Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cupcakes Fit for Queen

So as it would mind works in a weird and wonderful way and from the moment I decided that this weekend's project would be a batch of delicious Black Bottomed Cupcakes, I've been humming along to Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls." And as a friend so nicely pointed out, enough of the first, and you'll definitely get the second! Thankfully, I don't eat much of what I make...or else I may just have a British rock song in my honour. 

Black bottomed cupcakes are, essentially, chocolate cupcakes with a cheesecake centre. In other words: heaven. There are many, many variations of this recipe, some even start with a boxed mix. This recipe actually uses a very cool chocolate cake recipe with very few ingredients (as far as cake goes.) 

So we begin with the ingredients: 

In a mixer bowl, combine the filling ingredients: cream cheese, sugar, 1 egg and salt. 

Beat until everything is nice and fluffy, then stir in the chocolate chips. 

In a separate bowl (doesn't have to be a mixer bowl, this part can be done by hand) mix together: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. 

Make a well in the middle and add the liquids: water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Stir until well combined. 

Now, I know what you're thinking: a cake mix with no eggs?! It's true. I figured for all the richness of the filling, I'd use Crazy Cake for the base. There are many theories on Crazy Cake, but it seems to have originated during the Depression when kitchen staples like eggs and milk were hard to come by. I promise, even without eggs, this cake is awesome. 

Fill your muffin tins about 2/3 full. 

Then add a dollop of the cream cheese mixture to the top of each. (A cookie scoop works perfectly!) 

Bake them up at 350 for about 20 minutes (make sure you're using your toothpick tester in the outer edge of the cupcake, not the centre!) and enjoy the goodness!

In the first hour after the cupcakes cool, they're deliciously moist and gooey. Longer than that and they start to resemble a nicely set cheesecake in the middle. If you want a day old gooey cupcake, 10 seconds in the microwave will do the trick!


Black Bottomed Cupcakes

1 package of cream cheese, softened
1 egg at room temperature
⅓ cup of white sugar
⅛ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of miniature chocolate chips

1 ½ cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of white sugar
¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of water
⅓ cup of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of vinegar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line your muffin tins with cupcake liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a mixer bowl, beat together the cream cheese, egg, ⅓ cup of sugar and ⅛ teaspoon of salt until light and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate chips and set the bowl aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cup of sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the middle, then add the wet ingredients: water, oil, vinegar and vanilla extract. Stir together until well-blended.

Fill each of the muffin liners about ⅔ way full and top with a dollop of the cheesecake mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake part of your cupcake comes out clean.

Remove from pan after 5 minutes and cool completely on a rack. Enjoy!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Blueberry Bliss

Something that was never lacking in my childhood was blueberries. The entire field next to my house would bloom in the spring and bring forth a sea of blue and purple berries, so big and perfect that it was hard not to eat them right off the bush! So when I stumbled across this recipe on the Joy of Baking website for Blueberry Streusel Muffins, I had to try it!

So, I got together my ingredients:

In a measuring cup went the milk, eggs and vanilla extract to be whisked together.

In another bowl, the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt got combined.

Meanwhile, LMC's new biggest fan rolled his way into the kitchen perimeter.

Now, if you own a pastry cutter and have owned it for a while, you'll likely have forgotten the frustration of trying to complete the next step with two knives. For some reason, I've no pastry cutter to speak of, so there were several words spoken while cutting the butter into the flour mixture than cannot be repeated on LMC, lest we lose our family friendly rating!!

Take the butter and cut it into small pieces.

Then using a pastry cutter or *grumble* two knives, cut the butter into the mix. It should resemble coarse crumbs when it's fully incorporated. No word of a lie, I probably didn't incorporate it as much as I should have, but my oven was beeping impatiently and I wanted to move on without throwing the aforementioned knives!

Reserve 1 cup of this mixture for the topping later on.

Next went the blueberries and lemon zest into the flour/butter/doom mixture. If you've never done lemon zest, it's really quite easy. I surprisingly had a whole lemon on hand. Somehow, it survived the bottle of tequila that came and went through the house last weekend!! So, to make lemon zest, just rub the peel part of a lemon on that weird little side of the grater you never use for anything else. Ideally, you'll get some yellow and white parts of the peel in there!

Make sure to take it easy while stirring the berries in so the batter doesn't turn purple when you add the liquid!

Speaking of liquid, it's time to add the milk/egg/vanilla mixture from the first step!

 Don't stir too much or else the batter will get tough. It's a pretty thick batter, so an ice cream scoop will work perfectly when dividing it up among the cups! I was able to make 18 good sized muffins by equally dividing the batter with my standard ice cream scoop. Two spoons would work as well.

Now, take the previously reserved cup of flour/butter mixture and add the melted butter. Mix with a fork until it's well combined and crumbly. Put a generous tablespoon of topping on each muffin.

 Bake until lightly browned and enjoy!

These were SO good! They had a nice crumbly top and super moist center.

Go to the Joy of Baking for the full recipe and enjoy!!

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Happy Baking!