Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ancho Chili-Spiced Chocolate Cupcakes with Avocado Buttercream

Chocolate, meet Ancho Chili. Ancho, please play nice with Chocolate; she can be a bit of a drama queen from time to time. Especially when she's not the only star in a recipe. You know how that goes...

Avocado, this is Powdered Sugar. Powdered Sugar, this is Avocado. Come on, give each other a hug. There you go! Aren't you two glad you met? You know who's glad you met? I'm glad you met. I'm really, really glad you met.

I've been on an avocado kick for a while now. If you've been stopping by, you know this because I reference guacamole at least twice a week, and I post pictures of Mr. Shannon going insane on breakfast sandwiches when left unattended with my stash of avocados. In my house, the avocado is certainly reigning supreme at the moment, and I thought it was about time we allowed it to step out of the guacamole/sandwich/salad categories and into the realm of desserts.

You heard me, desserts. Everyone likes to feel pretty sometimes. It's about time avocado was given a chance to shine. And you know what? Avocado shined. Oh, did it shine. With a little help from Chocolate and her new friend Ancho, that is.

Ancho-Spiced Chocolate Cupcakes with Avocado Buttercream
Serves 16

For the cupcakes:
1 1/3 cup unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/8 cups buttermilk

For the buttercream frosting:
1 cup avocado meat
2 teaspoons lime juice
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a muffin tin with paper or foil liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, ancho chili powder, cayenne and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Add the vanilla and combine.

Add the flour mixture in 1/4 increments making sure to alternate with the buttermilk. End with the last of the buttermilk. Beat until well combined.

Fill each of the muffin cups 2/3 full of batter. Bake for 17 - 19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

In the meantime, peel and pit a large avocado. Place the avocado in a bowl and combine with lime juice. Beat until the color lightens and the mixture becomes mostly smooth. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time making sure to fully combine before adding the next batch of powdered sugar. Add the vanilla extract.

At this point, the frosting will most likely appear too thick. Add 1 tablespoon of buttermilk to smooth and thin the mixture just slightly. If you won't use the buttercream immediately, store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Top each cupcake with your desired amount of buttercream frosting and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I've had chili spiced brownies before, but not cupcakes!

    I'm really digging the idea of avocado buttercream, the color is so interesting in the pictures, and it's avocado so I bet it is luscious.

    Those are some great looking cupcakes!