Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes

One of my all-time favorite flavor combinations is sweet and spicy…and there’s nothing that will get your taste buds in a frenzy like chili and chocolate.  Spicy chocolate is a genius invention and one of my go-to guilty pleasures.  If you haven’t tried it, I recommend you give it a shot.  To get the full sensation, melt some dark chocolate in a double boiler.  Create medallions on wax paper by spooning the chocolate on the wax paper when it’s melted.  Sprinkle each medallion with a little cayenne pepper and use a toothpick to swirl the powder into the melted chocolate.  Let harden and enjoy.  It may not seem spicy at first, but these little guys have a kick…and will bite back!

So when I was given the task of baking some yummy treats for my bother’s fiancee’s bachelorette party, I just had to try making spicy chocolate cupcakes!  What better way to top off a ladie’s night?  Oh, and I did make these weenie cake pops, which I thought you might enjoy!  HAHA!  I mean, it was a bachelorette party!

Anyway, back to these chocolate cakes.  I didn’t want the spice to be too overwhelming, so I just added it to the icing.  If you want a little more heat, add it to the batter.  It’s really up to you.  Just remember, when it comes to cayenne pepper–a little goes a long way!

Spicy Chocolate Cakes

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Frosting:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 8 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine boiling water and cocoa, stirring well until all the cocoa is dissolved.  Let mixture cool completely.
  3. Place sugar, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl and beat until well blended, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl and stir with a whisk until combined.
  5. Add flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  6. Pour batter into prepared cupcake pans and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of one cupcake comes out clean.  For these cakes, it’s best NOT to use cupcake liners, since the icing is poured onto the cool cake and hardens over time.  You can place cupcakes in liners once the icing has set.  Let cake cool completely before frosting.
  7. To make icing, melt the butter in a pan.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool for about 10 minutes.
  8. Use a tablespoon to skim off the foam on top of the melted butter and discard.  Set aside the clarified butter, also discarding the milky liquid in the bottom of the pan.
  9. In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
  10. Remove the chocolate from the heat and pour the clarified butter into the chocolate.  Stir until smooth.
  11. Add cayenne pepper and mix until combined.  Add more to taste if the heat isn’t strong enough for you!
  12. Let icing sit for about 5 minutes to thicken.
  13. Place cakes on a cooling rack with a pan underneath to catch extra icing.  Pour icing over cooled cakes and let sit for at least 2 hours to let icing set.
  14. If you have extra icing, you can drizzle it over the cupcakes after the first layer sets.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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