Saturday, November 6, 2010

MOFO - Day 6 - Cayenne Pepper - Not just for savory anymore!

Ah cayenne pepper. This spicy pepper usually found in powdered form is a powerhouse of heat. Rating 30,000 to 50,000 on the Scoville Scale, it is wise to use caution when using it in recipes lest you painfully clear your sinuses and other things. The cayenne pepper is named after a city in French Guiana. The pepper is related to the bell pepper, but it is its sassy spicy trouble making distant cousin.

The pepper is not only powerful on the heat index, but it has been proven to have health and medicinal uses as well. Cayenne is believed to help prevent prostate cancer. It is loaded with vitamin A and also  has B6, E and C. I recently had an interesting and painful experience with cayenne. I had a nasty cold and made an elixer of agave, lemon and cayenne in hot water. It soothed my sinuses and I am sure burned out some of the nasty cold. Well, Fred, who is always trying to take care of me, made a batch for me. Unbeknownst to me, he loaded it with a very healthy dose of cayenne. I took a big swig and felt this incredible burn all the way down. Holy mama! I managed to drink about half of it before I had to claim defeat. Funny but true.

I love using cayenne in savory dishes. It is fantastic in many Mexican and Southwestern dishes. I can hardly imagine any type of chili without it. However I have also found that is pairs amazingly well with Chocolate (in small amounts). I have school in about 20 minutes. It is one of my classmate's birthday. I decided to make some cupcakes to wake the class up and secretly slip them some vegan awesomeness. I made cupcakes based on the Basic Chocolate Cupcakes from VCTOTW. I added 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a very healthy pinch of cayenne to the batter. They are topped with the Chocolate Mousse Topping with a little cinnamon thrown in from the same book.

I hope my classmates gobble them up and I hope you enjoy checking them out. Have a great Saturday!!

5 comments:

Mihl said...

I've had Isa's Mexican hot chocolate snickerdoodles once and really liked them. These cupcakes sound wonderful!

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Truly, truly gorgeous!

Veg-In-Training said...

@ Mihl - I love those cookies! That was kind of the inspiration here.

@ Mo. Thanks!! My classmate loved them.

Jackie Smith (the other one) said...

One of my favorite food memories is when my younger cousin tapped the side of the cayenne a little too hard and about 1/2 T fell into his bowl of soup. The stubborn guy insisted on finishing it all--his eyes streamed for hours!

Veg-In-Training said...

Aw poor guy!