Each year I make some standby Christmas Cookie recipes but I also go perusing the cookbooks and internet for recipes that look like they should be added to the plates I give to family and friends. While digging around this year I stumbled across a contest on the Cupcake Adventure Contest put on by Scharffenberger Chocolate, as much as I enjoy cupcakes I haven't really been part of the cupcake craze that has swept the blog and culinary community the last few years, I enjoy making them occasionally but not the creative, crazy varieties and decorations that some make, so I was a bit surprised by my interest in competing in the contest. Needless to say, the point of the contest is to use some really nice, high quality chocolate in an adventurous cupcake using some pretty interesting ingredients, you are required to use at least one of the following: stout beer (oatmeal, chocolate, imperial or any other stout); ricotta; buttermilk; coconut butter, coconut milk or coconut cream; saffron; molasses (light, dark or blackstrap); adzuki bean; fresh beet; sweetened condensed milk; fresh or whole dried chili pepper; bee pollen; meyer lemon; almond flour; and Sumatra coffee bean.
The possibilities are endless but I felt a certain affinity towards the spicier varieties and made a Mexican Hot Chocolate inspired cupcake.
1/2 Cup Butter, at room temperature
1 Cup White Sugar
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 Cup Cream of Coconut
1 Tsp Vanilla
4 Lg Egg Whites
3oz Scharffenberger Extra Dark Chocolate Bar, melted
3oz Scharffenberger Dark Chocolate Bar, melted
1/2 Tsp Chipotle Powder
1/2 Tsp Ancho Chile Powder
2 Tsp Cinnamon Powder
1/2 Tsp Ginger, powdered
1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper, powdered
14oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 Tbsp Cream of Coconut
1 Pinch (appx 1/2 Tsp) Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp Water
1 Tsp Cinnamon Powder
3oz Scharffenberger Dark Chocolate, coarsely chopped
3oz Scharffenberger Semisweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
Sugared Chile Peppers
1. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.
2. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, chile powders, ginger, cayenne and cinnamon powder.
3. Add flour mixutre to butter/sugar mixture alternately adding in small increments of flour and cream of coconut until all has been incorporated.
4. Stir in vanilla and melted chocolate.
5. Fold in egg whites.
**Batter will be very thick**
6. Scoop into 12 regular sized cupcake papers in a muffin tin.
7. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
1. Melt sweetened condensed milk, salt, water, vanilla, cinnamon, cream of coconut in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat until all is well incorporated and chocolate is smooth.
2. Let cool to just shy of room temperature and using a stand or hand mixer incorporate the 2 cups powdered sugar in 1/4 cup increments.
3. Spread generously on cupcakes.
Add sugared chiles or crystallized ginger to top of cupcake for pretty and tasty presentation.
It looks a little light in the photo but I assure you it's a dark chocolate lovers dream : )
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