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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Recipe: Mini Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Chocolate Ganache Frosting

I made these chili chocolate cupcakes (amongst many other things) for the art show/benefit on Saturday. I expected the chili taste to be a bit more noticable in both the cake and frosting, people only noticed it if I told them in advance, but the little buggers were rich and chocolately regardless. I need to work on the cupcake recipe some. I want a richer cake (going to drop the flour content and up the egg) and definitely more spice (maybe more cayenne...) Also going to try to spice up the frosting next time. I wanted to top them with a red hot, but a last minute run over to the nearby grocery store, pharmacy, and liquor store proved fruitless.

makes 78 mini cupcakes / 350 degree oven

4 ounces unsweetend chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup rich cocoa powder
1-1/4 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flower
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter
1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. boil water in a kettle then measure out 1-1/4 cup
2. combine chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium sized bowl, add boiling water, whisk until smooth, set aside
3. sift flours, baking soda, chili powder, cayenne, and salt onto parchment or into a bowl, set aside
4. in a standing mixer, beat butter until creamy, scrape down the bowl
5. add brown sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scrape down the bowl
6. at medium speed, add eggs one at a time, beat well between each
7. add sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined, scrape down the bowl
8. add about a third of the flour mixture, beat briefly until combined
9. add about half of the chocolate mixture, beat briefly until combined
10. repeat, adding flour, chocolate, then flour, do not overbeat
11. transfer batter into large pastry bag with a plain tip, pipe into mini-cupcake pans with mini-cupcake liners, about 3/4 full
12. bake at 350 degree oven (325 convection) for ~10 minutes or unti cake tester comes out clean

NOTE: Making this many mini cupcakes at once requires a number of pans and a good sized (36") oven. Next time I try the recipe, I will make regular sized cupcakes, but I am guessing I'd get somewhere around 24... easy to bake off in a normal sized oven.

Chili Chocolate Ganache Frosting

1-1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1. heat cream and butter over medium heat until butter is melted and cream bubbles around saucepan edge
2. place peppers and chopped chocolate in a medium sized bowl, pour heated cream and butter over the chocolate
3. let the mixture sit for about 30 seconds then start whisking it until smooth
4. set aside mixture and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon, it should reach piping consistency within an hour or two

1. transfer ganache into a large pastry bag fitted with a star tip
2. pipe a dollop of ganache on each of the mini cupcakes
3. (optional) top with a red hot (if you can find them)

cooling cupcakes

being served

Printable, PDF-version of the recipe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic! When I saw the title of your post, I immediately thought of my favorite truffle by the local Chocolate Shop: The Aztec Gold. It has the following flavors:

bittersweet chocolate, cream, butter, chipotle chili, cinnamon, orange peel, and lemon peel.

I think that adding pepper is awesome, and I add it to all my hot chocolate drinks. It makes the entire chocolate experience more robust, yet elegant. Have you considering dusting the top with some gold powder? The way you iced them makes them extremely divine in appearance and perhaps that would be a lovely touch....or a lemon zest curl.

Sorry to babble, it is just that your cakes look (and sound) so freaking awesome!

7/31/2005 7:54 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

I am completely blown away by your photography and obviously the accomplishment of your baking! I was looking at your flikr site and wondered what the section where people were making silkscreen tshirts was all about. Was that a class you were taking/teaching? I am really interested in doing small scale silkscreening like that and would love some advice. Thanks!

7/31/2005 10:15 PM  
Blogger Seymour said...

Ah, these look fantastic. I wish I could have tasted them. Soon, I'll try to make a gluten-free verson!

Gosh, I love your site. I have a friend who's obsessed with cupcakes, and she's going to salivate on her keyboard when she sees this!

--Shauna (aka gluten-free girl)

8/01/2005 7:40 PM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Hey, Leah. A group of friends have a monthly craft-factory thing and there is a project that someone teaches. That month a friend taught printing, but I don't know much about it. We came up with designs, traced them on velum cut them out, sprayed the backs to stick them to the stretched out shirts, then rolled the paint over. My friend had taken a class, but I am not sure where.

Thanks for the compliments everyone!

8/02/2005 6:40 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Wow! These cupcakes look fantastic. I love the idea of combining chili with chocolate :)

8/03/2005 4:45 PM  
Blogger violet said...

you are absolutely brilliant. absolutely. i love it.

LOVE IT. cheers.

8/03/2005 8:06 PM  
Blogger robyn said...

Your photos are always fabulous but this latest batch had me obsessed. I made these this weekend for our block party and they were amazing. Hands down the best cupcakes I've ever made!

I upped the ancho chiles to 3 heaping tbs (next time I'm buying more dried chiles to grind) and they were addictively good.

You've inspired me to try an ancho chocolate next!

8/08/2005 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


How do you get your cupcakes to have such smooth surfaces, and they all have uniform appearances. When I make my cupcakes, some come out of the oven with horns and others look like shriveled apples. I'd really appreciate your guidance in this matter. THANK YOU!

12/11/2005 10:27 AM  
Blogger chockylit said...

I have had the same happen to me. In my experience, the problem stems from ingredients like butter and eggs not being at room temperature before mixing. So, letting those items sit out for a couple of hours before starting, is one suggestion. And making sure everything is mixed up well.

I also use a convection oven now, which I find helps keep the temp even.

Good luck!

12/11/2005 9:43 PM  

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