20 January 2010

This month's Challenge was to create a cupcake based around a "Winter Warmer".

My creation is a take on Mexican Hot Chocolate: a deep, dark cinnamon devil's food cupcake, topped with a dark chocolate-cinnamon ganache and a sugared, candied walnu:

If you like the cupcake (or even just the photo), please head over to http://www.ironcupcakemilwaukee.com starting Thursday, January 28th at 8 p.m. through Wednesday, February 3rd at 12 noon. Send your readers to that address to vote.

Our Generous IronCupcake:Earth Prize Providers:
To get in on the excitement next month, check out http://www.ironcupcakeearth,com

Dark Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Cinnamon-spiked devil's food cupcake (makes 26 cupcakes)

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp instant espresso powder
1 cup boiling hot water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup half and half or heavy cream
1/3 cup extra dark dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup 60% cacao baking chips

Blend all dry ingredients together and set aside. Blend egg and sugar until fluffy. Mix chocolate, chocolate powder, boiling water, and vanilla in a bowl until combined. Once cooled, add cream. Add half of the dry ingredients to wet, mix to combine. Finish by mixing in the rest of the flour mixture. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cinnamon-chocolate ganache

2 cups dark chocolate baking chips
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
1 tbsp cinnamon, ground

Melt chocolate and cream in microwave and stir to combine. If not smooth, pop it back in for a few minutes and stir again. Once glossy, add cinnamon and stir to combine. Dip each cupcake in the ganache and set aside to dry.

Spiced and sugared candied walnuts

1 cup walnuts, shelled
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp sugar

Mix sugar and water in a pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once mixture is bubbling, add walnuts, and cook for one minute. Remove nuts and spread on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and sprinkle over the walnuts. Bake for 15 minutes at 400F, or until dry. Place one on top of each cupcake.