Here's my dream - provide me a stash of quality secret ingredients and I'll transform it into a luscious, decadent cupcake. It's definitely a challenge to take savory and sweet and integrate them into a palate worthy dessert.
The second week of Whole Foods Clash of the Cooks encouraged me to exercise my creativity and produce such a heavenly treat. The minute I saw the ingredients I knew I wanted to make a cupcake. Here's the list:
365 100% Pumpkin Puree
WH Parmesan Crisps
Forager Mike's Mesquite Dan it's Good Hot Sauce
Allegro Coffee - Celebration Caffe Whole Bean
This was my train of thought - I had been intrigued by some recipes for pumpkin chocolate cake I had seen on Pinterest, chocolate and spicy go really well together, coffee icing (yum!), a chocolate bark sprinkled with salty parmesan crisps and a few chocolate dipped coffee beans for garnish.
The cupcake worked! Not only did it work but it's really good. Pumpkin creates an unbelievably moist yet light cake and a cream cheese coffee icing melts in your mouth along with it. Top it off with a spicy dark chocolate bark dotted with hot sauce and crumbled salty parmesan crisps, to finish off the subtle confection with an eclectic flavor explosion.
A big thank you to Whole Foods for this wonderful opportunity to flex my culinary prowess!
Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes:
Yield: 24 cupcakes
- 1 box Devil's Food Cake Mix
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup 365 Pumpkin Puree
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- Mix cake mix and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl with an electric mixer for two minutes. Scrape down sides and mix for another minute.
- Line 24 cupcake pans and fill each cup about 2/3 full.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Test with a toothpick - after inserting if it's clean, they are done.
- Let cool.
Yield: Enough for 24 Cupcakes
- 1/2 cup butter
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons brewed Allegro Coffee - Celebration Caffe
- In a large bowl beat sugar, butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add coffeee and beat thoroughly.
- Pipe frosting onto Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes.
Spicy Dark Chocolate Bark
- 1 3.5 ounce bar Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Chocolate Bar, broken into small pieces
- 1/3 cup Crumbled WH Parmesan Crisps
- 1 teaspoon Forager Mike's Mesquite Dan it's Good Hot Sauce
- 24 Whole Coffee Beans (optional)
- In a double boiler whisk chocolate into melted
- On a parchment lined cookie sheet, spread out chocolate to desired thickness (if you are dipping whole coffee beans, reserve a small amount of chocolate).*
- Sprinkle crumbled parmesan crisps and hot sauce on top of chocolate. Set aside and let cool and harden. When solid, break off pieces of bark to decorate cupcakes (it sometimes helps to put chocolate in refrigerator for 5 minutes before breaking).
- * for coffee beans - dip in chocolate and let harden on parchment