Saturday, April 26, 2014

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Growing up, I enjoyed and looked forward to Black-Bottom Cupcakes at almost every Christmas and family gathering as my aunt would make them in addition to many other dessert offerings. Cheesecake and chocolate cake just go perfectly together. Rather than wait for these few occasions, I decided to try making them on my own. After trying the first one warm from the oven, I couldn't believe I had waited so long to make them. They look rather impressive but are super super simple to make and even easier to eat, especially in mini form.
This recipe from David Lebovitz works and tastes great, which is why it's everywhere. I do recommend using coffee in the cake batter if you can because it definitely adds to the chocolaty flavor of the cake. If your cream cheese is not exactly at room temp, you can warm it up a bit in a double boiler or give it a good mix with a mixer for a few minutes. Besides, a few lumps of cream cheese never hurt anyone. So, even if you forgot to leave the cream cheese out, you can still make these as a last minute dessert as they take almost no time at all. I think they're best the day they're made, but you can store them in an airtight container for about 2 days.

Black Bottom Cupcakes
Recipe from David Lebovitz via Serious Eats
Makes 12 regular cupcakes or about 30 mini cupcakes

Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz (225 g) cream cheese, room temp
1/3 cup (65 g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 oz (60 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped or mini chocolate chips

Chocolate Cake Batter
1 1/2 cups (210 g) all purpose flour
1 cup (240 g) packed light brown sugar
5 tbsp. (30 g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt, half the amount of fine table salt
1 cup (250 mL) coffee or water
1/3 cup (85 mL) vegetable oil
1 tbsp. white or cider vinegar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Position a rack in the center. Line a regular muffin tin or 2 mini muffin tins with cupcake liners. If you only have one mini muffin tin, you can bake them in batches.

To make the filling, beat the cream cheese with the sugar for a few minutes in a mixer or by hand with a wooden spoon. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Mix in the chopped chocolate.

For the cake batter, in a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, mix together the coffee, oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just blended.

Evenly fill the lined muffin tins about 3/4 of the way up with the cake batter. Then evenly dollop small spoonfuls of the cream cheese filling on top of the cake batter. Bake the cupcakes for 12-15 minutes for mini cupcakes and about 25 minutes for regular sized cupcakes. Let cool for a few minutes in the muffin tin before removing cupcakes to a wire rack to cool further.

Store cupcakes in an airtight container up to 2 days.

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