I lived in the southwest for many years of my life and regretfully never tried an authentic Mexican hot chocolate. I thought it would be a great idea to try it for the first time in cupcake form. And since my whole family loves spice these are extra spicy with a candied cayenne pepper garnish!
The flavor is spectacular! Seriously delicious! The spice is balanced out by the sweetness of the chocolate and the added cinnamon brings it to a whole new level. I never thought chocolate and cinnamon would be great together but I was horribly wrong. It is so, so good!
There are a lot of small steps for this cupcake but all are worth the effort.
Step 1: Candied Cayenne Peppers
Candied Cayenne Peppers
1/2 c. Water
1/2 c. Sugar, plus more for rolling
5-7 cayenne peppers
Cut cayenne peppers in half and remove membranes and seeds. Cut off stem and cut into slices of desired size.
Bring water, sugar and peppers to a boil in a small sauce pan. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes or until liquid reduces to a thick syrup. Remove peppers and roll in sugar to coat. Place on a silpat to cool and harden.
***Use caution when cutting hot peppers. I recommend wearing gloves unless you know exactly how to handle the peppers. The oils will get on your skin and burn if you are not careful.
Step 2: Make Cupcakes
1 1/2 c. Flour
1/2 c. Sugar
1/4 c. Brown sugar
1/2 c. Cocoa powder
1 - 1 oz pkg (favorite) hot chocolate
1/4 t. Salt
1 1/2 t. Baking soda
1 1/2 t. Cayenne powder
1 t. Cinnamon powder
3/4 c. Milk
3 T. Olive oil
1 1/2 t. Vanilla
1/2 c. Hot water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 18 muffin cups with liners.
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugars, hot chocolate mix, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and spices.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment add milk, olive oil, vanilla and eggs. Mix well.
Add in dry ingredients a little at a time until well mixed. Stream in hot water while mixer is going.
Batter will be thin but this will result in an extremely moist cupcake! Pour batter into liners half way full and bake approximately 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack.
Step 3: Make Whipped Cream
1 c. Heavy cream
3 T. Sugar
1 t. Vanilla
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment add cream, sugar and vanilla and whisk on medium high until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat.
Spoon whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Squeeze a generous amount onto the cooled cupcakes to form somewhat of a little mountain. Like you would get in top of your hot chocolate.
Step 4: Marshmallows and Chocolate
Cut the sides off of marshmallows to get petal like shapes. You will get three out of each marshmallow. Set aside.
Using a vegetable peeler scrap along the side of a chocolate bar to get little curls of chocolate. About 1/4 to 1/2 of a chocolate bar will be plenty.
Step 5: Assemble
Eat and enjoy!