Spicy Mole Espresso Cupcakes

So last weekend I attended my first Girls' Night--it was Valentine's Day themed and hosted at Suzannah's new home! Jenni organized the decorations and signs and we did the party as a dessert only potluck-style affair. The party wasn't all bloggers, although there were some familiar faces! I will do my best to link on Valentine's Day to anyone else who attended and wrote about our #GirlsNightVday party--and I'll be adding some pictures as well!

On to the important stuff! Knowing I had to make a name for myself at this little shindig (ha!) I began creating my dessert early in the week (very unlike me). I wanted to show up with a dessert that really made people double take when they tried it, spoke to my strength as a baker by trade, and was tried and true to The Spicy Bee.

Though all my sifting on the interwebs, I came across a mole cupcake, and I literally couldn't help myself. You see, I had never really had mole, but I knew it was spicy. I also wasn't aware what was actually in mole, so now I must give my disclaimer:


THESE CUPCAKES ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE HEALTHIEST CUPCAKES YOU WILL EVER EAT. THEY ARE, HOWEVER, THE MOST DELICIOUSLY SPICY THINGS THAT WILL EVER TANGO WITH YOUR TASTEBUDS.


Also for those of you going "Awww! No fair! I need GF!" I'm in the beginning process of perfecting the perfect GF mole--especially since I'm pretty sure the 3 tablespoons of flour in this recipe could easily be subbed with the standard GF all-purpose mix (as was my original intent).

These are the perfect cakes for your honey if he or she has a love for spicy foods and cream cheese frosting!

Spicy Mole Espresso Cupcakes
with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Adapted from Serious Eats


Ingredients

Cupcakes


  • 8 oz dark chocolate
  • 8 oz butter
  • 3-4 T jarred mole sauce
  • 3/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 2 t espresso powder
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs


Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 8 oz salted butter, room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1-2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • Chili flakes or fresh strawberries to top (depends on your crowd)

Method



For The Cupcakes

Melt your butter, chocolate, and mole in a double boiler (or if you're like me and are double boilerless--fear not! Simply put a glass bowl on top of a pot of 1-2 inches boiling water as pictured above). Once completely incorporated, add in espresso powder, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. When your mixture is smooth again, remove it from heat and transfer to a larger bowl or stand mixer.





































Mixing at a low speed, add in the flour, then change to medium speed and add in your eggs one at a time, and fully incorporate each before adding the next. Once all the eggs are added, turn your beaters to high and mix until smooth and slightly lighter in color. Congratulations! The hardest part is over! You are now going to cover (if using plastic wrap do not let it touch the mix). Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

When you're ready, preheat your oven to 350° F and take out your mix, and let it warm up just a tad (makes your scooping into the cupcake papers easier). Fill cupcake pan/papers 3/4 the way full and pop those little babies into the oven. 

Now--here is where our opinions may differ. If you like your cupcakes more fudge-like, you will want less time in the oven. I would say approximately 15-18 minutes OR until you do your toothpick test and are left with just a nice thin coating of cake on your toothpick. If you like your cake more sponge-like and dryer (not in a bad way obviously) then cook 18-22 minutes OR until your toothpick comes out almost completely clean. I did this recipe both ways and found that I prefer the spongier end of the spectrum. That certainly doesn't mean you will! Play around a bit! Have fun!

When you deem your cupcakes appropriately cooked, remove them from the oven and from their pans (I use a spoon to remove mine without burning myself) and place them on a rack to cool for 15-20 minutes. 

I think the best time to work on the frosting is while your cupcakes are in the oven...so here we go.

For The Frosting

























With your butter and cream cheese AT ROOM TEMPERATURE, mix them together in your mixing bowl at a low to medium-low speed. I cannot stress the temperatures enough. My second attempt at this frosting left me frantically running through the kitchen thinking I had ruined it because I had been impatient and melted the butter over the stove, then added it to not-warm-enough cream cheese and curdled it. FEAR NOT! If you do this you CAN come back from it. Simply throw your bowl, sadness and all, into your fridge for about a half hour and then attempt to remix. It should work out for the best. If it doesn't...well, I warned you!

Once your first two ingredients are well incorporated, add in your cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well, and that's it! I like to refrigerate my frosting and only serve it when I need it--but that's just me.

Together your cupcakes and frosting will yield just over a dozen cupcakes (and I actually had more frosting than cupcakes, which I won't complain about because you can put frosting on just about anything, right?)

Now go forward and frost your cupcakes! Give them to your valentine--and make sure to let them know that they pack quite the punch! ;)







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