Wednesday, July 25, 2012

chocolate-ancho chili flourless mini cupcakes

 Shown here: Chocolate & Ancho Chili Flourless Mini Cupcakes

Hello, and happy summer!  It's obvious that I've been more than a little busy the past few months.  Ask me what I've been up to, and I'll probably give you a blank stare.  It's been full of Reds games, the FBI Citizens' Academy, my boyfriend's annual training with the National Guard, the World Choir Games and the Big Pig Gig: Do Re Wee, Zumba for the Wii, and more gluten free treats.

For Cinci de Mayo, I made these chocolate and ancho chili flourless mini cupakes, doing some slight modifications to a recipe from Emeril Lagasse.

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    Note: Chocolate chips are not designed to melt; so that they stand up in cookie recipes, they have a coating on them that makes them not melt as uniformly as chopped chocolate.  There are six terrific tips over at giver'slog.   
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (plus some for dusting the finished cupcakes)
  • 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
    It sounds like a lot, but it really is not overpowering.  I was skittish, too.
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 duck eggs, separated
    You're welcome to use large chicken eggs.  My parents have ducks, and using their eggs creates a loftier finished product - a desirable trait in a gluten free goodie. 
    If "separating" eggs is foreign to you, check out this photo-essay on Simply Recipes.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar (AKA powdered sugar)
  • Pinch ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the mini cupcakes cup in the tin. 

In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter over medium-low heat.
When a recipe calls for a double boiler, you can improvise but can rarely substitute something else.  If you don't have an official double boiler, you can use a saucepan and a large bowl.  Water will be boiled in the saucepan, and the bowl will be set in the pan but should not touch the water.  The chocolate pieces go in that bowl.
Once melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa, chili powder, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the sugar until thick and pale yellow in color.
Fold the chocolate mixture into the yolks and mix well.

In a third bowl, you'll make the frosting.  Whisk the egg whites until thick.
While whisking, add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar gradually and continue to beat to form a light meringue.
You'll have a meringue when peaks begin to form.  I see them as little mountains in the snow.  
In several additions, fold into the chocolate mixture, being careful not to deflate the meringue.
Gently pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared cups.
I use an ice cream scoop to measure even portions.
Bake until the edges are set but the center is still moist, about 30 minutes.  It should pass the toothpick test.

Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

In a bowl, beat the frosting mixture with an electric mixer until frothy.
Add the confectioners' sugar and cinnamon and continue to beat until the cream holds soft peaks.

To serve, dollop a portion of the sweetened whipped cream and garnish with cocoa powder.

Yum!  Happy eating :)

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