Black bottom cupcakes

I like cupcakes. I especially like cheesecake. This recipe, therefore, appealed to me – combining both together in one cake. Another innovative cupcake solution from the guys at the Hummingbird bakery!

The chocolate sponge base is a dark, dense mixture, which strangely has no butter or egg in it. It combines well with the cheesecake centre though, which provides the extra sweetness and goo. The recipe suggests you might want to put some cream cheese frosting on top. I didn’t think it needed it, but it’s always an option if you want it even more sweet.

THE RECIPE

190g plain flour
120g caster sugar
40g cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
40ml sunflower oil
1½ tsp white vinegar/lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla extract

For the cheesecake filling:
140g cream cheese
60g caster sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
100g milk chocolate chips

a 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases

Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. For the chocolate sponge base, put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl and mix with a handheld electric whisk on slow speed until all the dry ingredients are well incorporated.

Put the oil, vinegar, vanilla extract and 125ml water in a jug and whisk to combine. While the electric whisk is running in the flour bowl, slowly add the contents of the jug, increasing the speed of the blender as the mixture thickens. Continue to beat until all the ingredients are incorporated. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full. Set aside.

For the cheesecake filling, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla extract and salt in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until smooth and fluffy. Don’t start of too quickly or the mixture is likely to separate.

Stir in the chocolate chips by hand until evenly dispersed. Don’t overmix.

Scoop about 1 tbs of the cheesecake filling on top of the cupcake mixture in the cases and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are firm to the touch and they have an even golden colour on the cheesecake filling. Don’t overcook, as the cheesecake will become dry and crumbly. Leave to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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Chocolate cupcakes – let’s keep it simple

Not much to say on these really – they are cupcakes and they are chocolate. And they’re nice and quick and easy to make, with lots of lovely butter icing on top.  I’ll add that they feature an extra special devil’s food base – although I personally think I could have ramped up the chocolate flavour a bit more.

I would have liked to make them look a bit more sophisticated and sprinkle silver bits or chocolate things on top but, well – I didn’t have any so had to do with the multi-coloured sprinkles and marshmallows. Sophistication will come next time perhaps.

THE RECIPE
100g plain flour

20g cocoa powder

140g caster sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

40g unsalted butter

120ml milk

1 egg

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the frosting:

300g icing sugar

100g unsalted butter

40g cocoa powder

40ml milk

Preheat the oven to 170C (325F).

Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter slowly until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together and then slowly pour half into the flour mixture. Beat thoroughly to combine and get rid of any lumps. Pour in the remaining mixture and continue mixing slowly for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.

Spoon the mixture into paper cases (I used 12 muffin cases) until two-thirds full and  bake for 20-25 minuutes or until the sponge bounces back when touched.

When cold, spread the chocolate icing on them and decorate with whatever you can find! Mmmm!

For the icing: beat the icing sugar, butter and cocoa powder together until they all come together and are well mixed. Add the milk a couple of tablespoons at a time. Once all the milk has been incorporated, continue beating for a further five minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy (this is when my cake mixer came in very handy! And I would definitely agree that the longer you beat it, the fluffier it becomes).