“People don’t care what you do, they care why you do it.” Simon Sinek
I am a TED talks addict. I watch at least one a day, sometimes more. It’s something I think about a lot actually. I started writing Roxie Ginger because I really just wanted to commit to a project, but I also legitimately love going into a kitchen with a random set of ingredients and pushing myself to be creative. However, I have to admit, I’m not much of a baker. I don’t like rigorous recipes much, and baking requires an eye for exact precision. Therefore, I’m making a push to bake more…a lot more. That said, I can’t go too crazy with my new-found baking obsession, since I am also not of the constitution to just throw calorie caution to the wind – but what is a Super Bowl/Golden Globes/Grammys/Oscar party without a little sweetness?
A friend from work had introduced me to the world’s most delicious black peppercorn infused chocolates from a chocolatier whose name nobody seems to be able to recall, which is truly such a shame. I wanted to replicate that flavor in some capacity here. They came out subtle but tasty. The pepper comes through just enough to cut the sweetness of these rich cupcakes.
What you’ll need:
- All-purpose flour – 1 ¾ cups, sifted
- Sugar – 2 cups
- Cocoa powder – ¾ cups
- Baking soda – 2 tsp.
- Baking powder – 1 tsp.
- Kosher salt – 1 tsp.
- Buttermilk – ½ cup
- Milk – ½ cup
- Black peppercorns – ½ cup
- Vegetable oil – ½ cup
- Eggs – 3, room temperature
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp.
- Semisweet chocolate – 1 6 oz. bar
- Unsalted butter – 2 sticks, room temperature
- Egg yolk – extra large, room temperature
- Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
- Confectioner’s sugar – 1 ¼ cup, sifted
- The night before you want to make these cupcakes, place peppercorns in milk and heat over low heat for about and hour. Allow to cool overnight in the refrigerator.
- The next day, strain the peppercorns out of the milk and throw away peppercorns.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 12 tin cupcake pan. Line with cupcake wrappers.
- Sift together dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients: buttermilk, pepper-infused milk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
- Using an electric mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet mixture to the dry.
- Add the cupcake batter to the cupcake pan until each cup is ¾ full.
- Cook for 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes and then cover each cupcake with frosting.
- Roughly chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until room temperature.
- In a medium sized bowl, beat butter over medium speed until very fluffy.
- Add egg yolk and vanilla, and continue beating until everything is well blended
- Lower the mixer speed and add the confectioner’s sugar and add melted chocolate.
- Mix until well incorporated, but be careful not to over beat!
- Immediately frost the cooled cupcakes and enjoy!