Monday, August 25, 2008

Cupcake Hero..Jalapeno!


I was super excited with this months ingredient for Cupcake Hero. The hosts this month Rachel of Tangerine Tart and Teri of the 90/10 rule have chosen Jalapeño. I have been out for a few months so was looking forward to getting back into cupcake craziness. I had many ideas, and had settled on one, and then I had this candy bar, and it was awesome, and I actually ended up making 2 cupcakes. I had been worried about finding the jalapeños. So I just decided to ask a couple people and low and behold, one of my coworkers grows them. WOOHOO!! She brought me a little bag of 3 medium sized peppers. I was set.
The first cupcake has a Caribbean flare to it. I thought to myself what goes well with jalapeños? Well salsa of course, but we need it sweet, how about Mango or citrus or coconut or all 3. So I made a citrus (lemon & lime) jalapeño cupcake, with a jalapeño mango curd filling, with a citrus jalapeño icing..more like a glaze.

Caribbean Cupcakes:
Curd:
4 T sugar
8 T mango nectar
2 egg yolks
1/4 tsp seeded, & finely chopped jalapeño
1/2 tsp butter

In a heavy sauce pan cook sugar, egg, nectar and jalapeño over medium heat. Bring to boil and turn to low. cook until curd coats spatula. Nice thick consistency. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Stir until melted and incorporated. put in small bowl and set aside to cool or refrigerate. (This makes a very small amount. I put a small amount in the middle of each cupcake, if you want more adjust the amounts)

Batter:

3/4 c butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp mango nectar
the zest of 3/4 a lemon and 3/4 a lime (save rest of zest from each for glaze in the end.)
1 jalapeño seeded, & finely chopped ( I smashed it a bit with back of my knife to get it juicy ;) )
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 c buttermilk....enough coconut milk to fill the measuring cup to 3/4

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add mango, zests and jalapeño. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk/coconut milk.

Full paper lined cupcake pan 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. (my oven runs hot I think mine were about 18min)

Icing:
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 pinch salt
2 c confectioners' sugar
2-4 Tbsp coconut milk (have extra to adjust to the consistency of choice)
rest of the zest from the lemon and lime from earlier, and 1/2 tsp seeded, finely chopped jalapeño

Mix all ingredients together, add extra milk to thin if needed. I liked mine a bit thin so it was a nice glaze.

And there you have it, a spicy citrusy cupcake with a hint of mango and coconut. I can't wait to take them to work and see what everyone thinks =). I love the glaze and the heat of the cupcake, part of why I couldn't wait to try them out. I used about 1 1/2 jalapeño in the whole recipe, you can decrease or increase the heat as you wish =) .

And now for the other cupcake. My favorite chocolate is the Fire Bar from Vosges. Its amazing! I love it. But figured ehh someone will do a chocolate jalapeño cupcake, how could someone not? Well I had to go to Chicago to pick up my husband at the air port and while their I stopped for a bottle of water, and came across a candy bar from Lindt. A dark chocolate cherry pepper candy bar. It was quite tasty, not as good as the Fire Bar but tasty none the less. So I thought , hey I have cherries, and dark chocolate cocoa and the jalapeños why not try it?
The batter..mmm tasted like a spicy chocolate covered cherry! yum! and what of the icing. Well I did the challenge yesterday, and while glazing what I had made I realized how wonderful it would be to have jalapeños added to it and topping a cupcake so hehe thats what I did =).

Spicy Chocolate covered Cherry Cupcakes:

Cake:
6 oz semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 1/4 cups unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder
2 c sifted cake flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 c packed dark brown sugar
4 lg eggs at room temp
1 Tb pure vanilla extract
1 jalapeño seeded, and finely chopped
1 cup pitted and chopped cherries ( I used bing, and as they sat the accumulated lots of juice, it all went into the batter.)

Put the chopped chocolate and jalapeño in a heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Set aside to melt for 5 minutes. Add cocoa, stir until smooth, and set aside to cool to room temperature.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
Put the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl and cream together until fluffy, 4-5 minutes, using an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl. Beat in vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and half of the chocolate mixture and beat to combine. Add the remaining chocolate mixture and beat on low speed until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Fill paper lined cupcake pans 3/4 full ( I did more and they spilled out a bit ;)). You should get just over 24 cupcakes, if you do the 3/4 full probably closer to the 36. Bake 20-25 min at 350. Mine was closer to 18-20 with the hot oven.

Chocolate Glaze

• 1/3 cup heavy cream
• 3½ oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
• 4 tsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
• 7 tbsp Chocolate Sauce (recipe below), warm or at room temperature
1 tsp seeded, finely chopped jalapeño

In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly begin to add the chocolate and jalapeño , stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Stirring gently, stir in the butter, piece by piece followed by the chocolate sauce.

Notes:
1) If the chocolate glaze is too cool (i.e. not liquid enough) you may heat it briefly
 in the microwave or over a double boiler. A double boiler is basically a bowl sitting over (not touching) simmering water.

Chocolate Sauce

• 4½ oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
• 1 cup water
• ½ cup heavy cream
• 1/3 cup sugar

1) Place all the ingredients into a heavy‐bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. Then reduce the heat to low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens.

2) It may take 10‐15 minutes for the sauce to thicken, but you will know when it is done when it coats the back of your spoon.

Once the cupcakes are cool, carefully dip them into the slightly warm chocolate glaze. You need it warm to get the smooth, ganach like texture to the cupcakes. Be careful, they are a very tender cupcake, if too warm the tops will break on you.

And there you have it, my 2 cupcakes. I like them both, and had lots of fun with them =).

6 comments:

kittie said...

Wow!!!

I love chili - what a fab event - I can't wait to see the round up!

I can't pick which I'd have to try first... citrus or cherry choc... oh well, I'll just make both ;)

Lauren said...

wow- you are braver then I to make not one, but two for this event! great job!

Ben said...

Very interesting recipe. I love sweet on my savory food, but I am bad at adding savory or spicy ingredients to my sweets. I guess I need to start trying something like this :-p

Megan said...

I love chocolate and chilis! Last Christmas, I made a chocolate Chipotle Truffle to die for. I like the addition of cherry to the chocolate one. But if I had to pick just one, I would have to try the Caribbean one. Very interesting!!! :)

Susan said...

These recipes intrigue me. I've made brownies with chili powder, so these are right up my alley. Sweet and savory is a first-rate combo.

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