Thursday, September 23, 2010

Klutz in the kitchen

Auckland weather has been nothing short of unpredictable. One minute it's freezing cold from the storm blasting through the city, and the next minute, the sun appears, reminding you that it is indeed, spring.

While the weather outside was busy deciding whether to chill or warm us up, I've spent the past few days indoors baking. I had a delicious chili chocolate cupcake at Cupcake Bakery in Melbourne Central and it was only time I returned home to make my own. BTW, the cupcakes are not meant to be flat. I forgot to add baking soda! I also spilled a considerable amount of flour all over the kitchen counter. My clumsiness comes into full effect when I haven't baked in awhile... and also when the weather is bad.

Chilli Chocolate Cupcakes
(Recipe adapted from Dog Hill Kitchen)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup caster sugar and 1/4 cup soft brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 5 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (apple cider or white)
  • 1 cup cold water
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line a cupcake pan with papers.
  2. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt and spices to a large bowl. Stir with a wire whisk until full incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and stir to distribute.
  3. Mix together the oil, vanilla, vinegar and water in a small bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Fill the cupcake papers three quarters full.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out with only a few crumbs clinging.
  5. Cool for 5-10 minutes and then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  6. Frost and decorate.

These chocolate chilli cupcakes are spicy enough that you feel your lips tingling after each bite, but you won't be gasping for water (or milk). But of course, feel free to pump up the spice by adding more chilli powder and/or cayenne pepper.

When it comes to frosting, I suppose anything goes. I chose not to frost mine, but a simple buttercream frosting or chocolate ganache dusted with extra chilli powder might work.

This is what got me hooked on the idea of spicy chocolate:

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