05 October 2009

It Feels Like Sumthins Heatin' Up

Iron Cupcake Earth is back for year 2 and the first challenge brought to us by the Milwaukee Cupcake Queen is Music! The goal is to get the contest featured on the Ellen Degeneres show, and well, those of you like me who watch Ellen know how much she likes to shake her boot-ay!

I had several ideas as soon as I heard this challenge (including submitting my entire blog as I am so frequently inspired while cupcaking by that personal soundtrack in my head!). This year though, Iron Cupcakers are limited to only 3 entries per challenge so I'm baking up the monster hits I think are destined to ride up the charts!

My first cupcake this month is the Senorita cupcake. I know Ellen is a FOJT (Friend of Justin Timberlake) and I can so easily imagine the two of them shakin' it up and down the aisles of her audience as he serenades everyone with this sweet song about a brown-eyed senorita who deals with things she shouldn't have to. Justin thinks she deserves a crown (and someone like him who will love her right).

My Senorita cupcake is a Mexican chocolate cupcake spiced up with cinnamon and just a hint of cayenne pepper. It's topped with a Mexican chocolate ganache (made from a Vosges Red Fire exotic chocolate bar a friend brought me that I have been saving for something special!). Gold dusted "fan," rose and the proverbial crown complete the look.

You can make your own fire at home with the Senorita Cupcake recipe that follows. Gentlemen Goodnite, Ladies Good Morning.

Senorita Cupcakes (makes about 20)
(adapted from Martha Stewart's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcake recipe)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (if you make a simple chocolate ganache, feel free to add in up to 1 teaspoon cinnamon in the batter to make it extra spicy. I scaled mine back since I paired this with a spicy ganache. In general, I like Saigon Cinnamon for this recipe as it is rather strong and gives you an extra kick).
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, sour cream, milk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Spicy Chocolate Ganache Frosting
4.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used a Vosges Red Fire chocolate bar)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp butter, room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar

Break up chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. In a small casserole, heat cream until just about boiling. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined. Next add the butter and stir until combined. If you want to make it spicy, add 1/2 - 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Let cool for 10 minutes. Using a whisk or electric hand-beater, sift in powdered sugar one cup at a time beating after each addition. Continue adding sugar and beating until mixture is of good spreading consistency.

PS I am competing to win the following prizes from our generous IronCupcake:Earth Prize Providers:
The Demy™ by Key Ingredient
Hello, Cupcake by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson
Bella Cupcake Couture
Cupcake Stackers by Gourmac
The Cake Mix Doctor Returns! by Anne Byrne


  1. So pretty, and sounds nice and sweet and spicy :D

    Good luck!

  2. This is a great entry Cat, I like the decoration and the inspiration behind it! You have my vote ;)