Saturday, October 10, 2009

Black Bottom Cupcakes

What can beat a chocolate cupcake with a cheesecake filling?! These are like little chocolate cheesecakes, but without all the work of a regular cheesecake! They're not very sweet, which can either be a good or bad thing! Bad because you can pop a million of these little things. You can make them in the full size, but I prefer mini just because they are such an easy snack to just grab.

Here are some ideas that seemed to work as I was making them:

When pouring the chocolate batter into the muffin cups, only fill to half. Use a tablespoon measure to measure out the appropriate amount of cream cheese to ensure you have enough. Be generous with it! This picture is dark, but they should look like this when you go to put them in the oven:

You'll notice the recipe calls for cocoa, I used regular Nestlea cocoa, nothing fancy. Also, the recipe calls for semi-sweet chocolate, but I happened to have a bag of regular chocolate morsels already open, so I used that instead.

The recipe says it yields 30 mini cupcakes, which is quite accurate. The second time around, I put a little too much batter in the muffin cups, so they were a little bigger than I wanted them to be. So make sure, like I said, to only fill half way with the chocolate batter. Also, if doing mini cupcakes, bake only about 15 minutes depending on your oven.

Black-Bottom Cupcakes
The Great Book of Chocolate, David Lebovitz
Yield: 12 full-size or approximately 30 mini 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, or use non-stick spray, a 12-cup muffin tin, or line the tin with paper muffin cups. Or use a mini cupcake tray instead.
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 fine.
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.

Don't worry if the cream cheese isn't centered; that's what makes each one unique!

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