Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer Bucket List 2012.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Black Bottom Cupcakes.

This summer I'm all about celebrating the little things.

You know... those everyday moments that flit by like fireflies. Those little magical moments that make summer... summer
Like eating kettlecorn for dinner. 

And watching every Harry Potter movie.

Getting lost in a good book and buying a new summer dress.

Aquarium dates and finally paying off your credit card

Sparklers. It will always be about sparklers.

It's about searching for that perfect first apartment. 

And wondering where the Christmas tree will go.

It's about summer bucket lists. (Make banana bread! Go to the drive-in! Have a picnic! Bake with berries!)

And finding artwork on somebody else's car. 

And sometimes? 

Sometimes it's about baking cupcakes on the hottest day of the year.

Moist chocolatey devil's food cupcakes stuffed with rich chocolate chip cheesecake. 

Are these on your bucket list? Because they totally should be.

They're similar to the cheesecake-filled cupcakes I made last summer... but instead of baking the cheesecake in the centers, it's spooned right on top of the cake batter, giving it a fancy-looking top that doesn't need to be frosted and a creamy rich, cheesecake center.

And... they look like muffins. So you can totally get away with eating cake for breakfast. 

Doing summer right!

P.S. Here's a tip for baking cupcakes without burning the edges and sides.

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Cheesecake Filling
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup miniature chocolate chips

Cupcake Batter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with foil liners and set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy. Stir in chocolate chips; set aside.

In a larger bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking, and salt until combined. Make a well in the center and add the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Stir together until thoroughly combined.

Fill muffin liners 1/3 full with batter. Top with a heaping spoonful of cheesecake filling. The more the better!

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until done.

Makes 21 cupcakes.

Source: All-Recipes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How to bake cupcakes without burning the bottoms.

Let's be honest: sometimes real life is not pulling twelve perfect chocolate cupcakes out of your oven. 

Sometimes it's wanting cake for breakfast, following a recipe's bake-time exactly, and still ending up with cupcakes that burn on the sides and bottoms before they're done in the middle. It's the worst... because no matter how much vanilla frosting you layer on top, once the bottoms are burnt, the whole flavor of the cupcake is ruined. 

Can I share a baking tip I recently learned? 

All those cupcakes need is a little extra something between the baking pan and the heat source to protect the bottoms and sides from burning while the centers finish baking. You could set your pan on a flat baking sheet, but I always have trouble with burnt sides and edges so I was taking no chances. 

I double-panned it!

And it worked!

Simply set your filled cupcake pan inside an empty cupcake pan and bake for the normal amount of time.

And boom. Consistent, perfectly-baked, unburnt cupcakes. Seriously, this simple tip has taken all the stress and uncertainty out of baking cupcakes. Which is the way it should be.

And if you're thinking cake for breakfast... the answer is yes. Always. 

Double-pan it!

P.S. Find these cheesecake-filled cupcakes here