Battle Chocolate. What music to my ears.
Because I have always been a chocoholic.
Because chocolate is the official food of the company I work for.
Because it is so beautifully made sweet or savory.
Because I have chocolate up the wazoo right now.
Cocoa powder: bulk, Hershey’s, Scharffen Berger, Ghiradelli Sweet. Bars: wheels of Mexican chocolate, unsweetened of several varieties, bittersweet, 82% dark, 70% dark, semisweet chips, semisweet blocks, with blueberries, with cherries, covering marzipan.
What can I say? We like chocolate. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to like my chocolate a little more on the… less mild side, if you will. With chili. With lavender.
And of course, with cinnamon. This is Battle (twisted) Chocolate in the month of December; I’ll be damned if I can’t get myself to crank out more than one lovely. I wanted to warm up with something that even the most no-nonsense-straight-up-untampered chocolate lover would consider, something a little different but not too far out there (yet.) I scrambled for the cabinet, nearly tripping myself on the stepstool (I’m only 5’3″, okay?) and there it was: a package of Mexican chocolate, usually meant to be drunk.
These were actually inspired by the triple-layer Mexican chocolate brownies I dreamt up a while back. I knew immediately I did not want them to be filled, but closer to a cakey brownie or a heavy sponge cake. Some careful thought went into the recipe with the secret weapon of applesauce making them not only moist with a soft crumb, but lower in fat as well. These are a deep, dense, spongy Mexican chocolate cake with rich chocolately flavor not overpowering the cinnamon undercurrent. Cinnamon-sugar sprinkled on top prior to baking made for powdery, sweetly perfumed tops with a beautiful crackle to them. I topped them with a swirl of cinnamon icing (speckle-free thanks to a bottle of cinnamon extract I picked up on sale one day) and a healthy wiggle of chocolate icing.
Out of the initial dozen, there are eight left; I had two myself and the other two were had by my boyfriend. There may be a battle when we get down to the last few, so I had best think of the next combination…
I am loving this challenge for Iron Cupcake:Earth. Gotta get back in the kitchen to make something else. Right now.
This month, here’s what all the contestants are hoping to be lucky enough to snag (and don’t forget, while doing your holiday shopping, try shopping local and hand-crafted! If you can’t get out to your local markets, there is always Etsy.)
The Iron Cupcake:Earth December ETSY PRIZE-PACK is from artists:
– sweet papergoods from Betty Turbo
– a pair of cupcake earrings from Lots of Sprinkles
PLUS, IronCupcake:Earthicans cannot forget our good friend, Cakespy, who is now going to be doing a piece for our winner each month until further notice – sweet!
As an added bonus for December we have adorable cupcake pincushions complements of Sweet Cuppin Cakes Bakery and Supply.
Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers:
– Head Chefs by Fiesta Products
– Hello Cupcake by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson
– Jessie Steele Aprons
– the Cupcake Courier
– Taste of Home books.
Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers.