I love the Dagoba brand of chocolate. They make by far my favorite brand of milk chocolate (and by milk chocolate, I mean like 40% cacao). It’s so complex and flavorful, while retaining that sweet, milky quality we love about milk chocolate. So at the store a month or so I saw a bar from them called Xocolatl, which was the Aztec word for chocolate that the Europeans turned into the word we have now. Chocolate naturally has a strong bitterness (just imagine eating 100% cacao chocolate, and you’ll get it). The Aztecs were fond of drinking chocolate, but instead of adding sugar and milk as we do to cut the bitterness, they added spices and chiles. It complimented and enhanced the flavors, and apparently, their stomachs were way stronger than mine. The Dagoba Xocolatl bar has a strong heat to it. It inspired this cupcake!
The problem is, a lot of people see a chocolate cupcake and think, “Oh, yum, chocolate!” If you add spice to it, it could end up badly. So I wanted to make this a subtle, seething heat that lingered and dissipated like it arrived. This recipe successfully does that Continue reading