A Perfect Relationship of Fiery and Romantic: Chocolate and Chilli Cupcakes

Have you ever noticed that I never made recipes for leftover chocolate????…..

“If there’s no chocolate in Heaven, I’m not going.” Jane Seabrook

Chocolate comes from the Cocoa Plant native to South and Central America. Its earliest traceable history is found in Puerto Escondido, Honduras. Bottles with traces of cocao residue can be dated back to around 1100 BC at this site. Cocoa residue was also found in jars from Belize that date to approximately 600-400 BC. While there are many theories on the history of the word chocolate, one major thought is that it is a mash-up of words used by the Maya and the Aztec. Some trace the word back to the Yucatec Maya word “chokol” meaning hot, and the Nahuatl “atl” meaning water, as originally chocolate was consumed in the form of an alcoholic drink as well as a hot drink with spices added to it.


Chilli in Meso-America, central America and its surroundings, was grown as a food crop as early as about 4000 BC2, although the wild varieties of chilli in Mexico were gathered much earlier, dating to at least 7200 BC3. Meso- Americans used chilli in literally everything. Chillies were used fresh, dried, smoked or roasted and were added to food whole, chopped or ground, and the chocolate and chilli flavour combination probably originates from them. The chocolate chilli connection is also an Aztec heritage. Aztecs associated chocolate with Xochiquetzal, the goddess of fertility. Chocolate was consumed in a bitter, spicy drink called xocolātl, often seasoned with vanilla, Chile pepper, chillies and achiote. Xocolātl was believed to fight fatigue (probably attributable to the theobromine content).


“The greatest tragedies were written by the Greeks and Shakespeare…neither knew chocolate.”  Sandra Boynton

For the cake
160 g sugar
3 eggs
250 g butter
Vanilla extract
50 ml buttermilk
200 g self-raising flour
4 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp chilli powder
100 g dark chocolate pieces
For the frosting
110 g butter
110 g cream cheese
400 g icing sugar
50 g cocoa powder


Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper cases. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Gradually mix in the eggs alternating them with spoonfuls of flour and stir in the all the other ingredients. Spoon into the paper cases and bake for 20-25 minutes or until just firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the icing beat the butter and cheese together until creamy. Stir in sugar and cocoa powder until smooth. Spread the frosting over the cupcakes and decorate chocolate pieces, and shapes moulded from coloured marzipan or sugarpaste icing. Scatter over red sugar sprinkles.

“I listened wide-eyed, stupid. Glowing by her voice in the dim light. If chocolate was a sound, it would’ve been Constantine’s voice singing. If singing was a color, it would’ve been the color of that chocolate.” Kathryn Stockett

4 thoughts on “A Perfect Relationship of Fiery and Romantic: Chocolate and Chilli Cupcakes

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