mini chili chocolate cupcakes

Finally! Today! After weeks of waiting and a few too many hundred dollars, the oven is fixed. I baked these cupcakes over the weekend, though, and in a neighbor’s oven. The change of scenery threw me off. I made an ill-advised substitution (baking powder instead of baking soda) and the cupcakes didn’t rise enough. I should know better! The recipe, which I have made before, works, and so I am posting it here correctly. Yet another lesson… this one to take my own advice and follow the recipe!

Despite the rising issue, the cupcakes still tasted great – rich and chocolatey with a warm and spicy finish. Pequin chilies are super hot (I got mine from Penzey’s) and the quantity that I call for below will result in a spicy, but not super spicy cupcake. So if you really want to shock someone, maybe you should double the quantity. It’s definitely a lot easier to adjust for heat with the frosting.

Now that my kitchen is back in action I hope to be back soon with a more exciting recipe.

kitchen (messy)
scene of the crime

~24 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/4 cup water
1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground pequin chilies
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, and salt into a bowl. Add the ground pepper, set aside.
4. In a standing mixer, beat butter until creamy.
5. Add the brown sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
6. At medium speed, add eggs one at a time, beat well between each.
7. Add sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined.
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. Beat until just combined. Scrape down bowl if needed.
11. Fill cupcake papers about 3/4s full. Bake at 350 degree oven for 22-25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean

Chili Chocolate Ganache Frosting

1-1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon ground pequin chilies
12 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
2-3 cups powdered sugar, optional

1. Heat the cream over medium heat until it bubbles around saucepan edge.
2. Place pepper and chopped chocolate in a medium sized bowl.
3. Pour heated cream over the chocolate
4. Let the mixture sit for about 30 seconds then start whisking it until smooth.
5. Add butter in pats and mix until combined.
6. set aside mixture and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until cool.
7. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Optionally you can add sifted powdered sugar and beat until combine. This will sweeten the frosting and make it less rich and intense. Also helpful if you are low on chocolate and want to stretch the frosting a bit further…

1. Frost cooled cupcakes.
2. Top with something red.

chili chocolate frosting

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