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Spicy Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with a White Chocolate Cabernet Drizzle

Spicy Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with a White Chocolate Cabernet Drizzle

I have always loved Valentines Day. Even when I was single, I was extra excited for February 14th. I loved walking through the grocery store and seeing an abundance of flowers and every confection one can think of in a special edition pink or red color. Is it just a holiday made up by the greeting card companies? Maybe. But it's also a holiday that's all about love and my favorite color palate and that puts a smile on my face regardless of my relationship status. 

Spicy Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with a White Chocolate Cabernet Drizzle

Dark chocolate, wine and a bit of spiciness. These are not your standard childhood chocolate cupcakes. They are sophisticated cupcakes destined to be on the dessert plates of a romantic, candlelight dinner. 

The cake is dark, moist and spiced with allspice, cinnamon, and adobo sauce. The frosting is smooth and rich with dark chocolate flavor and a spiciness that lingers in your mouth after each bite. 

I wanted to add some color and texture to the cupcake so I came up with a white chocolate cabernet sauce. It adds a sweet, fruity flavor that goes nicely with the spicy, dark cupcakes. The sauce will harden quickly so you are going to want to drizzle some on the plate immediately before serving. I also made a version without the cream and spread it onto wax paper. After it hardened, I broke it into pieces to garnish the cupcakes. I recommend this method if you are not going to be able to drizzle the sauce immediately before serving.


Spicy Dark Chocolate Cake*
Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients
1 cup sugar + more for sprinkling
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons AP flour
1/4 cup + 2 tbsps dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare your cupcake tin with liners. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Add the remaining wet ingredients and beat on medium speed until combined, about 2-3 min. Lastly, add the boiling water and mix to combine. The batter will be very thin. Fill your cupcake tins and place in the oven. About 10 min before the cupcakes are done, take the cupcakes out of the oven and quickly sprinkle sugar on the cupcake. This will give them a little crunch on the top. Place them back in the oven and bake until the cupcakes are set and a toothpick comes out clean - about 23 min total. 

* The chocolate cake aspect of the recipe was heavily adapted from HERSHEY'S "Especially Dark" Chocolate Cake recipe https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipe-details.aspx?id=8108

Spicy Dark Chocolate Frosting
Frosts 12 cupcakes

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 cup dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup strongly brewed coffee, room temperature
2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk, room temperature (you may not need this)

In a medium pot over low heat, melt the butter. With the heat still on, add the cocoa powder and whisk rapidly until smooth and lump free. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl. Let the butter mixture cool down until it is room temperature. You want it to be the consistency of softened butter. Add the room temperature butter mixture to a bowl fitted with a stand mixer. Add the allspice, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and salt. Beat on medium speed for about 2 min. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/4 of the confectioners sugar. Once incorporated, add 1/4 of the coffee. Repeat the process, alternating between the sugar and coffee. If the mixture is too thick, add the cream, a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Finally, beat the mixture at high speed until it turns a light brown and is light and fluffy - about 5 min.

White Chocolate Cabernet Drizzle

Ingredients
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon cabernet

In a small pot over low heat, add the white chocolate and cream. Stir constantly until smooth, being sure not to overheat the chocolate. Add the cabernet and whisk rapidly to incorporate. Remove from the heat once smooth. Add the white chocolate cabernet sauce to the cupcake and enjoy. The drizzle will set quickly so you will need to consume shortly after heating it up. If you won't be able to immediately enjoy the drizzle, make the White Chocolate Cabernet hardened chocolate garnish.

White Chocolate Cabernet Hardened Garnish

Ingredients
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon cabernet

In a small pot over low heat, add the white chocolate. Stir constantly until melted and smooth, being sure not to overheat the chocolate. Add the cabernet and whisk rapidly to incorporate. Immediately spread the mixture onto a piece of wax paper on a baking sheet. Place the chocolate in the fridge until hardened - about 20 min. Break into pieces and garnish your cupcake.

Note: The white chocolate cabernet will naturally turn out to have a beautiful light purple color. It was too light to photograph well so I added a very tiny amount (less than a drop) of red food dye . It is totally unnecessary because it has such a beautiful color on its own.




 

 

 

 

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