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Feb 29, 2008 07:38 AM

New Cupcake in East Village - Ghost Chille Cupcake

I live next door to Pinisi Cafe, an unassuming, under-the-radar bakery in the East Village. This morning the owner showed me his new "Ghost Chille" cupcake which is sweet, spicy, chocolately, buttercreamy, and scorching hot at the same time.

According to the owner (who is Indonesian), it's made with the Ghost Chili, the hottest chili pepper in the world with some crazy btu number. The chocolate cake part and pecan pie filling are all infused with this chili, and It's got a white buttercream top sprinkled with red chili bits. He warned me, smiling, "it's really hot ---if you can't take spice, it's not for you."

I almost laughed at this dare, saying, "i'm Asian, i can definitely take chiles, bring it!"

I tried it right now, and wow.... it is really interestingly good. At first bite, the initial flavor is of chocolate cupcake. And then the chili part hits... slowly, heat spreading, to a strong prickly sensation like the biting mouse-chiles that I had in Thailand. It is pretty hot for a dessert. and any more heat level than that would kill the chocolate, so it's perfect.

Addictingly, i keep going back for more and more bites, even though my eyes are watering and my tongue is all tingly.

The owner guy is so nice, and he has no idea what a blog is. He told me he can make them mild, medium, or hot levels to your liking (i'm assuming you'd have to buy them in bulk for these special requests). i believe he is still tinkering with the recipe.

Pinisi also has great Indonesian Sarabba (warm, sweet ginger type of drink), and a killer Red Velvet Cupcake.

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  1. I love this little place--I've eaten the chocolate cream cheese cupcake which is great--I like their originality--and prices are good-

    3 Replies
    1. re: marlie202

      the prices are good b/c the owner has that struggling immigrant mentality where you're trying to make it, and are not sure what you're worth, etc.... You can bet if Magnolia or Crumbs came out with this special item, they'd promote it like crazy thru their PR agency and charge top dollar for it. Anyhow, i walked in tonight and the Ghost Chillie cupcakes are $3.00 for normal size. I got the large size which is 4.50 (super huge, and has the pecan pie filling). here's a photo!

      1. re: asianbun

        Huh? What a strange comparison.

        Crumbs ranges between $2.95-$3.50, and Magnolia is cheaper then $3/
        Magnolia doesn't even make special cupcakes at all, they stick to the generic stock standard and switch it up with the pastel colors on the icing.
        Neither are trying to make a high end product with imported chillis.

        To be honest though, $4.50 strikes me as a bit outrageous for the cupcake pictured. How could he possibly charge more? It's a cupcake!

        1. re: sugartoof

          $4.50 is for a cupcake that is the size of a softball/grapefruit. It's heavy and big and it's filled with stuffing. The $3.00 cupcake is for the normal size (about baseball size).

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      1. I appreciate the info. Where is this place?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Pan

          4th st near 1st ave.

          I went last week and had a "red hot" cake or something like that—it was red velvet cake on the top and flourless chocolate below. It was a pretty good combination, and the red velvet was moist, though I wish the flourless chocolate was a bit darker and less sweet. It was almost like milk chocolate frosting instead of what I usually picture to be flourless chocolate cake. Total sugar bomb. The assorted pastries looked pretty good, as did the cheesecakes, though the flavors didn't really appeal to me at the time (pistachio, tiramiso, and espresso). Super friendly woman at the counter.

        2. Does anyone know if they tend to have these every day?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Snaps

            The Ghost Chili cupcakes were there when I was there this weekend.

            I tried a big chocolate cupcake with cannoli filling on top as the frosting. I thought it was good, but he couldn't charge more than $4.50 for it. I like that the "frosting" wasn't too sweet. It was a very straight-forward ricotta and chocolate chip cannoli filling, right on top of the cupcake. There was also some chocolate candy at the bottom of the cake. The cake was very moist and fluffy... almost tasted like a box mix, but I don't want to make that accusation, especially with distractions like actual chocolate at the bottom, and cannoli filling on top. Obviously many of his other pastries and creations need to be made from scratch. Curious what others think.