Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mexican Blackout Cupcakes

Sometimes I come across ingredients that I'm so excited about using but have no idea how I want to use them. Consequently it takes me a long time usually to decide how to use them, sometimes months. In this case, this package of lovely Mexican chocolate has been hanging around in my candy box (because I totally have one of those) for over a year. I just couldn't make up my mind. Then finally I saw it and came up with an idea. A cupcake, with a filling.

I love cupcakes with fillings. One of my favorites is actually a margarita cupcake that has a lime curd filling and a sugar rim on the frosting, because that of course needs more sugar involved. I've definitely made this cupcake but it's not on my blog, that's how long it's been since I've made it. Now that I'm thinking about it I should probably make it soon since Cinco de Mayo is coming up and you guys might like to see it (or make it).

There are some other fun recipes that you may be interested in for the holiday such as margarita doughnuts, sopapilla blondies, spicy chocolate cookies, or lime meringue bars. But these Mexican Blackout Cupcakes are pretty awesome. I may or may not have eaten 2 1/2 within a few hours after making them, yeah I know, quality control. I just wanted to make sure the flavor was sufficient several hours after they were prepared :). Really, I think they're even better after sitting because the filling has more time to bring out the flavor of the Mexican chocolate that's in it, which may add a little spice depending on the brand you use.

The chocolate I used had Guajillo pepper in it which added a nice kick to the flavor of the filling. I'm sure there are many different kinds that have a variety of ingredients. Even Nestle makes a Mexican chocolate so they aren't hard to come by in general, but the more authentic ones require a little more looking at specialty stores and such.  

The recipe seems a little overwhelming but the cupcakes and the filling can both be made ahead and at different times if you want to. The filling just needs to be made before the cupcakes so that it can be set up and ready to go to fill the cupcakes. The glaze is made in the microwave and takes just a few minutes so that doesn't need to be made ahead because it's so quick.

Mexican Blackout Cupcakes
Makes about 12 cupcakes

- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 whole egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup coffee, hot
- Mexican chocolate filling, recipe follows
- Chocolate glaze, recipe follows

1. Prepare filling as directed, chill in refrigerator while preparing cupcakes, at least 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners, set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugars and the next five ingredients (through salt). Add the egg, milk, and vanilla. Whisk for about 1 minute. Add the hot coffee and whisk until completely combined and smooth.
3. Fill the cupcake liners between 2/3-3/4 to evenly yield 12 cupcakes. Bake for 17-19 minutes. Let cool several minutes then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
4. Using a knife carve out a piece of cupcake about 2” in diameter and 1/2”-3/4” deep out of the top of each cupcake, save the pieces and set aside.
5. Once the cupcakes are cooled completely and the filling is completely set up, pipe or spoon the filling evenly between the 12 cupcakes, mounding it into a small hill on each cupcake. Crumble the pieces of cake that were set aside from the inside tops of the cupcakes, set aside.
6. Using a spoon, evenly drizzle the chocolate glaze over each mound of filling on the cupcakes until the filling is covered completely with glaze (holding the cupcakes at an angle and only drizzling a little at a time helps to prevent pooling of chocolate on the top of the cupcakes). Lightly sprinkle the cake crumbs over the chocolate glazed cupcakes, pressing them into the glaze gently if necessary.

Mexican Chocolate Filling:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon flour (if not using whole milk)
- 4 1/2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 (2.7 ounce) package Mexican chocolate (such as Taza chocolate), chopped finely
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1/2” pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt 4 tablespoons of butter, add the milk and heat until warmed but do not simmer. Sprinkle the flour over the warmed milk whisking constantly until blended and smooth, heat until simmering. (Only use the flour if using fat free, 1%, or 2% milk because it will help thicken the mixture slightly. If using whole milk then do not use the flour because the fat in the milk will thicken the mixture enough by itself).
2. Turn the heat off but leave the pan on the burner. Add both types of chocolate to the saucepan and stir until smooth, turning the heat on low if necessary to completely melt the chocolate.
3. Add the butter, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Stir until smooth then pour into an 8” x 8” dish or similar size and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or until set up completely.
Chocolate Glaze:
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon portions
- 1 tablespoon milk, warmed

1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl in the microwave for 35-45 seconds, whisk until smooth. If necessary microwave in 10 second increments, whisking after each, until the chocolate is smooth. Add the milk and whisk until smooth.

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