Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes

"Not your best work." - G

I got home at 10 PM a couple of nights ago, and decided I wanted to make dessert. I didn't have enough ingredients for anything besides cocoa-flavored powdered sugar, so I walked over to the grocery store and picked up eggs, cream, even peanut butter baking chips. The one ingredients I ended up not having enough of? Chocolate chips. Chocolate is the one constant in almost every dessert I like. Never again will I dismiss the importance of buying a fresh bag of chocolate chips.

Temple of Doom Cupcakes

I decided on this recipe for cream cheese chocolate chip cupcakes, because I thought forgoing frosting would make it both easier to make and easier to take to work. I halved it, because who wants 18 cupcakes lying around if it's only going to be two people eating them? Tip: when a recipe calls for ingredients like 1 egg, or 1/8 tsp salt, or 1/3 cup sugar, you better make sure you have the ability to measure half of those things before starting. I did not. The results? Kind of terrible. Edible, but barely. Neither of us even wanted to lick the bowl. They look cool, though, so I took pictures!

It's like a peanut butter rockslide/sinkhole.

The ingredients, halved:

4 oz. cream cheese
1/6 cup sugar
1/2 egg
1/16 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I only had 1/4)
1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Cupcake batter
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1/6 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp vinegar (the original recipe calls for white vinegar, and I only had apple cider vinegar - not sure what the difference is)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

The culprits

1) For the filling: Beat the cream cheese. Be annoyed that you need to get 4 oz. from a partially-empty 12 oz. tub of cream cheese without a kitchen scale.
2) Add the sugar, egg, and salt. Mix well. (I used a mixer for this part.) Be annoyed again that all of these ingredients pose measuring issues. Out of over 10 measuring cups and spoons, you have only a 2/3 cup measure, and no 1/3 cup measure. Each of my cups has a halfway marker, so I would've been able to measure 1/6 of a cup of sugar easily from a 1/3 cup. Instead I roughly converted to tablespoons. And 1/16 tsp of salt? Also not available. Half an egg? That was approximate, to say the least.

Eggs, sugar, and cream cheese...
turn into eggy, sugary cream cheese.

3) Fold in the chips. Kick yourself for not getting a bag of chocolate chips, even after considering it at the store.
My insufficient amount of chocolate chips...

plus peanut butter chips...

turn into this.

4) Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix it up with a spoon. I'm still using up the cocoa powder that was left behind by J, the old roommate, and I should have sifted it first. I ended up with very small clumps that couldn't be completely exterminated after mixing.

Cocoa powder bra

5) Add in water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Watch it bubble.

Ahh, the smell of vinegar reacting with oil. Wear a mask next time.

6) Mix well. The original instructions don't specify if this step needs an electric mixer, but I used a wooden spoon.

7) Fill 9 muffin cups halfway with the batter, then top with the cream cheese filling. The recipe says to add 2 tbsp, if you want to be exact. I just underestimated, and dumped some more in all of them at the end so they looked even,

The artistic process is quite delicate...

and requires constant editing.

8) Bake at 350ยบ for 25-30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan. Do NOT make my mistake and test them by sliding a toothpick into the middle to see if anything sticks. The filling takes much longer to bake, so by the time the toothpick came out clean from it, the cupcakes had been in the oven for almost 40 minutes, and the outside batter was dry and unappealing.

The filling gets all splattery.

It's pretty cool, even if it doesn't taste good.

The Leaning Tower of Cupcake

If I tried to make these again, I would make the following changes:
1) not halve the recipe, which make everything more complicated than it needed to be
2) measure everything before starting, which I should do every time I bake
3) measure what I think I have before going to the grocery store, again, which I should do any time I bake
4) sift the cocoa powder, as mentioned previously
5) use a wetter cupcake recipe, so there will be less of a disconnect in baking times between the filling and the cupcake
6) soften the chips before folding them into the cream cheese
7) go all chocolate with the chips, instead of using some peanut butter chips

Basically, I would only use part of the filling recipe, and throw out the cupcake batter part completely. I'm finding that cupcake recipes with vinegar aren't my favorite. I found another version of these from a comment on the original post that talked about making black-bottom cupcakes, and that post had much more detail about what the process should be at each step. I might use that as a guide.

Farewell, poorly-cooked cupcakes.

No comments:

Post a Comment