Posts Tagged 'Cinco de Mayo'

Cinco de Mayo All-Stars

Happy Cuatro de Mayo, everyone! We’re gearing up for Margarita Madness tonight and an official Cinco de Mayo party tomorrow, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite Cinco de Mayo-appropriate recipes with you today.

  • Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes: These were a huge hit at my Cinco de Mayo-themed birthday party a couple of years back, and I’m making a batch to bring to tonight’s party.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
  • Margarita Cupcakes:  A creamy, citrusy winner. This recipe is a little more complicated than the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes, but the end result is delicious!
Margarita Cupcake
  • Green Chile Stew: This is a recent favorite, and the recipe is easily multiplied for groups. My friend’s parents have made cauldron-sized batches of green chile and pork for parties back in Las Cruces.
Green Chile Stew
  • Watermelon-Mango Salsa: Looking to go beyond the classic pico de gallo? This salsa is sweet and savory perfection.
Watermelon Mango Salsa
  • Coconut Key Lime Pie: I know key lime pie is hardly traditional Mexican cuisine, but the lime flavor pairs so beautifully with margaritas. It’s okay to color outside the lines, right?
Coconut Key Lime Pie
  • Fat Tire Pulled Pork Tacos: Need to feed a crowd? This is another great way to do it. Taco bars are always fun for parties. Try the recipe with Pacifico, Dos Equis, or another Mexican beer for the holiday.
Fat Tire Pulled Pork Tacos
  • Creamy Chipotle Shrimp Tostadas:  Three years later, and I’m still making this one. (We served it at a dinner party two weekends ago!) This dip is smoky, creamy, and just plain fantastic. Instead of serving it on chips, though, I now serve it in a bowl, sprinkled with queso fresco, with chips on the side.
  • Sparkling Limeade: This is a perfect margarita alternative for children or nondrinkers (although it also can be converted into margaritas – how convenient!).
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Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

My Mexican-themed party is rapidly approaching, so I tried a second dessert recipe yesterday.  After last week’s disappointment with Everyday Food’s Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies (they’re just not made for high-altitude baking!), I was so excited to discover that my Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes were a-ma-zing.  I feel like I cheated a bit because I used box cake mix as a base again (like with the Margarita Cupcakes), but I did add spices and I made my own icing.  I was inspired by The Perfect Pantry’s “Diablo” Cupcakes and Billy Reece’s Chocolate Buttercream; here’s my final recipe for the cake and the icing.

(Note: This recipe has been adjusted for high altitude.  If you want to make it at a lower elevation, just add the spices to the cake mix and follow the instructions on the box.  No adjustments are necessary for the icing.)

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes about 3 dozen regular cupcakes or 6 dozen minis

Cake ingredients:
1 box (18.25 oz.) Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Devil’s Food cake mix
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon New Mexico red chile powder
Pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 large eggs (room temperature)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a light-colored metal muffin pan (regular size or mini) with cupcake liners.

Pour the dry cake mix into a large mixing bowl.  Whisk in the cinnamon, chile powder, salt, pepper, and flour.  Add the water, oil, and eggs and mix with an electric mixer at low speed until moistened.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.  (Use a cookie scoop to make this easier.) Bake full-size cupcakes for 17 minutes or mini cupcakes for 11 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean).  Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes.  Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely before icing.

Icing ingredients:
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled but still liquid (chocolate chips are OK)
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons New Mexico red chile powder, plus a pinch for sprinkling
5 cups powdered sugar

Method:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth and creamy (about 3 minutes).  With mixer on low speed, add chocolate until just combined.  Add milk, vanilla, cinnamon, chile powder, and powdered sugar; mix on medium until well combined, being careful not to overmix.  Ice cooled cupcakes and sprinkle a pinch of chile powder on top.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

These cupcakes are absolutely heavenly!  I know it seems strange to put chile powder and pepper into baked goods, but the flavor combination really works.  I felt like I could really taste the cinnamon, but the chile powder came through more as a bit of heat in the aftertaste.  The cake was moist, light, and fluffy; the icing was smooth, creamy, and had a rich chocolate flavor.  As much as I enjoyed the Margarita Cupcakes, I think these will be the star of the party.

TIPS:  Technically, you could probably use any boxed cake mix, but I really feel Duncan Hines makes a superior product.  The cupcakes crowned beautifully and the cake texture was fantastic.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

My mom was in town visiting this weekend, and we were so busy having fun that I completely forgot to plan something special for Cinco de Mayo. I have posted a few things in the past that would be perfect for a celebration, though:

Easy Beef Enchiladas
Flank Steak with Lime Marinade
Fresh Salsa
Margarita Cheesecake
Sparkling Limeade/Margaritas
Vegetable Enchiladas

Enjoy the day!




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