Chocolate Chilli Cupcakes

I apologise for the lack of cupcake pictures but my food photography skillsChilli Powder are pretty much non existent and every single picture I took of them was blurry and badly lit. So instead you get a picture of some chilli powder on a plate that I found in Google Image Search. Anyway, these cakes turned out pretty well considering I had to come up with a substitute for some of the ingredients. The chocolate cakes were moist with the chilli powder adding a weird sort of warmth to them. The chilli powder definitely added something to the cakes and it wasn’t overpowering, although my brother thought it was but he’s 12 and pretty useless when it comes to eating anything with any sort of spice in it. These really aren’t bad.

The original recipe came from here: Mayan Chocolate Cupcakes from Flickr user sugar-bliss gnome. But since I had to modify it slightly I’ll write it up here too with the changes made to it.

Chocolate Chilli Cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of instant coffee granules

1/2 cup of hot water

100g Dark Chocolate (I used Cadbury Old Gold which is 70% Cocoa Solids)

100g Milk Chocolate

8 tablespoons of butter

2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder

3 teaspoons of chilli powder

3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

2 cups of plain flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 cups of sugar

2 eggs

1/2 a cup of heavy cream (I discovered I had no cream so I used this as a substitute)

1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1/2 cup of canola or vegetable oil

1/2 cup of water

Method:

1. Brew the coffee granules in the hot water and leave to cool.

2. Melt the Dark and Milk Chocolate in a double boiler with the butter, one teaspoon of chilli powder and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder until just melted and combined.

3. Once melted add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Let cool.

4. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, the baking soda and the remaining chilli and cinnamon powder.

5. In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, cream, vinegar, vanilla, oil, and water.

6. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir in the chocolate mixture and the cooled coffee.

7. Fill the liners about 2/3 full and bake at 180C (350F) for about 20 minutes.

The batter does tend to stick to the paper liners like sugar-bliss gnome says but it’s not too bad. since I was out of cream I couldn’t do the whipped cream topping so I made a dark chocolate ganache and sprinkled dark and milk chocolate shavings on the top. This topping was alright but I think the cream would be better. I’ll definitely make sure I have cream on hand next time I make these. 🙂

April 30, 2008. Baking, Chilli, Chocolate, Cupcakes. 1 comment.

Chocolate Chip Cookies – Only Half What I Expected

During the mid semester break (last week) I went back home to mummy and daddy’s to sponge off them for a bit and, while bored, I turned to baking to keep me entertained.

The first thing I made was a batch of White Chocolate Mudcake Cupcakes with White Chocolate Ganache and Milk Chocolate Curls for decoration but, although the mudcake was delicious and had the proper mudcake texture, they sank in the middle while they were baking. 😦 I think it’s because my brother opened the oven even after I told him not to.

Anyway, this post isn’t about the mudcake cupcakes that were full of fail, but more about the Chocolate Chip Cookies I tried next…..that were a partial failure. That’s right, a partial failure. Everyone seemed to enjoy them (everyone being my boyfriend or someone in my immediate family so they might be biased and/or lying) but I swear I did something wrong.

For starters the recipe said to ‘drop the dough onto a greased baking sheet’. Have you got that? Drop it. from a tablespoon. My dough was so crumbly that if I’d done that it would have just flown everywhere. And second, the recipe said it makes 32 but I only got about 12 before I gave up and ate the rest out of the bowl with a spoon. Mmm. Delicious. I did look at how much was left before I began my spoon assisted assault on it and I think I could have only got about 4 more out of it. Max. So what’s that? 16? That’s nowhere near 32! In fact, that’s half of 32. I must have stuffed up somewhere. Anyway, I got the recipe from here: Thin, Crisp, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies but for those of you who are too lazy to click on a link, I’ll write it up for you too. Aren’t I nice?

Thin, Crisp, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar

1/3 cup of granulated sugar

3 tablespoons of water

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence ( If you really like vanilla, like me, just add more)

1 cup of all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon of baking soda

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of chocolate chips

1/2 cup of chopped pecans (optional) (I left these out)

Method:

1. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until well blended. Beat in the water and the vanilla until smooth.

2. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt.

3. Stir into butter mixture until well incorporated and add chocolate chips (and pecans). (I decided to make these quite late at night and we didn’t have any chocolate chips so I smashed a block of Cadbury Dairy Milk up with a rolling pin and used that instead. It was a good decision.)

4. Drop dough in one tablespoon portions, two inches apart onto greased baking sheets.

5. Bake in a 150C (300F) oven for about 14 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are browned but the centre is still pale.

6. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

All in all these cookies were rather good…even though the dough refused to give me all the cookies I deserved. The cookies were crispy around the edges but wonderfully and deliciously soft and chewy in the middle. I think I’ll be trying them again some day. Who knows, maybe I’ll get my 32 cookies next time?

April 29, 2008. Tags: , , , . Baking, Chocolate Chip, Cookies. 1 comment.

Hello

Well after lurking around other cupcake and baking related blogs for weeks I have finally caved and decided to start my own. I’m a little bit nervous because I’m not sure if what I do really measures up against some of the stuff I’ve been seeing on other blogs but I’m prepared to give it a go and see what happens. 🙂 Also, I really wanted to join the Daring Bakers challenges but I felt weird doing it without having a blog to post the results in.

Anyway, a little about me is needed I guess. My name is Stephanie and I’m studying French and Japanese at university. Woot! Woot! I really got into baking stuff about a year ago but I’ve only recently (like in the past few months) realised that there’s all these wonderful food blogs out there and I’ve become addicted to reading them. I check some of them everyday. My parents seem a little worried that their 20 year old daughter would rather stay in and bake delicious treats than go out drinking and sleeping with strangers like other young people. All I can say is at least I’m unlikely to catch anything from making cakes and biscuits. 😉 What else? Um…one day I would really like to have my own bakery but I don’t think that’s going to happen for a few years.

April 28, 2008. Tags: . Me. 5 comments.