This Saturday, my kids wanted me to bake something for them (usually, when it's not to busy I do some baking with my kids). Naturally, they wanted something sweet and preferably with chocolate. Now I love chocolate but I never fancy anything to overwhelmingly sweet. I looked at my fridge and tried to see what possible ingredients I have available and then I saw half a block of cream cheese that's waiting to be used. Suddenly, the Black-Bottom Cupcakes or Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes made a flashback and I thought why not re-visit the recipe?
So, I did some internet research and found this basic recipe that everyone seems to use and have used. I think this is similar to the one I found in the magazine and noted that I will make sure to lessen the salt content (it was truly overpowering to me). So basically, I used the recipe from allrecipes.com and just tweaked it to suit my available ingredients and followed a few of the advice I read from the comments there.
It came out great!!! It was gooey, moist and delicious! It's still not overwhelmingly sweet - which I love - and most of all - not salty at all! In fact, I made a mistake and put only a pinch of salt in the cake batter and never put any salt at all in the cream cheese filling. To be honest, that mistake turned out well - I avoided the over-saltiness of the original recipe (after all the original recipe is not too sweet) and my cupcake was just right - not too sweet and definitely not salty. If you want a sweeter version then use a sweeter chocolate. I only used the available semi-sweet choco chips in my pantry but next time I will use the plain or dark chocolate bar for a more intense chocolate flavor.
Other people have commented as well that the cream cheese filling in the recipe was too much for the batter so I used only half a block of cream cheee - after all I only really had half a block of cream cheese - but pretty much followed the measurement for the filling except the salt (totally abandoned it). Instead of just plain water - I added 1 teaspoon of ground instant coffee (I used the Starbucks ready brew) just to add more depth of flavor to the cake. I loved it - it didn't overpower the cake at all. I was also happy that the cream cheese filling actually sank at or near the bottom and yet you are still left with a cute creamy-white blob on top!
I use my regular Demarle Muffin pan for this which is bigger than the usual muffin tins - I divided the batter equally among the 12 cups - about half-way each cup and a rounded tablespoon of filling per cup. It was just right, but you may be able to make extra if you are using the regular muffin tins so adjust accordingly. Also it cooked at about 25-27 minutes because they are bigger than the regular muffins! But they came out so perfect as you can see in the photo!
Anyway, here it is. If you wish to try the original recipe instead, here is the link.
For the Cream Cheese filling
Half a block of cream cheese, softened at room temp (You can use an entire block)
1/3 c. sugar
3/4 - 1 cup chocolate chips
For the Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups Flour
1 cup white Sugar (I used the ultra-fine cane sugar)
1/4 c. unsweetened Cocoa powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
a pinch or 1/8 teaspoon Salt
1 cup water mixed with 1 teaspoon ground instant coffee (Starbuck Via ready-brew)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). If you are using regular muffin tins, line them with paper cups or lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
For the Cream Cheese Filling
In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg and sugar until smooth or there are no more lumps. Stop the mixer and fold in the chocolate chips ensuring that they are fully incorporated into the mixture. Set aside.
For the Cupcake Batter
For the cupcakes sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Whisk together until well blended.
Fill the muffin tins 1/2 full with the batter and top with a rounded tablespoon ( or a dollop) of the cream cheese mixture. (You can adjust the amount to your liking - add more if you want more cream cheese filling).
Bake at 350º for 25-28 minutes. Cool for 5-10 minutes and remove from pan.
Makes about 18 in a regular muffin pan and 12 exactly in a Demarle pan. Enjoy!!!
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