Monday, September 14, 2009

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Of all the Universal Truths that exist, not one has been proven more than this one was yesterday: You can never go wrong with more cream cheese.

The inspiration for this cupcake came after a visit to a local cupcakery called Babycakes. Ever the avid researchers, my Cupcake Board and I strive to frequent cupcakeries whenever possible to, er, sample the competition and compare. Of course this is diligent, scientific work with lots of note-taking and and calculations. We don't enjoy even one minute of it and we most certainly never lick our plates (or fingers) clean.

After our first visit to Babycakes, though, Meghan, Cupcake Testing Specialist and Piemaker Extraordinaire, noted that she particularly favored their signature cupcake: “Babies”(Marble Cake with Chocolate Chips & Cream Cheese). They also carry a black bottom cupcake but theirs has raspberry in it as well (an interesting thought that I might play around with). Since then she has mentioned on more than one occasion that perhaps I should try my hand at making such a cupcake. I found this recipe from Cassie (How to Eat a Cupcake) who snagged it from David Leibovitz's book The Great Book of Chocolate . What could be a better time to try out this recipe than a lazy Sunday afternoon after traipsing through Costco??

1. STEP ONE: Collect Ingredients:

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, 1/3 c. granulated sugar, 1 large egg (at room temp.), 1/2 t. vanilla extract, and 2 oz. semisweet mini chocolate chips (I used regular chocolate chips due to a lack of minis).

For the dry ingredients:
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, 1 c. brown sugar, 1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch-process), 1 t. baking soda, and 1/4 t. salt.

For the wet ingredients:
1 c. water (not pictured... oops!), 1/3 c. vegetable oil, 1 T. white or cider vinegar, and 1 t. vanilla extract.

2. STEP TWO: Mix the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla for the filling.

2.5 STEP TWO...and a half: Add the chocolate chips. Set aside.

3. STEP THREE: Sift together the dry ingredients and, in a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (not pictured).

4. STEP FOUR: Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ones in.

5. STEP FIVE: Mix just until smooth and then divide amongst lined cupcake tins. The recipe says it makes 12 cupcakes but, like Cassie, I got 14 out of it.

STEP SIX: After dividing up the chocolate batter, drop the cream cheese filling in by the tablespoon until the cups are almost completely full (which is OK because they don't rise much).

7. STEP SEVEN: Bake in a 350°F oven for 25 minutes (or so the recipe says... Cassie did it for 19 and hers were fine. I think I could have pulled mine out at 18 but left 'em in for 19 and had a couple that looked a little too golden). When the tops are slightly golden brown and cupcakes feel springy when gently pressed, you're good.

OK, well, I guess we're done here. There's nothing else we could possibly do to these cupcakes to make them any better than they already are. Oh well. I guess I'll just post this and be done with it...


Due to the fact that there was some controversy over whether or not an un-iced baked good in the shape of a cupcake was a indeed a cupcake or a muffin, I called an emergency meeting of the Cupcake Board where it was unanimously decided that there is a long-lost SECRET step 8:

Om nom nom nom...

And that, my dears, is how we came to prove that, without a doubt, you can never go wrong with more cream cheese.

1 comment:

  1. You are absolutely right that you can NEVER go wrong with more cream cheese! Love it! Just made some cream cheese frosting, dangerously good.

    Your cupcakes look delicious!! I have never made black bottom cupcakes, might want to try it soon.