Chocolate Strawberry Surprise Cupcake
This month’s Iron Cupcake Challenge featured chili pepper! The only rules were that 1) it has to be a cupcake (duh) and 2) the cupcake MUST include the featured ingredient of the month! Well, I must say this was a mighty challenge for me since I do not tend to seek spicy foods, especially not in my desserts. But I appreciated the challenge and I think I accomplished a damn good cupcake! I decided to name my cupcake Chocolate Strawberry Surprise because it is a chocolate cupcake with a hint of cinnamon with a center filling of chili spiced pudding, topped with REAL (no fake extracts for me!) strawberry icing topped with melted chocolate! I then topped it with some chocolate hearts and a chocolate pepper. I love how the shadows of the chocolate figures dance in the background of the photo!
All the flavors work amazingly well together and send your mouth into an explosion of tastebud delight! You will first notice the creamy strawberry icing with a hint of melted chocolate, then the cinnamon will hit you from the cake. On your second bite (depending on your mouth size I guess ), you will feel a wave of cool chocolate pudding that slowly develops into a spice feast for your mouth! (Have no fear, I used chili powder that was not HOT, but medium in spice level.) I thought what is more perfect that chocolate and chili? Chocolate, chili and STRAWBERRIES!!! Yummy! That is why I decided to not only include strawberries as a puree in the cupcake batter, but also make it the featured icing!
To vote for my cupcake, you will have to go to NO ONE PUTS CUPCAKE IN A CORNER between August 31st at noon and September 4th at noon. Please be sure to vote for me! There are so many good entries, and I would have to be VERY lucky to win! At least I am happy with my cupcake right? Plus, I can eat them to comfort myself if I lose…. . All of us who are participating are competing for the following prizes: artwork from Cakespy creator Jessie Oleson, an apron from Jessie Steele (which I totally want! Aren’t they adorable?), a Cupcake Courier, a Taste of Home magazine, a set of silicone Head Chefs from Fiesta Products, and finally a Hello Cupcake book! Whew! I think it took me as long to list all the prizes as it did for me to make the cupcakes! That is a LOT of prizes! Sure they are not all vegan minded, but it is the thrill of competition, not the materialistic items I entered for! It was extremely generous of all those involved to offer their items for prizes! Please remember to vote between August 31st at noon and Sept. 4th at noon for VeganVerve!! Thank you!
How did I make these cupcakes you ask? Well, let me show you! There are a lot of steps, but they can easily be done over a few days if you prefer (like I ended up doing) or prep everything while the cupcakes are cooling after baking….or while they are cooling in the fridge (you will see what I mean when you read further!). I only did it over a few days because I quite frankly hadn’t made up my mind what I was going to do yet!!
Chocolate Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes
2/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup pureed strawberries (or use blender to puree during step 2)
1 Tbsp flax meal
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp oat flour (or 100% of either flour)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
3/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1. Pre-heat oven to 350
2. With blender, mix together coconut milk, strawberries and flax meal. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
3. While waiting for the mixture in #2, mix together the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
Blended Mixture & Dry Ingredients
4. After about 5 minutes, put the following ingredients directly into blender mixture (I just kept it in the blender the whole time!): sugar, canola oil, and the vanilla & almond extracts. Mix thoroughly with spoon.
5. Slowly incorporate the wet into the dry until a smooth batter is formed. Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3rds full. Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
All Ready to go in the oven!
1 Tbsp medium chili powder (or less depending on spicy level you desire)
My Method of Attack!
1. Prepare pudding as directed. Mix in chili powder.
2. Once cupcakes are cool, pipe in (or use whatever method you prefer) pudding into center of cupcakes. I find it extremely easy to poke the cupcake with my CLEAN finger ;) to create a hole for the filling.
3. Place in refrigerator for about an hour to let pudding firm up in the cupcake.
1/4 cup of strawberry puree (I find that 1 cup frozen usually makes only about 1/4 cup puree)
1/4 cup vegan margarine
3 Tbsp vegan shortening
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1. Thaw about 1 cup strawberries (if using frozen) then puree in blender.
2. Using a mixer, cream together margarine and shortening until fluffy.
3. Mix strawberry puree and 1 cup confectioner’s sugar into the margarine/shortening mixture. Combine thoroughly with mixer.
4. Slowly continue to add rest of confectioner’s sugar until thoroughly combined.
5. Put icing on cupcakes and let cool in refrigerator.
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1. Melt chocolate, place in piping instrument of your choosing (or just use a knife for all steps in #2 like I did, but it is a tad more tempermental!)
2. Make 3 rows of chocolate on each cupcake, then run your knife the opposite direction to make decorative design.
3. Cool in refigerator until chocolate firms.
Before Chocolate firmed & Before Toppers were added!
4. Option: create your own decorative toppers and place them on cupcakes!