Monday, September 10, 2007

Spice up your Chocolate.

I'm sorry my recipes have been a bit less frequent lately. I've been busy gearing up for school, and work has been unusually difficult the last two weeks. And my time spent not focused on either seems to be pretty taken as well. I don't think I've had a weekend to really just sit and relax for two or three weeks. And this weekend was no exception. I've got about two hours this morning to do whatever it is I want to do, so I thought I should first and foremost post this recipe.

These mini bites of delight pack a quite a punch, and I think the cayenne in the batter really alters the taste of the chocolate. I actually believe the spice of the cayenne takes over any sweetness in the cake. However, this is balanced by a silky smooth, sweet, creamy chocolate buttercream, which, in my opinion leaves you with a nicely balanced flavor combo. The cakes themselves are not so much spicy, as they are warm. They will quietly warm both your tastebuds and your throat, and the frosting will be there to cool things down a bit. It's quite a delight.

I made them for a "garden party" hosted by a friend of ours, alongside a Lemon and Lavender Cupcake (which I wasn't so fond of, and didn't have time to take pictures of, so all the better). I wanted something garden-esque (Lavender) and something chocolate, but different, and mini (because I found a million and one of these amazing little mini cupcake papers at Daison). I also wanted both to look spectacular, and not plain. And of course, like it generally does when I take the time to think of something new, fun and original, it just came to me! First I thought, itty bitty red pepers of somekind, whole, and half dipped in chocolate, but then I realized finding such a petite pepper was going to take time I didn't have. So, low and behold, at my favorite produce place, there were fresh, bright red, twisted cayenne peppers calling my name. I cut them into tiny little slivers and covered them with the leftover bittersweet from my buttercream. They were perfect, and looked really amazing, and fun! I think they were a hit. So I encourage you to try something new and different, you're generally pleasantly surprised!

The cake batter, and frosting I made is actually a Barefoot Contessa recipe that I altered, so instead of copy and pasting I'm going to link to her recipe and tell you how to make the batter my way.

The recipe is located here:,,FOOD_9936_36337,00.html?rsrc=search

I added 1 TBLS. of cayenne pepper and 2 TBLS. high quality cinnamon to the batter.

In hindsight I may add just a touch of cinnamon to the frosting to give it a little more of a "mexican chocolate" flavor. I think the recipe could use a bit of tweaking, but it was definately a good start!

Yum! And oh-so pretty!