Recipe: Mini Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Chocolate Ganache Frosting12

Posted by chockylit in Chocolate,Spices (Sunday July 31, 2005 at 5:42 pm)

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

Cupcake catering for benefit art show4

Posted by in General (Thursday July 28, 2005 at 3:14 pm)

I am baking mini cupcakes (and doing some savory appetizers) for a benefit art show at my ex-bosses studio this weekend.

I am going to make chili-chocolate cupcakes with flamed colored marshmallow frosting. Hopefully they come out the way I imagine them in my head. We shall see…

I wish I could do more sweet things for the party, but the savory bits are going to be a challenge and I don’t want to over extend myself. I will be searching the many awesome food blogs out there for some appetizer ideas. Only problem is that there is no refrigeration or a way to heat things. So far I am planning on caprese on a toothpick (tomato, mozzarella, basil, olive oil) and fresh fig & goat cheese wrapped with prosciutto on a toothpick. Not sure what else. Any ideas?

The other cool thing is that I have a piece in the show and my husband is performing. Should be a good time.

Recipe: Carrot Ginger Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Carrot Sprinkles6

Posted by chockylit in Carrots,Cheese,Nuts,Spices (Sunday July 24, 2005 at 12:00 pm)

I love ginger-carrot cupcakes and made some changes to the recipe since I last made them. I added the candied ginger for the first time, doubled the ginger, and doubled the cinnamon. I wanted something with a bit more bite. I am pleased with the way they came out. I can really taste the ginger compared to the last version, but its not over powering or anything. I am interested to see what tasters have to say.

makes 30 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1 cup pecans
1 pound carrots
3 large eggs
1/2 cup 1% fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup candied ginger (purchased at Trader Joe’s)
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. toast pecans in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes
2. remove from the oven, let them cool, then chop coursely
3. peel, rinse, then grate carrots coursely
4. in a large bowl, combine carrots, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar, vegetable oil,
fresh ginger, and candied ginger
5. in another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
6. fold flour mixture into the carrot mixture
7. fold in pecans
8. scoop out into cupcake pans
9. bake at 350 degree oven for ~20 minutes or unti cake tester comes out clean
10. cool in pan for 15 minutes, cool on wire rack completely

Candied Carrot Sprinkles

2 peeled carrots
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

1. using a zester, create carrot strips
2. in a small saucepan, combine sugar and water and bring to a boil
(brush down the sides of the saucepan with cold water)
3. add carrot curls, reduce the heat, cook curls for about 10 minutes.
4. take off the heat and let sit for about 5 minutes
5. remove carrot in clumps onto a wire grate
6. let clumps cool
7. chop and break up carrot into sprinkles

1. transfer a tablespoon of cream cheese frosting onto each cooled cupcake (I use the cream cheese frosting recipe from the Buttercup Bakeshop book)
2. smooth out with a small pallet knife
3. top off each frosted cupcake with some candied carrot sprinkles

Recipe: Lavender Cream Filled Cupcake with Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting45

Posted by chockylit in Cheese,Citrus,Herbs & Flowers (Sunday July 17, 2005 at 12:50 pm)

I forget what got me thinking of lavender, but regardless I really liked the way these cupcakes turned out. They are perfect for any summertime party, like a wedding shower. I served these at a dinner party along side a serving of strawberries and blueberries that I macerated with a touch of apricot brandy and some chopped, fresh spearmint leaves and topped of with a dollop of the lavender cream.

The Result
The Good: Yum. Perfect moist little cakes, creamy frosting with a hint of tartness, and a subtle lavender flavor.

The Bad: Nothing. I loved the way everything came out.

1/2 Recipe of Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1/2 stick butter
3/4 cups sugar
1 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg whites

1. soften butter in the mixer on high speed
2. drizzle the sugar in with the butter and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes
3. sift flour, baking powder, and salt together
4. measure out milk and vanilla
5. add the flour mixture and milk mixture to the butter/sugar in 3 parts alternating between flour and milk and beating well after each addition
6. set aside incorporated mixture
7. in a clean mixer bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form
8. fold egg whites into cake batter until incorporated
9. scoop batter into the prepared cupcake pans
10. bake in the 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean

mise en place

Lavender Cream

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lavender flowers

1. add sugar and water to a small saucepan set over medium high heat
2. heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon
3. stir in lavender and let the mixture sit over the heat, undisturbed for 3 minutes
4. remove from heat, strain into a small bowl, and set in a second bowl of ice to cool
5. meanwhile add heavy cream to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the whip attachment until soft peaks form
6. once the sugar mixture is relatively cool to the touch (it can be slightly warm) drizzle into the cream while beating on medium high
7. continue to beat on high until firm peaks form

