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mexican cocoa cupcakes...

I've never been able to follow recipes. I always add a little flavor here or there for the sake of trying something different... and so began the demise of my cookbook collection. 

I've always loved cinnamon, especially specialty cinnamon. For this recipe, I used a Saigon cassia cinnamon along with a mexican vanilla blend from a spice boutique in wauwatosa. the combination of the cinnamon, vanilla and cocoa in the cake, along with the cinnamon, vanilla and cream cheese frosting... to die for. I've always hated when cupcakes have such a basic cake flavor that without the frosting, tastes like it was just made from a pre-made box mix. I always make it a point to make my own cupcake recipes interesting, unique and even without the frosting, decadent. 

My mexican cocoa cupcake is rich but not too sweet, and even without the frosting, has enough flavor and texture to stand alone. The cake is a moist cinnamon cocoa cake with a cinnamon, vanilla and creme cheese butter cream frosting topped off with cinnamon fried tortillas strips.





For the cinnamon cocoa cake, combine white cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground saigon cassia cinnamon, dark brown sugar {the molasses content is higher in dark brown sugar} and pure cocoa into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Then combine two eggs, vanilla and vegetable oil in a separate, smaller bowl. 

With a mixer, slowly add the wet ingredients to the large bowl and mix on high for around two minutes {or until the mixture is completely smooth}. The batter will be very runny even before you add the boiling water, so don't worry, you didn't screw the recipe up, I promise! Add the boiling water to the mixture and stir until the batter reaches an almost pudding like consistency {give it a taste, you won't be sorry!}.


Using a ladle, fill each muffin cup {this recipe will make around 20 cupcakes} a little over half way full with batter. Once the pans are full, place them into the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes {or until they pass the toothpick test}. Let the cupcakes cool for around ten minutes.


While the cupcakes are baking, take three or four small tortillas {I used corn tortillas, flour tortillas will work just as well} and cut them into small strips. Fill a frying pan with canola oil and a few dashes of cinnamon and fry the strips till their golden brown {you won't want to put too many strips in at a time otherwise they'll fry together, you want the strips to stay separated in the oil}. Once the tortillas have been fried, lay them on a paper towel and then sprinkle them with a mixture of three parts sugar, one part cinnamon. These will be used to top off the cupcake after they've been frosted.


For the frosting, combine full fat cream cheese with unsalted butter in a small mixing bowl. Beat the mixture on high until it is fluffy and smooth. Slowly add ground cinnamon and powdered sugar until smooth, then spoon the mixture into a piping bag and frost! The frosting is very rich so make sure to distribute lightly, as you don't want to overpower the flavor of the cake.


Once the cupcakes are frosted, break the tortilla strips into one inch sections and decorate to your liking.


For this recipe, I actually ran out of muffin tins and ended up making a small cake with the remaining batter. I dusted the cake with powdered sugar and topped it off with fresh mint from my garden.


These cupcakes are so rich and moist and if you haven't noticed, use hardly any butter {which obviously means they're calorie-free!}. Here is the official recipe for you to try out at home...

Meesch's Mexican Cocoa Cupcakes

makes about 20 cupcakes 
  • 1 1/2 cup pure cane sugar 
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 
  • 3/4 cup pure cocoa {I used Hershey's} 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1 3/4 cup white cake flour 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • 2 tsp. ground saigon cassia cinnamon {or just standard cinnamon if you'd like} 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 cup skim milk 
  • 2 tsp. vanilla 
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup boiling water

for frosting 
  • 8 oz. full fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground saigon cassia cinnamon
  • 2 cup powdered sugar

for tortilla topping
  • 3 small tortillas {corn or flour}
  • canola oil
  • cinnamon
  • sugar


preparation 


-preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
-For the cake, combine white cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground saigon cassia cinnamon, dark brown sugar and pure cocoa into a large mixing bowl and set aside. 
-Then combine two eggs, vanilla and vegetable oil in a separate, smaller bowl.  
-With a mixer, slowly add the wet ingredients to the large bowl and mix on high for around two minutes {or until the mixture is completely smooth}. The batter will be very runny even before you add the boiling water. 
-Add the boiling water to the mixture and stir until the batter reaches an almost puddling like consistency. 
-Using a ladle, fill each muffin cup {this recipe will make around 20 cupcakes} a little over half way full with the batter.  
-Once the pans are full, place them into the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes {or until the toothpick test comes out clean}. Let the cupcakes cool for around ten minutes. 
-While the cupcakes are baking, take three or four small tortillas and cut them into small strips. Fill a frying pan with canola oil and a few dashes of cinnamon and fry the strips till their golden brown {you won't want to put too many strips in at a time otherwise they'll fry together, you want the strips to stay separated in the oil}. 
-Once the tortillas have been fried, lay them on a paper towel and then sprinkle them with a mixture of three parts sugar, one part cinnamon. These will be used to top off the cupcake after they've been frosted. 
-For the frosting, combine full fat cream cheese with unsalted butter in a small mixing bowl. Beat the mixture on high until it is fluffy and smooth.  
-Slowly add ground cinnamon and powdered sugar until smooth, then spoon the mixture into a piping bag and frost. The frosting is very rich so make sure to distribute lightly, as you don't want to overpower the flavor of the cake. 
-Once the cupcakes are frosted, break the tortilla strips into one inch sections and decorate to your liking.

enjoy...

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