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

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