Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mol's Birthday Cupcakes

Tomorrow we are celebrating Mol's birthday. I am really looking forward to it. W and I asked her what kind of food and cake she wanted; her request would be met. Her answers were easy: bagels, and ice cream cake.

I love baking, and would have loved to make her a cake, but I too am an ice cream cake person so I understand her request. Last night, though, while sitting on the couch leafing through Fine Cooking's Party Food & Cocktails 2010 issue, she found something that she liked, and wanted for her party. Excellent!

Her request matched her sister's, which is nice because that means that they both wanted to try it. Johnny's on the fence about it, but that's alright. I wanted to share the recipe with you and see what you make of it. Mixing it was easy, and the cooking time seemed about right, but when I tried to peel away the muffin wrap (on my test cupcake), the inside bottom of the cupcake was like a mousse. I ended up baking them another 7 minutes, and still the inside is too moist. I added about a teaspoon of chocolate extract, and a tablespoon of vanilla extract, which may be the problem. Perhaps the recipe is too delicate for such an addition. I put it in for 5 more minutes (a total of 30 minutes in all).

I doubled the recipe, so maybe somewhere in the process, I screwed up. I'd love for you to try it out, and give me your feedback. If only I'd made two separate batches, I might have learned from my mistake. Oh wait! I have more cream cheese. I'm going to go make another batch. Hang on... (I'll be back in an hour.)

This time around, I followed the recipe exactly. The cupcakes took an extra few minutes to bake than the recipe said, about 22 in all, but they worked. I realized that over greasing the muffin cups was part of the problem, and I probably shouldn't have added the vanilla or chocolate extract. Too much liquid. Though once I thoroughly baked the first batch, and then put them in the refrigerator to set, they worked. Lots of trial and error but okay in the end.

Drizzling the chocolate over the top has been a challenge, as well, so I think for this last batch, I am going to put it in a pastry bag to drizzle.

Personally, I am not a big fan of cheesecakes, and I will say that these definitely taste like a chocolate cheesecake. So if you like cheesecakes, these are worth making. And if you try the recipe, please let me know what you think.

mini bittersweet chocolate cheesecakes 
Fine Cooking's Party Food & Cocktails 2010
makes 6 cupcakes

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/3 c sugar
4 oz. chocolate (bittersweet or semisweet), chopped, divided, and melted
1 large egg

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to just 300*F. Line 6 standard muffin tins with foil liners and gently grease with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes/ Add the sugar and 3 oz. of the melted chocolate. Beat on medium-low speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the egg and mix until just incorporated. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups.

Bake until the centers of the cheesecakes barely juggle when nudged, 15 to 18 minutes. Set the muffin tin on a rack to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve or for up to 3 days (or freeze for up to 1 month). Just before serving, drizzle with the remaining 1 oz. melted chocolate (rewarmed, if needed).

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