Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chili Chocolate Cupcakes With Mango Buttercream

Like many of the hard-core cupcake bakers out there (i.e., people like me who are too lazy to branch out and try baking anything more complicated) I've tuned in to Cupcake Wars a time or two. Alright, alright, I've seen almost every episode even though the show makes me so anxious and stressed out both on behalf of the bakers and because I'm reminded of the cupcake competitions I participate in. I think I'm developing an ulcer at the tender age of 28 as a result of that show. Those judges' minds are inscrutable and depending on their whims on a particular day they may harshly reject a perfectly good-looking cupcake just because it doesn't "capture the theme." Whatever that's supposed to mean. I've watched enough episodes to know that certain ingredients are difficult to incorporate into a cupcake. Like strawberries, I always figured mangoes were off limits for mixing into buttercream because they contain too much liquid. The only way to compensate is to add more and more powdered sugar, which overpowers the taste of the fruit you went to all the trouble to add in the first place.

Then I found Family, Stamping and Food's recipe for Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes With Mango Buttercream. Mango buttercream?! You mean to tell me that someone's been able to use mangoes and didn't wind up with a gloopy mess? This I had to see.

Alas, while the recipe's creator didn't mention any problems with the frosting I did not have the same luck when I tried to replicate it. As I feared, mine wound up runny and I was reluctant to keep dumping in powdered sugar because the frosting was already too sugary. Coming from me that's saying something since I've been known to consume the contents of sugar packets at restaurants while waiting for my meal. What? It's cheaper than ordering an appetizer. So it's back to the drawing board with mango frosting, but I do plan to keep experimenting since I love mangoes so much. I think this cupcake could have worked well with a mango filling or a delicious mango curd. Perhaps next time...

The cake, on the other hand, was near perfection. The chocolate pairs well with the chili (even though I've gotten dubious looks from people I've tried to serve them to) and there was just the right amount of kick from the spices. Not overpowering but definitely present. I happened to have a Milka chili and chocolate cream bar so I melted down a few squares of that and spread them on top of the cupcakes as they cooled for a crisp chocolate layer with an extra dose of chili.

Then I did my best to pipe the frosting on top even though it didn't hold its shape for long. Not that I let that stop me from scarfing them down in all of their sugary goodness.

Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Family, Stamping and Food

1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter, cooled
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 11 cupcake wells with paper liners.
2) Combine flour, cocoa, cinnamon, chili powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
3) Beat sugar and melted butter together on medium speed until well combined.
4) Add egg and beat to combine.
5) Beginning with the flour mixture, add flour and milk alternately with three additions of flour and two additions of milk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat until just combined.
6) Bake at 350 F for 18-23 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7) Cool in pan ten minutes, then remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Optional: Melt squares of a chili chocolate bar and spread on top as cupcakes cool.

Mango Buttercream
1/2 cup room temp butter
3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup mango puree

1) Beat the butter in a mixing bowl until creamy and smooth. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and beat until crumbly, add mango puree and beat until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar and beat until fluffy.
2) Pipe or spread onto the cupcakes. The frosting may be too runny to hold its shape.


HoosierHomemade said...

I love that show too...LOL, I thought I was the only one that got anxious while watching it. I usually catch it at midnight, when I go to bed, and then I'm up forever. :-)
Thanks so much for joining Cupcake Tuesday, once again!

Rachelle @ Adventures in Creating said...

Yum! Mango buttercream? I need to try this out. (your blog is making me hungry!)

Candi said...

Hi! Thanks for sharing the link to my blog. I actually used my Magic Bullet to puree the mangoes. I also used the Ataulfo mangoes. They are a small yellow mango. The puree was super creamy. I'm sorry it didn't work out for you. Maybe try it again with very overripe mangoes. :)