Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fiesta? I would rather Siesta!

So I know that it has been forever since I have been on here. We bought the house and have spent most of the past year remodeling and so much has been happening. So tonight I am going to "quick-post" some of the most exciting things that I have cooked this year...and a few that I would like to try in the near future :)

First I will start with Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes. So my bosses birthday was earlier this year and the theme for the potluck \was FIESTA. I typically bring my signature chocolate cupcakes with PB icing as that is Sherry's favorite but I wanted to go along with the theme and spice things up a little bit. So I did what all masterchef's do...turned to Google!! Of course googling Mexican desserts delivers the typical flan, churros, and fried ice cream. So I googled Mexican cupcakes (I mean cupcakes are my thing) and I stumbled across one of the greatest cupcakes I have ever tasted. And I have tasted a lot of cupcakes :)

First lets talk about the flavor behind the cupcake: the drink - Mexican Hot Chocolate. This is also known as Mayan Hot Chocolate. It was a thick chocolate drink (dating back to 460-480 AD) originally served cold. It was made from grinding cocoa beans into a thick paste and mixing with water, cornmeal, and chili peppers. Sounds appealing doesn't it?! It was considered a luxury drink and eventually came to Europe and then to America. You can still find this drink but over time it has been thinned like the hot chocolate that we drink today and is mixed with cinnamon and cayenne pepper. It you haven't ever had this drink, I highly recommend you try it or better yep - make your own! (Didn't know you were in for a history lesson did you - it's like sneaking vegetables in the the kids pasta!!)

So now we take this wonderful combination of flavors and turn them into a cupcake; chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne. 

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you want them to be)
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups water 
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp apple cider or white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together all dry ingredients, then add in all liquids. Mix together gently - a few lumps are ok. Pour into lined cupcake pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool thoroughly before frosting.

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting: (this frosting is amazing!)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk

Blend the cinnamon into the powdered sugar.
Add the shortening, butter, vanilla, and milk; beat until fluffy, around 5 minutes.
Frost cooled cupcakes generously.

This recipe made me nervous because you never know how new recipes will turn out and how people are going to react to chili peppers in their dessert; but I definitely give this recipe "2 spatulas up." And will be making this recipe again soon :)

For the original version (which is Vegan :) notice there are no eggs in the recipe) please click the following link:

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