Thursday, 6 May 2010
Twisted Black Bottom Cupcakes
I don't know anyone who does not like cupcakes. That is not to say that such people do not exist, but they certaibly do not exist in my little world and certainly not in my office where most of my kitchen-creations end up. I can always count on my dear colleagues to help me finish that batch of cupcakes biscuits or pies that I just cannot bring myself to indulge in any further, and my waistline thanks me for it. I absolutley love cooking and baking. To be honest I do not know what I would do without it as a hobby, but if I were to eat each and every one of my creations, I would undoubtably be the size of a house, especially because I have absolutely no willpower whatsoever. So thankfully I can treat myself to a sample of each biscuit, cake or tart, and the rest comes along with me to the office to be devoured by my fellow workers.
This time it was another Smitten recipe, for Black Bottom Cupcakes. Now my baking rarely turns out the same as the picture and this was certainly true in this case. They overflowed despite me using rather large cupcake-cases. But even though a portion of tasting is with the eye, my colleagues had never seen the picture of how they were supposed to look and well, ignorance is bliss and all that. They went down very well.
I only made one teeny tiny change to the recipe, and that was in the chocolate I used in the cheesecakey mixture. Rather than regular dark chocolate I used Green & Black's Mayan Spiced chocolate. I mainly picked it up while browsing chocolate in the shop on the weekend because I recalled someone telling me that it was very good, so I thought it could only add an interesting twist to the cupcakes. And it certainly did. The spicy undertones that permeated through the cheesecake and chocolate parts of the cupcake gave it a very unusual taste and one that pleasently surprised the tastebuds. I am now an official fan of the spiced chocolate and will definitely be venturing to use it again in the occasional unsuspecting chocolatey recipe.
The Great Book of Chocolate, David Lebovitz via Deb at Smitten Kitchen
Yield: 12 full-size cupcakes
(this is the official spin, but as mine overflowed rather a lot, I'd spread the mixture out more to 15 or so full size cupcakes)
For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, regular or reduced fat, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup unflavored vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the filling: Beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the chopped chocolate pieces. Set aside.
Make the cupcakes:
1. Adjust the rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F (175°C). Butter a 12-cup muffin tin, or line the tin with paper muffin cups.
2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients, stirring until just smooth. Stir any longer and you will over mix the batter and end up with less-than-tender cupcakes.
4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Spoon a few tablespoons of the filling into the center of each cupcake, dividing the filling evenly. This will fill the cups almost completely, which is (not in my experience!)fine (so spread them out a little more)
5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and the cupcakes feel springy when gently pressed. These moist treats will keep well unrefrigerated for 2 to 3 days if stored in an airtight container.