Thursday, August 28, 2008

Iron Cupcake: Chili

A few weeks ago, my friend Amy emailed me to let me know about a new cupcake competition she came across in blogland. She figured it was right up my alley and she couldn't have been more right. I entered the group immediately and went to work on the first round. The way the competition works is each month we'll receive a key ingredient and have a month to create a cupcake recipe using it (much like the Iron Chef competition.) So far there are over 100 competitors from all over the world and there are all kinds of great prizes up for grabs including the following:

This absolutely adorable apron from Jessica Steele -- so cute!

The awesome cupcake caddy from the Cupcake Courier (I need one of these really bad)

Jewelry from Cakespy art (check her Etsy Store and her blog -- one of my very favorites out there)

A Taste of Home Books cookbook (who doesn't love their books)

A copy of the bestseller book, Hello Cupcake by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. This book is great, it has the best ideas for decorating.

Fiesta Products
Head Chefs line of funny silly kitchen utensils. I love these things!

Lastly, I just want to give a shout to the Milwaukee Cupcake Queen who started this all. What a fun idea and a great way to get to know some fellow cupcake lovers! Thanks so much for all your hard work on this, it's going to be great!

Now, the way this works is we will have a deadline for each entry and starting a few days after, the voting will open. YOU get to vote for the winner! I'm hoping, of course, that you'll vote for me (and tell all of your friends and family members to vote for me too.) The voting will begin this round on August 31st at noon (central time) and will be open for 5 days. You can get to the voting by clicking on the iron cupcake badge to the right. I'll post on Sunday to remind you!

I might be completely out of my league here, but I figure it's worth the shot and it'll be fun to get a bit creative with my cupcakes and push the envelope a bit. This first month's ingredient is chili. I started brainstorming several different ways, but in the end finally went with my favorite combination of dark chocolate and spicy chili together. (For a yummy brownie treat inspired by the same flavors check out my Spicy Maya Brownie)

I was pretty bummed earlier in the week when my daughter Vivie broke my camera (don't ask it's too painful to talk about) so please excuse the poor photos. Next month I promise great shots. For this month's consideration I present:
The Triple Chili Chocolate Truffle Cupcake with Cinnamon and Pasilla Chili Buttercream

I'm not even going to lie, this turned out better than I thought. It's a cinnamon and chocolate cupcake with a rich truffle center that's a combination of dark chocolate, thai chilies, pasilla chili, and red chili pepper. It's topped off with a sweet and spicy cinnamon and pasilla chili buttercream and garnished with a thai chili pepper (I don't really recommend eating this one) and a dark chocolate whirlygig thingy (totally eat this one, though.)

Here's how I did it:

I started with a basic devil's food cake recipe. For this one I used the good ol' Betty Crocker
but I made some changes. I omitted the brown sugar and used only regular sugar. Instead of buttermilk and shortening, I used regular milk and butter. I also used 1/2 cup of high quality powdered cocoa instead of melted bakers chocolate. I also made the addition of 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. My recipe turned out as follows:


1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat all ingredients together for 2-3 minutes. Fill cupcake liner about 1/2 full and bake for 22-25 minutes. Let cool completely before filling.

Next came the filling. Here's what I did for that, I made a basic truffle filling using the following:

8 oz of semi sweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 TBS pasilla chili powder
1 TBS of ground red pepper (or cayenne)
1 Thai chili--left whole

On the stove top, combine heavy cream and the chili powder, cayenne and thai pepper in small saucepan. Heat until almost boiling. Remove thai pepper and pour heated cream over broken up chocolate in another bowl. Stir until chocolate is melted and all ingredients are completely incorporated. Allow to cool, stirring once in a while, until right consistency is reached. You want it to be pipe-able, but not runny.

Once the cupcakes were cool, I filled each one using a fill tip with a bit of the truffle filling.

Next came the buttercream. For this I used:

1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp pasilla chili powder
2 cups powdered sugar
2 TBS. sour cream

Whip butter. combine powdered sugar, cinnamon, and chili powder and sift. Add to butter, alternating with sour cream until right consistency is reached. Add vanilla and whip for 3-4 minutes.

I frosted the cupcakes generously and then garnished with dark chocolate decoration I made by melting dark chocolate and then spreading it onto my silicone mat with a knife and letting it cool and harden.

The final product turned out GREAT! I loved the taste. Rich and spicy, but not overwhelming. I hope you enjoy it and don't forget to vote!

Even if you don't like my cupcake combo, you can't help but fall in love with my kitchen assistant...she's a VERY big helper, especially in the tasting arena...


Unknown said...

I'm so glad you did this! I want to try one - RIGHT NOW!

Debbie said...

OH yummy, call me over please!!!

Lisa said...

You know,I came here to check out your recipe, and naturally, I'm drooling as I look at the photos of those amazing cupcakes, BUT, I have to say, your little kitchen assistant trumps it all. What an absolute doll face! :) said...

This cupcake is AMAZING! I'm posting a few of my contest favorites in my blog today and this is definitely one!

Maggie said...

You've already won me over with the cute chocolate covered face! The truffle filling sounds fantastic.

Unknown said...

glad you like my cuppie! thanks!
and your assistant is precious. love it.

Abi said...

This is one awesome cupcake! I got to taste one last night and there are not words to describe how wonderful it was! To say it was fantastically wonderful doesn't even BEGIN to describe its perfectness. I'm on the edge of my seat for how you're going to top this one with next month's challenge!

PS - you're nominated to make my 30th birthday cupcakes!

k.j. said...

this looks so good. i cannot wait to try making them.

Celia said...

A few things:

#1-I didn't know you even had a blog. Woo hoo!

#2-I didn't know you were sch a cupcake fanatic. I mean I love cupcakes as much (or more) than the next guy but this is serious!

#3-Why am I not surprised that you're an artistic chef/baker, just like everything else you do?!?!