03 May 2010

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot! A Cinco de Mayo Cupcake Recipe

A few months back, I created a spicy chocolate Senorita cupcake for the Iron Cupcake : Earth Music Challenge. I'm just back from vacation and don't have an egg to crack or even some buttermilk in the house to get me going so I thought I'd resurrect this recipe for those of you who may be interested in taking a themed cupcake to your Cinco de Mayo parties. It's chocolate, ganache and HOT -- what more could you ask in a May 5th cupcake! Enjoy!

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 pair this cupcake with a simple chocolate ganache, feel free to add in up to 1 teaspoon cinnamon in the cupcake 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.

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