Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Black Bottom Cupcakes

I seem to have a real problem with the concept of en mise.  For those of you not familiar, en mise is the French cooking term for "everything in place."  Basically, it means, get all your crap out on the counter before you start your project so that you aren't swearing into your bowl of cupcake batter because you are out of cocoa powder.  Yeah.  That happened.  Like three times this past weekend.

Luckily, I don't live in the middle of nowhere and was able to trot off to the grocery store and solve my problems.  Also luckily I hadn't added the wet ingredients to my batter yet.  

These cupcakes are delicious on their own, a chocolaty cupcake topped with creamy cheesecake batter.  But, because I believe frosting-less cupcakes are probably one of the seven deadly sins, I topped them with some chocolate buttercream.  Also, they were kinda ugly naked.  Probably someone could make them look all nice and flat and not cracked, but I am not that guy (see: how to fix an ugly cake).

Black Bottom Cupcakes

makes about 19 cupcake (annoying, I know)
adapted from Cooking With The DeKalb WHFM

Cake Batter

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (I use Hershey's)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil (I used peanut, you want a neutral oil)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (I used apple cider, but white vinegar will work too)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 

In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, and baking soda.  In a separate bowl, mix together water, oil, vanilla, and vinegar.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine.  The batter will be fairly thin.

Cheesecake Batter

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

Beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.  Add in sugar, beat to combine.  Add in egg and beat until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Line your cupcake pan with cupcake papers.  If you don't want to use cupcake papers, grease your cupcake pan really well.  Spoon cake batter into the cupcake papers until they are about 1/2 full.  Add 1 heaping teaspoon cream cheese mixture on top of cake batter.  You may have more of one kind of batter.  I ended up baking 4 plain chocolate cupcakes because I ran out of cheesecake batter.  They were also tasty.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Allow to cool and frost if desired.

Note: I burned the daylights out of the pan I placed on the top rack so I would advise not to use the top rack.  Place your rack on the second to the lowest setting in your oven.

Fudge Buttercream

  • 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1-2 pound bag powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6-7 tablespoons milk or water to thin
Beat butter until smooth and fluffy.  Add in vanilla and beat to combine.  Slowly add in cocoa powder and powdered sugar.  Add in milk or water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.  I use a fairly stiff consistency when I am going to use a piping bag.  Enjoy!


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