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Chocolate Azteca Cupcakes: Spicy Chili & Dark Chocolate Cupcakes Topped with Cinnamon Butter Cream Icing

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© 2011 Helana Brigman
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One of the first times my friend Michael brought me New Orleans gelato, he procured the most fascinating dark chocolate dessert–Chocolate Azteca.  Infused with the spicy after-taste of fresh cayenne, the dark chocolate ice cream melted in my throat while leaving the burning after-taste of Mexican spices.  God.  I love New Orleans.  I love Gelato.  And I LOVE Michael Agan.Today, I’d like to dedicate my most recent Clearly Delicious concoction to a through-and-through foodie who’s smart enough to recognize when spicy cayenne goes with dark chocolate.  He’s the one who introduced me to Monkey Bread, the one who explained the importance of Infused Olive Oils, and the one who I miss terribly now that he lives in Buffalo, NY, with our friend John.

For you, today, I eat a cupcake.  It may not melt in your mouth like that delicious gelato, but it will certainly spice your palette with its chili after-taste!

Chocolate Azteca Cupcakes: Dark Chocolate with Spicy Chili & Cinnamon Butter Cream Icing

My recipe calls for 2 teaspoons spicy chili paste, but you can easily cut down the heat by adding only 1 teaspoon.  Other ways to fire up this recipe? Try adding a dash of chili paste to your butter cream icing.

Ingredients:

–Cake–

* 3 cups all purpose flour

* 1 1/2 tsp salt

* 3/4 tsp baking powder

* 1 1/2 tsp baking soda

* 2 2/3 cup sugar

* 4 extra large, or 5 large eggs

* 1 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa, unsweetened

* 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water

* 1 cup + 2 tablespoons canola (or vegetable) oil

* 3/4 cup water

* 2-3 tablespoons almond extract

* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, optional

* 2 teaspoons chili paste made from dried chilis by Marx Foods

–Icing–

* 1 cup butter softened (2 sticks)

* 4 cups powdered sugar

* 3-4 tablespoons milk or cream

* 1 teaspoon almond extract (can substitute vanilla)

* 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1.) Begin by preparing your dry and wet ingredients: sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  Set aside.

2.) Create wet mixture with a canola (or vegetable) oil and water base.  Mix 1 cup + 2 tablespoons oil with 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water in a KitchenAid mixer for 2 minutes. Once oil and water have been mixing for 2-3 minutes, add eggs, 3/4 cup water, almond (and vanilla if using it) extract; mix on low-medium for 1-2 minutes until fully integrated.  Finally, add sugar and cocoa until fully integrated.  Set aside while you make your chili paste.

3.)

If using pre-made chili paste, skip the following steps, but for those hardcore foodies who wish to make your own chili paste, try the next few simple steps.

4.) Submerge a small handful of dried chilies in boiling water and allow to set for 10 minutes.

5.) Add to a coffee grinder.

6.) Grind into a paste.

7.) Add 2 teaspoons chili paste to wet ingredients & reserve the rest for later clearly delicious confections.

8.) Finally, add dry ingredients to wet paste slowly making sure to scrape down the sides as you combine the wet and dry ingredients.

9.) Scoop batter into lined cupcake pans.  Since most cupcake pans easily overfill during cooking, it’s a good idea to fill the cupcake halfway.

10.) Bake Cupcakes for 15-20 minutes at 350F or until a toothpick comes out clean.

11.) While cupcakes are baking, prepare icing.  Cream softened butter with almond extract, cinnamon, and milk.  Using 1 cup at a time, combine 4 cups powdered sugar until icing is thick and creamy.  Refrigerate until cupcakes are ready to be iced.

12.) Ice cooled cupcakes with cinnamon buttercream icing.

13.) Top with a square of chocolate.  I used the Endangered Species brand available at Whole Foods, but really any dark chocolate topper will work nicely here.Makes 2 dozen cupcakes.

 
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Chocolate Azteca Cupcakes: Spicy Chili & Dark Chocolate Cupcakes Topped with Cinnamon Butter Cream Icing, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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3 Comments

  1. Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:08 am | #

    I really thought about making aztec hot chocolate for my recipe. I’m so glad you made this recipe… so I can steal it for later. ;-) I hope you don’t mind.

  2. Jonny Ninewacks
    Posted September 16, 2011 at 7:00 am | #

    Where the fuck is this vote button?

  3. Posted September 17, 2011 at 5:30 pm | #

    Maren- Thanks for the sweet comment! Please let me know if you make it!

    Jonathan–alas, voting is over. But hopefully you saw the vote button at Marx Foods? We won!!

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Clearly Delicious » Chocolate Cupcakes on April 18, 2012 at 7:00 am

    [...] chronicled my successes and love affairs with this same Chocolate Cake recipe here and here, and believe that whether you’re making the full batch into a cake or mini cupcakes, [...]

  2. [...] month, Justin Marx of the Seattle-based company Marx foods and past recipes (here, here, and here) sent me and a few other bloggers some green foods – dill pollen [...]

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