Spicing it up – Peperoncino Chocolate Muffins
My husband loves to bake. But heaven forbid he deviate from a pre-established recipe. To be honest he’s like that when cooking, but he’s even more stringent when baking. After all “Baking is a science! It’s chemistry!” Which is why it came as a surprise when he deviated… He changed a recipe!
It all began when I assigned him the role of dessert maker for our Valentine’s Day Menu. My only restriction (as wife and Creative Director of this blog ;-)) was that it had to include at least one ingredient that is considered an aphrodisiac by some, if not many. In typical “my husband” fashion he diligently began researching recipes made with his chosen ingredients chocolate and peperoncino (chili pepper).
I’m not surprised he added chili peppers to his cupcakes. As far as he is concerned it’s the king of all aphrodisiacs. If I add peperoncino to anything I’m cooking … I might as well same walk about the house in a thong with a sign saying “Give me some”.
My honey’s recipe is adaptation of “La ricetta perfecta: torta al cioccolato” found on dissapore.com
160g (1cup) cake flour
8g (2 tsp) baking powder
60g (2.1oz) semisweet chocolate
60g (2.1oz) bittersweet chocolate
100g (3.5oz or 7tbsp) butter
160g. (3/4 cup) brown sugar
40g. (1/3 cup) dark chocolate powder
100g apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp of chili powder (to taste)
a pinch of salt
1. Take butter and eggs out of fridge, let them get to room temperature. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
2. In the meantime shift together flour, baking powder, and chocolate powder. Set aside.
3. Cut the chocolate to pieces and melt. You can do so using a microwave on low or using a hot water bath. (Do not attempt to melt chocolate directly on stove, even on low. My hubby says he used to do so as a child, and the chocolate would end up tasting different if not burnt.) Mix room temperature butter, vanilla, and chili pepper into melted chocolate. Set aside.
4. Separate egg whites from yolks. Placing yolks in a medium sized bowl and whites in your stand mixer or a large metal bowl.
5. Mix together the 120g (1/2c) sugar into the egg yolks until smooth. Combine melted chocolate and apple sauce to egg yolk mixture. Finally mix in shifted flour.
6. Mount the eggs with a pinch of salt, until they form soft peaks. Then add 40g (1/4c) of sugar to egg whites and continue mounting until it forms stiff peaks.
7. Gently fold in chocolate/flour mixture into egg whites.
8. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Fill each cup to 2/3rd the height of the pan. Bake for approximately 30 minutes at 180°C (350°F) until toothpick tester comes out clean.
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