Anco chili devil's food cupcakes with roasted macadamias

Yield: 9 servings

Measure Ingredient
1¼ cup Cake Flour
½ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 tablespoons Ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon Baking soda
¼ teaspoon Baking powder
¼ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon Salt
½ cup Lightly rosasted Macadamias whole or chopped (about 2 oz.)
10 tablespoons Unsalted butter at room temp
1½ cup Sugar
3 Large eggs
½ cup Buttermilk
½ cup Hot dark coffee
1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
4 ounces Semisweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup Whipping cream



[Note: Bobby Flay, chef of NYC's Mesa Grill, prepared this dessert for a Meals on Wheels benefit meal at the Frontera Grill in Chicago.

Blended with the cocoa and coffee, the chili powder is only mildly hot and adds something approximating a fruit flavor.] 1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9" square cake pan, line the bottom with parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper. Measure out cake flour, cocoa, chili powder, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and cayenne.

Sift them together 3 times. 2. Using an electric mixer with a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and continue beating until mixture is light, fluffy and almost tripled in volume. 3. Fold ⅓ dry mixture into the butter-egg mixture, then add ½ the buttermilk and ½ the coffee. Fold in another ⅓ of the dry mixture then the remaining buttermilk and coffee. Finish with the remaining dry dry mixture and the vanilla extract. 4. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake until cake springs back when touched lightly (30 - 35 min.). Then turn out of pan and leave on the rack until completely cool. 5. Use a 2-½ inch cookie cutter to cut rounds from the cake. Place the rounds in paper cupcake liners. 6. Make the topping: If the macadamias are raw, roast them in a 350 degree oven, turning once, until they just begin to color. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl, heat the whipping cream tii the point of a bowl and pour it over the chocolate. Let cool to warm then drizzle it over the cupcakes. Top with macadamia nuts.

[Note: Ancho chili powder can be made by stemming and seeding whole ancho chilies and pulverizing them in an electric spice mill or coffee grinder. The poweder should be available at markets featuring Soutwestern ingredients or may be ordered by mail from G.B. Ratto & Co., 800-325-3483.]

From Chicago Tribune Magazine 3/23/93. Posted by Bud Cloyd

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