The minute I saw this recipe over at The Kitchen Sink I knew I wanted to make it. I love the combination of chocolate and cream cheese and have always meant to try more black bottom baked goods. Originally a Dave Lebovitz recipe, the recipe calls for a sweetened cream cheese topping over chocolate cupcake batter. And over at The Kitchen Sink, you can see Kristin’s cupcakes came out as intended and are very lovely.
I made one tiny, necessity-induced change and it changed my cupcakes from black bottom to surprise inside cupcakes. I ran out of light brown sugar and so had to use half dark brown sugar. I have no idea if this was the problem or I am just doomed when it comes to “landscape cookery,” but as you can see my cupcakes have no black bottom. instead they are black all over; the cream cheese topping became a cream cheese center.
Despite this snafu, the cupcakes were pronounced divine at my dining table. I asked if they were so good as to be blog-worthy despite not being black bottom at all? The resounding answer was yes–and truthfully I agree. These are really, really good. had I been making them for guests I just never would have said that they were black bottom anything!
The Great Book of Chocolate, David Lebovitz
Yield: 12 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 a 12-cup muffin tin, or line the tin with paper muffin cups.
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.