Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Cinnamon-chili-cayenne chocolate cupcakes

Cinnamon-chili-cayenne chocolate cupcakes

These Cupcakes taste like Christmas. I promise. Like a slightly spicy-hot Christmas. Not too chocolatey with a chili-cayenne kick and a distinct cinnamon taste, these cupcakes may even appeal to those who don't like their baked goods too sweet (don't get me wrong, they're still sweet... they're frosted cupcakes, after all. But the slight spiciness distracts from the sweetness a bit.).

I baked these cupcakes for a friend's friend's birthday party to which I was spontaneously invited. So whaddaya do when you've got a couple of hours and no present? Correct. You bake. Or at least: I bake. A quick glance into my pantry tells me I might manage chocolate cupcakes. So I opted for a Christmas staple of mine: chocolate cupcakes with cinnamon, chili and cayenne pepper.
Usually I make them reeeeeally chocolatey and add some nutmeg and ground pepper as well but I didn't have enough chocolate and only a limited choice of spices.

Right, so here's the recipe:

The ingredients you'll need for these Christmas cupcakes
  • 1 cup/120 g flour
  • 1/4 cup/40 g cornflour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (i. e. bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, chili powder, cayenne pepper
  • a dash of nutmeg and a dash of ground pepper if you have
  • 1 cup/200 g brown sugar
  • 1 packet/10 g vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 cup/113 g of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream (dear Germans, that is "Schmand")
  • (I didn't have a full half cup of sour cream so I added about two, three tablespoons of yoghurt and two tablespoons of curd cheese to get to a half cup of dairy stuff)
  • 100 g dark chocolate (use more or add cocoa if you want the cupcake to be a rich chocolate one)

1. Not in your main mixing bowl, sift together flour, cornflour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
2. With an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla sugar in your large mixing bowl - for about two minutes.
3. Add the butter. Beat for another minute.
4. Add the dry ingredients on low speed.
5. Beat in the sour cream until all is well blended. The dough should be very light, airy and mousse-like.
6. In a double-boiler or the microwave, melt the chocolate.
Double-boiler: Put a bit of water in a pan, put a bowl on top so that it sits on the pan but doesn't touch the water. Chop the chocolate, put it into the bowl. Bring the water to the boil. The steam should warm the bowl so that the chocolate melts. Stir occasionally and be careful not to get any water in to the bowl or the chocolate will get all weird and crumbly (that is in fact the technical expression for it).
Microwave: Carefully heat it in 30 second intervals, then stir, then put it back in. I recommend 30 second intervals (or less towards the end) because it can easily happen that you "over-microwave" the chocolate. The result will also be that the chocolate will get all weird and crumbly.
7. Let the chocolate cool for a tad so that it isn't too hot when you add it to the dough.
8. Once cooled down to a pleasant warm state, add it to the dough. Keep beating the mixture while adding the chocolate in a steady stream.

Slowly adding the melted chocolate.
At the end, the dough will be extraordinarily fluffy, almost like the perfect mousse au chocolat:
9. Put cupcake liners into a cupcake tin, fill about halfway/three quarters full. The cupcakes will rise like mad, but sadly fall back down just before done. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180 °C/350 F (in a fan oven) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean/they spring back when you lightly press into the top.
Before baking and after baking. Bottom right shows the nice texture.
When cooled down, you may wanna frost the cupcakes. I topped them with a cream cheese frosting with a very light lemon touch to offset the earthy spices of the actual cake. A classic vanilla buttercream would also be nice, or - if you wanna go all in on Christmas - try a frosting with ginger.



  1. Oh wow lecker!
    Finde auch dein Bild super mit den verschiedenen Zutaten drauf und der passenden Schrift.
    LG Sarah

  2. Dankeschön :)
    Ja, ich spiele noch ein bisschen mit meinem Stil, aber ich glaube, das mit dem beschrifteten Zutatenbild behalte ich bei!
    LG, Korlin