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Jackie Dodd-Mallory
Senior Editor

Jackie Dodd-Mallory

How To Make Homemade Paper Lanterns

I started making these a few weeks ago for my daughters upcoming birthday party and I’m at a loss for what to call them. Paper Orbs? Lanterns? Balls??? Whatever name they end up taking, they are really easy to make and turned out pretty darn cute.

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Competitive baking

I have a strong resolve to actual WIN a recipe contest some day. I only enter the big ones, Cooking channels, big time cooking magazines, national competitions, I don’t bother with the little guys. Possibly a very flawed strategy, but if I win, I want to win big. This year, I was a finalist in the Scharffen Berger/Tootii Foodie/Food Network Magazine Cupcake Adventure contest. Not exactly a win, but I am working my way towards the top. Here is the link as proof of my upward climb:

I know, I AM towards the bottom, but making the list made my week! Next, I’ll be attempting to "Make the List" for three other contest this year, more about that at a later time. For now, here is the recipe for my "I made the list" Cupcakes:

Churros Con Chocolate Picante Cupcakes


1 Stick of butter

½ cup filtered water

½ cup whole milk

¼ tsp salt

1 tbs sugar

1 cup all purpose flower

2 tbs cinnamon

5 eggs

Butter flavored cooking spray

Metallic Cupcake Papers

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp fresh ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp chili powder

Chili Chocolate Mousse:

¾ cup butter

2 tbs chopped red chili peppers, seeds removed

6oz of a Scharffen Berger 70% Bittersweet Dark Chocolate Bar, chopped

¼ cup coffee, brewed with Sumatra beans

¼ cup Chocolate liqueur

4 eggs, separated

3/4 cup sugar plus add. 2 tbs, divided

Spiced Whipped Cream:

1 tbs chopped red chili peppers, seeds removed

1 ½ cups heavy cream

¾ cup sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp fresh ground nutmeg

2 tsp Scharffen Berger Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder

Make Churros:

Put the oven rack at the lowest position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a good quality saucepan, bring the butter, water, milk, salt, and sugar to a slow boil then turn heat to low. Add the flower and stir until combined. Move the flower mixture to a stand mixer and add cinnamon then each of the 5 eggs one at a time, mixing until well combined between each egg. Line muffin tins with cupcake papers (remove the paper liner and just use the metallic part), lightly pray each paper with the cooking spray. Drop two tbs of the dough into each cup. Mix the next 4 ingredients together in a small bowl. Add 1 tsp of the sugar mixture to the top of each dough filled cupcake paper. Bake until the top of the cupcakes have puffed completely, about 30-33 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Make the mousse:

Put the butter and the chili in a saucepan over medium low heat and heat until hot but not boiling, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 20 minutes, then strain the butter removing the chilies and discarding them. Put the chocolate and the coffee in the top of a double boiler and heat until the chocolate is melted. Stir in the strained butter until well combined and then set aside. In a double boiler, beat the eggs yolks, chocolate liqueur and ¾ cups of sugar beat until the mixture is pale yellow and well combined. Remove from heat and continue to beat until thickened and cooled. Slowly add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and stir until well combined. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then slowly add the 2 tbs sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Gently and slowly fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture using about ¼ of the egg whites at a time. Cover the mousse and chill for at least two hours.

While the mousse is setting, make the whipped cream. In a sauce pan, heat the chili and the cream until hot and steamy but not boiling. Stir over low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Strain cream, removing and discarding the chili, and then chill in the refrigerator until completely cool, at least two hours. Combined the cream, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and coco powder in a bowl and beat on high until set, about 4 minutes. Set aside.   Gently spoon the mousse into a piping bag with a metal tip. Most of the cupcakes should have holes in the top, revealing a large cavity in the center of the cupcake (like a popover). If no holes appear, make a small slit in the center. Pipe in the mousse into the center of the cupcakes, filing the cavity, refill the piping bag as needed. Top cupcakes with the whipped cream.