Saturday, February 14, 2009

Red Hot Cupcakes

Well, the day has come. It's V-Day, and everyone has a different feeling about it. Couples love to celebrate with extravagant showings of love, romantic dinners and snuggling. Singles curse the occasion as they wallow in their pints of chocolate chip cookie dough- brownie ice cream while downing a few bottles of wine...Me? I love V-Day- it gives me another excuse to bake something!

On the menu this year- Red Hot Cupcakes. This is an incredible combination of sweet and spice and everything nice- everything Valentine's Day should be. It's interesting when you think about Valentine's Day and the presence food has within it. Yes, there are the aforementioned romantic dinners and the over-commercialized boxes of chocolate, but the food itself plays an integral role.

Here is not the post to get into the highly questioned theory of aphrodisiacs - there are just too many forces at play for that debate. But the fact of the matter is that food make you feel good; it satiates your palate, fills your body, brings you comfort, and yes, even arouses you.

These little puppies are just the trick for the end to a V-Day meal. Or, you could play my game and make them the meal...The combination here is seductive; rich, luscious chocolate with a touch of heat to spice things up.

Red Hot Cupcakes
Dark Chocolate Cakes w/ Hot Chili Chocolate Ganache


1 box Devil's Food Chocolate Cake Mix

1 bar (100 g) Lindt Chili Chocolate Bar, chopped
3/4 c. heavy cream
Hot chili flakes for garnish


Prepare cake mix as directed and fill cupcake tins. I used my mini tins for these babies, as you don't need alot-pretty much one bite will do it. Bake as directed. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting, otherwise the ganache will melt right off.

Heat cream on low heat until it just starts to bubble. Pour over chocolate and whisk briskly. Refrigerate ganache 10-15 minutes to thicken. Remove from fridge and whisk until smooth. Frost cupcakes and garnish with hot chili flakes.

Shudder with pleasure as the smooth chocolate melts on your tongue and the spice hits your taste buds.

Happy Valentine's Day!

On another note, since I often spend time perusing restaurant websites to see what's new, I thought I'd make a quick list of promising Valentine's Day menus. These are warm, cozy little spots with great service and even better food. Ah, decisions, decisions!

Brooklyn Warehouse @Almon & Windsor

Morris East @ Morris & Barrrington

Chives on Barrington St.

Fid on Dresden Row

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