617 g:
energy 5688 kcal
fat 160 g
protein 59 g
carbohydrates 994 g
fiber 25 g


  1. Ooh Mocha squares, I like the sound of that! I always thought black coffee was sort of masculine when I was little too, because the only person I knew who drank it was my grandad!

  2. I also loved mocha as a kid, and I still do! The stable preferences for milk and sugar in coffee (and tea) also exist in the Netherlands. It is considered polite for the host to remember the preferences of frequent guests, so (s)he can serve them their customized coffee without asking what they 'take'. Also at a party, the host is supposed to ask only once and then continue to serve the guests their customized refills. Many hosts circumvent this by simply putting the fixings on the table so the guests can help themselves.

  3. I am definitely a cream-in-my-coffee gal, though I have toughed it out through a few cups of black coffee in my day. Usually i don't add sugar, unless there's no cream. So, I guess I'm a cream-or-sugar gal. I really love adding coffee to baked goods, and especially to icing. My grandma used to add instant coffee granules to the icing for her spice cakes... and I still like to do that


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