Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Black-Bottom Cupcakes

I love muffins. I especially love the muffin's crust, the best part of the whole thing, and the sole reason for making them. I always eat the bottom first, saving the crusty top for last. Oh, and I always break the top in half to eat it inside-out, really saving the best for last.

I rarely make cupcakes, though. They are always so sticky, messy and sometimes difficult to eat that I never feel compelled to make any, despite the fact that they're almost always delicious. These black-bottomed lovelies are, as you might have suspected by now, an exception.

Chocolatey? Check!
Mess free? Check!
Easy to make? Check!

I originally made these cupcakes for Daniel and his co-workers last summer. I used to bake almost every day back then (oh, those were the days...) and since I always made more than the two of us could handle alone, I donated most of it for the afternoon fika at his office. I would always feel satisfied when Daniel came home from work telling me how one of them had eaten so much he got a stomach ache, saying It was worth it! It was probably just as well he only worked during the summer, or all of them would have gotten too fat to move.

Black-Bottom Cupcakes by David Lebovitz, via Leite's Culinaria


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


Beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the chopped chocolate pieces. Set aside.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


del said...

Ah yes, I remember these. They induced a heavy after-lunch coma in the entire finance programming team. Sure was worth it, though.

Aran said...

ooohh... rich, rich, rich!

angelica said...

...and good, good, good!

Tartelette said...

They look positively wonderful!

Kim said...

My mom makes this at Christmas time. They are so good. Thanks for reminding me about them. Great photos!