The Chocolate Adventure Contest

Spicy Dulce de Leche and Chocolate Cream Stout Cupcakes

Creator: Jennifer Daskevich/CA
Adventure Ingredients: Stout Beer, Buttermilk, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Chile Pepper
Servings: 24

INGREDIENTS

batter:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup Scharffen Berger Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
  • 2 ounces Scharffen Berger Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cream stout beer
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

candied chile peppers:

  • 10 serrano chiles
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water

filling:

  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup spicy sugar water from candied chile peppers
  • 2 Tablespoons ancho chile powder

frosting:

  • 6 ounces Scharfeen Berger Semi-Sweet Chips (62%)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. For the cupcakes: Line cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.
  3. Place the butter, cocoa and bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler or a heat proof bowl and slowly melt, stirring frequently.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until combined.
  5. Mix in the stout and buttermilk until fully incorporated. Set aside.
  6. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  7. Pour the melted chocolate mixture to the sugar mixture and stir to incorporate.
  8. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, gently whisking until well combined and no lumps remain.
  9. Pour the batter into the liners and fill about 2/3 of the way.
  10. Bake for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick come out clean when inserted into the center of the cupcakes.
  11. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and place on a cooling rack until completely cooled.
  12. For the candied chile peppers: Line a sheet pan with parchment and spray with a non-stick spray.
  13. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  14. Cut the peppers in half, lengthwise and remove the seeds and membrane, then julienne.
  15. Place the sugar and water into a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture has come to a gentle simmer.
  16. Add the chile pepper strips to the liquid and simmer for 45 minute to an hour.
  17. Strain the peppers from the sugar water and place onto the parchment lined sheet pan, reserving 1/4 cup of the spicy sugar liquid.
  18. Place the peppers in the oven to dry, about 5 minutes. Be sure not to over cook, as the sugar will burn. If the peppers still seem sticky that's okay. Allowing them to air dry will stiffen them.
  19. For the filling: Remove the label from the can of condensed milk and carefully hammer a hole into the top of the can.
  20. Place the can in a saucepan and fill about 2/3 of the way with water.
  21. Bring the water to medium-low heat and allow simmering for about 4 1/2 hours.
  22. Carefully remove the hot can from the saucepan and allow to cool completely before handling.
  23. Open the can and pour the contents into a bowl, stirring in the reserved spicy sugar liquid and the ancho chile powder until fully incorporated. Set aside.
  24. For the ganache: Melt together the chocolate and cream in a double boiler or a heat proof bowl stirring to create a thick, smooth ganache.
  25. Stir in the chile powder and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
  26. To Assemble: Using a small paring knife cut out a cone shaped hole from the middle of each cupcake.
  27. Fill each hole with a small amount of the spicy dulce de leche and place the top back on the cupcake.
  28. Spread a thin layer of ganache on the tops of each cupcake and allow to set, about 5 minutes.
  29. Spread another layer of ganache over the first and top with 1-2 pieces of the candied peppers. Serve.
TuttiFoodie.com, Scharffen Berger