Sunday, July 5, 2009

Black-bottom cupcakes

Hello everyone, last night I was very lucky to be invited to dinner at the home of my friends Kirsten and Frank. They are both excellent cooks and they created this beautiful feast for me. While Frank was busy in the kitchen Kirsten and I had a drink at one of their fabulous local Balmain pubs, which was a nice way to start the evening. We then came home to Frank's fabulous rolled roasted pork, stuffed with apricots and ginger, with some beautiful glazed baby carrots and (they know the way to my heart), a lush dish of sliced potato with chopped bacon and brie cheese melted through it. Then this was followed up by a stunning orange tart that Kirsten made. It was all so good and I felt really special having this luscious dinner cooked for me.

This week's recipe is (literally) a really good party trick. I was looking for a cake recipe that I could do ahead and freeze as I wasn't going to be able to bake something fresh. I perused my Belinda Jeffery Mix And Bake and found this cupcake recipe, which I had actually seen Belinda demonstrate at a class some time ago. The cupcakes froze well and in serving them I went one better. I warmed them through in the microwave so that the chocolate melted, and served them with cream, announcing that I had made chocolate puddings. They were very pudding like and a great success for morning tea on a cold and frosty morning, so if you want to go one step beyond cupcakes, this is the recipe for you.

Have a lovely week. Love from Jane xx

Black-bottom cupcakes

Makes 10-12 medium sized cupcakes, or 6 larger ones if you use a 6 hole muffin tin

What you need:
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa (the better quality cocoa you use, the richer and more velvety your cupcakes will be)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

  • 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 200g good quality chocolate buttons or chocolate chopped into chunks

What you do:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Line either a large 6 or regular 12 hole muffin tin with paper cupcake cases (I didn't, and had some difficulty getting out the cupcakes, hence the whole pudding inspiration to hide their battered appearance).
  3. To make the topping, using electric beaters beat together the cream cheese and sugar for two minutes or until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg and beat until thoroughly mixed in.
  5. Stir in the chocolate and set aside the bowl.
  6. To make the cupcakes, combine the flour, bicarb soda and salt in a bowl.
  7. Sift in the cocoa and whisk using a balloon whisk for a minute.
  8. In another bowl, whisk together the warm water, vanilla extract, oil and vinegar.
  9. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the wet mix and stir together thoroughly but only until just mixed. If you over stir your cupcakes will be very chewy.
  10. Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases so they are about two thirds full.
  11. Scoop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture on top of each cake.
  12. Bake the cupcakes for 30-35 minutes (longer if you have done six large ones), or until a skewer inserted into the dark part comes out clean.
  13. Cool the muffins in the tin before removing and leave on a cake rack to cool completely.