1/2 Recipe of Citrus Cream cheese Frosting

1/2 stick butter
1 8oz packages of cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon mixed citrus zest (from lemons, limes, oranges, whatever citrus you have)
1 teaspoon citrus juice (same as above)
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
3-4 drops of purple food coloring

1. soften butter in the mixer on high speed
2. add cream cheese and beat until combined
3. sift confectioner’s sugar
4. add about half of the confectioner’s sugar and citrus juice and zest to the butter/cream cheese mixture and beat on high speed to combine
5. add remaining confectioner’s sugar in stages until desired consistency and sweetness is achieved
6. add purple food coloring and mix until consistent color is achieved

1. using a melon baller, scoop out a bit of the cooled cupcakes
2. using a small spoon, fill each cavity with lavender cream
3. trim off some of the meat of the scooped out cupcake and place back over the cavity
4. pipe cream cheese frosting over the top
5. sprinkle lightly with lavender leaves

filling the cupcakes

finished product

Printable, PDF-version of the recipe.

Recipe: Lime Custard Cupcake with Meringue Frosting4

Posted by chockylit in Advanced Techniques,Citrus,Step-by-Step Photos (Sunday July 10, 2005 at 1:24 pm)

Custards like this are normally baked off in ramekins in a water bath. In this case, they were baked in a cupcake pan with liners set in a jelly role pan which is then filled 1/2 way full with boiling water.

The Result
The Good: Tasty. Not too sweet by any stretch. Subtle lime flavor. Very moist.

The Bad: Too moist. I wanted a cakier and yolkier result. It was too egg-whitey… hopefully, with these made up adjectives, you know what I mean.

makes nearly 24 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

6 large eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
zest of 2 limes
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from approximately 3-4 limes)
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt

It’s best to prepare the ingredients in advance of starting the recipe. Separate the eggs, measure out the sugar and flour, zest then juice the limes, measure out the milk, and get the salt handy.

1. preheat oven to 350°, boil a kettle of water, and line the cupcake pans with liners.
2. in a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until light yellow
3. whisk in the flour
4. gradually whisk in the lemon juice
5. whisk in the milk and zest
7. with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form
8. add to lemon batter and gently whisk together
9. transfer into a container that is easy to pour from (i used a plastic pitcher)
10. pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pans, just about filling each cavity with batter
11. pour the boiling water into the jelly role pan, until just about half full
12. *carefully* place the pans into the oven

mise en place

whisking flour into egg/sugar mixture

pouring liquidy batter into cupcake pan

setting up hot water bath

Meringue Frosting

1 cup egg whites (from approximately 7-8 eggs)
2 cups sugar
3 drops lime juice

1. combine the ingredients into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer and set over a bain marie (water bath)
2. whisk by hand for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved or preferably until the mixture reaches 110 degrees fahrenheit
3. beat on medium speed for 10 minutes
4. beat on high speed until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 to 10 minutes more

1. dollup a heaping tablespoon of meringue on top of a cooled cupcake
2. using your finger poke the frosting to make a nice shape and some interesting peaks
3. using a blow torch, brown the meringue.

fun with fire

NOTES: You need to move quickly with the frosting. Don’t even start making it until the cupcakes are cool. If you must hold the frosting for any period of time, keep it going on slow speed in the mixer so it won’t get stiff. This stuff is sticky… I got it pretty much all over me. When browning the meringue, move the flame quickly as the meringue can burn (even light on fire). I used paper liners as that’s what I had, but I recommend the silver ones in this case.

Chockylit and the Chocky Factory2

Posted by in General (Tuesday July 5, 2005 at 12:53 pm)

The bathroom is nearly done and the kitchen is clean. So, as soon as the holiday is over and our out-of-town guests have returned to the other coast, baking will commence. We did happen to have a reservation for a tour of the chocolate factory; however, and here are some pictures that either I or my husband took there.

Here I am at the shop entrance

This is the sign near the cafe entrance. I really like their logo with the Ibex:

I got a few pictures of the equipment, but they also have them on their website.

The tour was interesting. We sat and listened to the guide discuss chocolate making from “bean to bar” and got to sample three types of chocolate and chocolate nibs. Tasting their dark chocolates is like tasting wine, lots of complexity and different flavors. Their milk chocolate is equally complex, but has the added benefit of being creamy. I love them all, but I especially love the way the milk chocolate melts between my fingers.