Monday, June 27, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cupcakes.

Back before I started blogging and my pants still fit, I made the most ridiculous layered cake ever: chocolate overdose cake- four layers of chocolate cake, chocolate brownie, chocolate mousse, and creamy chocolate ganache. 

And a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top. Just to even things out. 
Really, it's a wonder my pants fit any day.
Anyways. Rich, sinful, over-the-top, sugary-sweet, so-good-your-teeth-hurts chocolate cake. The kind of cake that makes of you want to spend the rest of your life five minutes on a treadmill. 
Which is sort of where these cupcakes come in. I know they look innocent and unassuming, nothing special here, just another fancypants chocolate cupcake, but... 
... did I mention they're stuffed with chocolate chip cheesecake?
Because they totally are. I hope that's okay.
Also: I ate these for breakfast today. I hope that's okay too.

Moist, rich chocolate cupcakes filled with rich spoonfuls of creamy chocolate chip cheesecake and topped with three-tone chocolate/vanilla buttercream swirls and chocolate sprinkles... these are hands-down the richest cupcakes I've ever eaten for breakfast made... and definitely the best.
If chocolate overdose cake and The Cheesecake Factory had a lovechild, it would be these cupcakes. If I had a treadmill, I would be on it right now.
If you need me, I'll be in cupcake detox until September.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cupcakes

Printable Recipe

3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/3 cup cocoa
3/4 cup hot, strong-brewed coffee
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cheesecake Filling
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces chocolate chips

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2-4 tablespoons milk
1-3 tablespoons cocoa powder, depending on color/flavor of chocolate frosting desired

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Place chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl and pour hot coffee over the mixture. Whisk until smooth and transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, 20-30 minutes.

Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk oil, eggs, vanilla, and vinegar into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until batter is smooth.

To prepare the cheesecake mixture, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add egg, vanilla, and salt and whisk until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Fill each cupcake liner about 1/3 of the way full. Add about a tablespoon-size scoop of cheesecake mixture, then spoon more cupcake batter over the top until cheesecake is covered and the liner is filled about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for 17-19 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare the buttercream frosting, beat butter and shortening in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt. Beat in confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, scraping down sides of the bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of milk; beat at high speed until light and fluffy. Add additional milk for desired consistency.

Separate frosting into three bowls, one for vanilla, one for dark chocolate, and one for the lighter chocolate color. For the darker chocolate frosting, I used about 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder until it was the color I wanted. Adding cocoa powder thickens up the frosting, so you might have to add a little more milk when you stir it in to keep it the consistency you want. For the lighter colored chocolate frosting, I used about a heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder. To pipe three-tone frosting, follow the tutorial here.

Makes about 15 cupcakes.

Source: Cupcake recipe from Cook's Illustrated, May/June 2010. Buttercream frosting recipe slightly adapted from Pillsbury's Fall Baking, #93.