Back in October, I received a generous surprise package in the mail from Scharffen Berger. Not only did it contain several chocolate bars, but there was also a flyer describing their Chocolate Adventure contest. Last year’s contest was all about cupcakes…the rules for entering were simply that you had to create a recipe using Scharffen Berger chocolate and at least one of their adventure ingredients. It sounded like fun, so I thought, why not? I came up with a cupcake recipe and submitted it. And, even though I wasn’t one of the winners (apparently they were big on stout beer, and that wasn’t one of the ingredients I chose), I still had fun making them – they are definitely the most unique cupcake I’ve made yet! The combination of chocolate, coffee, and cardamom is a match made in heaven – and the chili pepper gives them just enough of a kick to make things interesting. If you’re feeling adventurous too, give them a try!
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1″ pieces
- 2 ounces 99% cacao dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp crushed chili pepper flakes
- 1 Tbsp ground coffee beans
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream (I used fat free)
For the frosting:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp ground cardamom
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a non-stick muffin pan with cupcake liners. Combine the butter and chocolate in double boiler and melt, or place in a microwave-safe bowl and heat at 50% power for 30 second increments until melted.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, pepper flakes, and coffee grounds.
In another small bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Stir in the vanilla extract and sour cream. Add the chocolate mixture and stir until combined, and then add in the flour mixture half at a time until well-combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool before frosting.
To make the frosting, beat the butter, vanilla extract, and cardamom until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar gradually until all of it has been incorporated. Beat until fluffy and then decorate the cupcakes as desired.