How to make it

  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin pans with cupcake papers and set aside.
  • Sift together the flour and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Place chocolate in a large shallow bowl set over a pan of hot water so that the chocolate begins to melt (you could use a double-boiler, but you may need to transfer the chocolate to a larger bowl later).
  • In a small sauce pan bring water, 1/2 cup sugar, and spice to a boil, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the sugar syrup to the chocolate and stir until smooth (if you don’t want any grit from the spice in the cupcakes you can pass the sugar syrup through a fine mesh seive but the final flavor will not be as pronounced).
  • Add the butter and stir until smooth. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate and stir until completely incorporated into the chocolate. There should be no lumps.
  • Beat the eggs with the remaining 3/4 cup sugar until the mixture is light and pale and has more than doubled in volume. Stir one-quarter of the eggs into the chocolate mixture to lighten and then gently fold in the remainder of the eggs until thoroughly combined.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter evenly between each of the cupcake cups, filling each almost to the top. Place each muffin pan on a half-sheet pan and stagger the pans on separate shelves in the oven. Carefully add hot water to the sheet pans and fill half-way to create a shallow water bath.
  • Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from water bath and cool at least one hour in the pan on a rack before frosting.

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