Each year, Scharffen Berger chocolate sponsors The Chocolate Adventure Contest where, for a chance at $10,000, entrants are challenged to come up with a recipe featuring Scharffen Berger chocolate and any number of items from a list of “adventure ingredients.” It’s like a chocolate Iron Chef!
Previous years’ contests have allowed participants to make any kind of dish (I, of course, entered a cupcake last year anyway), but this year’s contest is all about cupcakes! The entry period ends on Jan. 2 and you know that I’ll be playing – I hope you do, too!
Be sure that you are a Cupcake Project Facebook fan because I’ve got a giveaway coming up there exclusively that may inspire your entry.
My Chocolate Adventure Contest entry last year was Black Thai cupcakes – black bottom cupcakes with Thai spices like coconut and pandan (the Asian vanilla) and a little kick from smoked paprika and smoked sea salt. The cupcakes also contain black-eyed peas, but the peas don’t affect the flavor; they just provide a moist texture (like baking with applesauce).
As you can see from the photo above, instead of baking the cupcakes in a cupcake liner, I baked them in a banana leaf! Whether or not you try my exact recipe (I recognize that gathering all of these ingredients might be difficult), I highly recommend trying out baking in banana leaves. Banana leaves make for a striking, exotic presentation. If you can’t find them at a grocer near you, you can buy banana leaves online.
Black Thai Cupcakes Recipe
Black Thai for New Year’s Eve
It’s a Southern U.S. custom to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s for good luck. Sheridan Alexander from About.com explains:
The practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is generally believed to date back to the Civil War. At first planted as food for livestock, and later a food staple for slaves in the South, the fields of black-eyed peas were ignored as Sherman’s troops destroyed or stole other crops, thereby giving the humble, but nourishing, black-eyed pea an important role as a major food source for surviving Confederates.
Why not consider making Black Thai cupcakes your 2011 New Year’s cupcake?