Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes

This month's What's Baking theme was "Bake with Valentine Colors." So I set out to do just that and made this cherry cake roll from the Food Network Magazine. I followed the recipe and the cake came out beautifully. I rolled it up in a towel and left it to cool. When it came time to unroll it, the cake was glued to the towel. I managed to pull some free, but the cake was a disaster and into the trash it went. A few days later, I decided to try making it again, but I was out of red food coloring. I decided to do a variation of the theme and bake something that reminds me of Valentine's Day instead. Chocolate is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Valentine's Day, so I decided to made Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes. The cake was spiced with cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and ancho chile powder and I topped them with chocolate-cinnamon icing. Well, they were amazing! They weren't hot, but they did leave a slight burn on your tongue afterward.

Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes
adapted from Betty Crocker The Big Book of Cupcakes

Favorite chocolate cupcake recipe (I used Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake.)
3 teaspoons ancho chile powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tins with paper cupcake liners.
Prepare cupcakes according to directions, but add spices with the dry ingredients.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes and cool completely on wire racks.

Chocolate-Cinnamon Frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 - 4 tablespoons milk

Mix together butter and chocolate with a wooden spoon. With the mixer on low speed, beat in powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and milk one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.