There were two things that inspired me to bake this Sunday, when to be honest I was feeling a bit out of sorts.
The first reason was my Kitchenaid Mixer which was a birthday present from my darling husband. Bought for me on the condition that it would get plenty of use. The second reason was the fabulous Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook; a birthday present from Diana and Sacha.
1 quantity cream cheese frosting (optional, see following recipe)
for the chocolate sponge base:
for the cheesecake filling:
140g cream cheese
60g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
100g milk chocolate chips
a 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas 3. For the chocolate sponge base, put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl and mix with a handheld electric whisk on slow speed until all the dry ingredients are well incorporated.
Put the oil, vinegar, vanilla extract and 125ml water in a jug and whisk to combine. While the electric whisk is running in the flour bowl, slowly add the contents of the jug, increasing the speed of the blender as the mixture thickens. Continue to beat until all the ingredients are incorporated. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full. Set aside.
For the cheesecake filling, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla extract and salt in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until smooth and fluffy.
Stir in the chocolate chips by hand until evenly dispersed. Don’t overmix, otherwise the cream cheese will start to split.
Scoop about 1 tbs of the cheesecake filling on top of the cupcake mixture in the cases and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are firm to the touch and they have an even golden colour on the cheesecake filling. Don’t overcook, as the cheesecake will become dry and crumbly. Leave to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the cream cheese frosting on top and decorate with a light sprinkling of cocoa .
Cream cheese frosting
Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes.
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold
Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy- for at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
The frosting is an optional treat as you can see that without it, the cakes still look absolutely delicious.
Piping the frosting with my ‘third’ reason for baking… using my new Wilton 1M piping nozzle for perfect spirals.