Thursday, 27 October 2011

Chilli chocolate cupcakes

A red plate for red hot chilli peppers - nah not really..
I've wanted to make these cupcakes for a while now as I am quite fond of chilli; obviously in small doses. I'm not one for the extreme fiery heat of the chilli where you can't feel your tongue afterwards, but just that gentle warmth and aftertaste, where you know you've actually eaten chilli. Combine this with chocolate and you get a sweet cocoa flavour with a slight kick, not overpowering at all.  And being autumn / winter and all, chilli will help to keep the flu bugs away (hopefully).

I had so much fun making these little cupcakes. I bought some fondant icing - yeah, no way am I making that stuff up from scratch - The great thing was there were 5 colours in a box, all ready for me to play with. Seriously, it's just like playdough and you can create whatever takes your fancy, depends on how creative you want to be. I think I'm going to have a little play around and see what else I can make..

Ingredients for the cupcakes:-

115g butter
130g light brown sugar
3  eggs
150g all-purpose flour
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
60ml whole milk
1 tsp chilli flakes or cayenne pepper


Preheat the oven to 180C or gas mark 4.
Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.

Using an electric beater or whisk, beat the butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy and the sugar and butter lighten in colour. This will take you about 4 minutes or so. Add the eggs, one at a time beating quite thoroughly after each addition.

Sieve the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and add half to the egg mixture. Beat until combined. Add the chilli flakes and scrape down the sides of the bowl and pour in half the milk. Beat again until combined and repeat the flour and milk process until finished, alternating between the two.

Immediately, fill the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 mins. Rotate the tray about half way through if you have a gas oven, to ensure evenly cooked.

You should have enough mixture to make 24 cupcakes.

Remove from oven and leave in tray for a few minutes. Remove and then place cupcakes on a wire rack to cool. Don’t leave them in the muffin tin as the bottoms will sweat - not good!

Ensure cupcakes are completely cooled before adding the icing.

For the icing:-

200g icing sugar

50g cocoa powder
125g butter
2 tblsp whole milk
1/2 tsp chilli flakes

ready to roll coloured fondant icing for decorating

With your hand mixer or food processor, cream butter and icing sugar and cocoa powder until smooth. This will look more like a dough mixture than icing, but don’t worry. Add the milk 1tblsp at a time and chilli flakes. If mixture still feels too stiff add some more milk. If you want to pipe the frosting, I usually use the largest star one, this gives a lovely swirl effect.

Wiggly chilli worms

To make the chilli's, use some ready to roll coloured fondant icing. I just used a little piece of the red icing, rolled it like I would playdough and formed a sausage-like shape and then curved it. If you're quite the artist, you can have so much fun with this stuff!

For the stalk, I kind of did the same with the green fondant icing, squished it and rolled it like a sausage and curved it and attached to the chilli. I found I didn't need any water to glue it together as its quite sticky. If you find it gets too sticky, just put the fondant icing in the fridge for a few minutes, it just means you have very warm hands!

Decorate as you so desire and enjoy!

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