Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ironcupcake Challenge: Chili Pepper

I recently stumbled across a new baking event. It involved cupcakes so I was immediately interested. It's based on the Iron Chef premise. Every month your given an ingredient that you have to use in a cupcake. Then you submit your cupcake recipe with a picture. All the cupcakes are posted and everyone is asked to vote for their favorite cupcake. The winner gets all kinds of cool cupcake related prizes. Fun!
So the ingredient this month is chili peppers. You can use any kind of chili pepper, fresh or dried, in your cupcake.
Chocolate and chili combos have become popular as of late, but this was my first attempt at using chili's in a cupcake. I came across this great recipe for a chocolate chili zucchini cake. I decided to turn it into cupcakes. The smokiness of the ancho chili powder and the chocolate taste amazing together. The zucchini makes for a really moist cupcake. I think next time I make these cupcakes, I'll put in even more chili powder. The ancho chili is mildly spicy in this cupcake but the smoky flavor is amazing with the chocolate.
For the frosting I infused chocolate with ancho chili to make a whipped ganache frosting. Just for fun I made a chili from white chocolate to decorate the top of the cupcake.
This was a really fun challenge. I've seen some of the cupcakes that some of the other Ironcupcake baker's have come up with for this challenge. WOW. This is a creative group! Check out all the submissions and vote here! (for me of course!!)

Chocolate Ancho Chili Zucchini Cupcakes
Sweet Heat: spicy desserts(adapted)
Makes 24 cupcakes

2½ cups sifted flour

1/4 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup butter

½ cup vegetable oil

1 3/4 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon Ancho powder (or more to taste)

½ cup buttermilk

2 cups grated zucchini

6 ounces chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter, vegetable oil, and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Next, add the vanilla and Ancho chile. Mix in the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Chili Infused Whipped Ganache Frosting
1 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 small dried ancho chili

Measure out the heavy cream in a glass microwave safe cup measure. Put in the dried chili and microwave on high for about 1 minute or until the cream comes to a boil. Remove from microwave and allow the chili to steep in the hot cream for several minutes. Remove the chili from the cream and reheat the cream for a few seconds(20-30) in the microwave. Just enough to make sure it's hot enough to melt the cream. Place the chocolate in a mixing bowl and pour over the hot infused cream. Let sit for several minutes allowing the chocolate to melt. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until cool. Whip chocolate in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk. Whip until the chocolate holds soft peaks.

I topped my cupcakes with a little chocolate sprinkles and some chopped dried ancho chili for a bit of extra flavor.
The chili pepper decoration is made from white chocolate.
Here's what the winner of this challenge gets:
A copy of Hello, Cupcake (I really want that:) A complete line of HEAD  CHEFS from Fiesta Products. Fully “fun”ctional silicone handle kitchen tools with awesome bendable arms and legs! Spoon, Pastry Brush, Spatula, Whisk and Measuring Cup. Adorable! A great apron from Jessie Steele, the Cupcake Courier, the cookbook from Taste of Home and featured prize from ETSY artist Jessie “Cakespy”  Oleson Love love love her stuff!!
Those are some awesome prizes! Vote for me. please:)Voting begins August 31th.


Sophie said...

I'll go and vote for you - these sound fab! I'm a sucker for the chilli chocolate combo (and with added vegetable too!). What's not to like?

Cakespy said...

Exxxcellent entry! These look wonderful--I love the chili/chocolate combination as well. It just adds such depth to both flavors! Yum! So adorably decorated too!! (Thank you for the kind words about the art too!)

RecipeGirl said...

I love the idea of a spicy cupcake. Good choice! Your chili pepper is sooooo cute!

Alexa said...

This sounds like such a clever way to use chili in a cupcake. Plus the pictures are gorgeous which is making my mouth water. You have my vote.

Grace said...

very clever! and of course, the chili pepper decoration is great, especially since it's composed of white chocolate! :)

Gigi said...

that cupcake is too cute! great job and i love the chili pepper on top.

Camille said...

My husband would love these! I saw the challenge, made a note to myself and never got to do it! Now I will go look at other entries. But, I love your combo..chocolate, chili..fantastic!

Rosie said...

his is an excellent entry!! Just love the combo of flavours going on here - well done!!

Rosie x

maybelle's mom said...

great entry. love the decoration.

Jerry said...

Another zucchini recipe! Whooo!

Big Boys Oven said...

so adorable cute, just love it!

Sandie said...

Iron Cupcake fun! I'd gobble this up in a hearbeat (after all, who could resist the chili pepper on top?).

Love the photo in your header---would mind terribly if I asked you to make me some of those? ;-)

I'm glad I found your site. I want to thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog! I hope you'll come back and visit often!

Kristen said...

That sounds like a really cool event! I like spicy chocolate. I'm sure this would be yummy!