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Guest Post: Katie C’s Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

August 14, 2011

In preparation for our weekend camping trip to the Sunshine Coast, Allie asked me to make a “delicious dessert” to add to our already impressive camping spread.  Because our car would be filled to the brim with camping gear, and because we would have access to minimal refrigeration over the weekend, whatever I made would have to be able to withstand these wears and tears of the camping experience.  I needed something that was small, durable, and easily portable.  Cupcakes seemed to be the answer to our dessert dilemma.

However, when one thinks of cupcakes, one’s mind inevitably turns to the picturesque cakey delights made famous by boutique bakeries such as Vancouver’s own Cupcakes by Heather and Lori, or my personal favourite, Pink Sugar Cupcakery in Victoria, B.C.  Sadly, this breed of cupcake is almost too beautiful and delicate to eat, let alone lug along on a three-day camping expedition in a trunk full of tarps and tent poles.  What I needed was a far less pretentious cupcake; something hearty, without the customary sky-high piled icing, sprinkles, appliqués or designer flavours that we’ve become accustomed to during the current cupcake renaissance.  I needed a cupcake that got back to its roots – the cake itself.

After much deliberation, it was these chocolate cream cheese cupcakes that ended up being the perfect answer to our camping dessert needs.  Sans-icing, they still managed to satisfy our craving for cupcakes with their delectable mix of dark chocolate cake, chocolate chips and baked cheesecake marbled throughout.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did, huddled together in my four-person tent in the middle of a wicked West Coast rainstorm.

Adapted from a March 2009 Bon Appétit magazine recipe on Epicurious.com:

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Filling:

1 8-ounce package cream cheese (don’t blend the cream cheese straight out of the fridge; make sure it gets to room temperature-ish so that it’s soft enough to blend smoothly)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Cupcakes:

Part 1:
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda

Part 2:
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, melted, warm
1/2 cup milk (the recipe calls for whole milk, but skim, 1% or 2% are also fine)

Cream Cheese Filling:

Using electric mixer (or strong arm muscles), beat softened cream cheese in medium bowl. Add egg, sugar, salt, and vanilla and beat until almost smooth. Fold in chocolate chips.

Cupcake Batter:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin pan with 12 paper liners. Whisk “Part 1” ingredients together in small bowl. Set aside.

Now onto the “Part 2” ingredients. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs. Stir in vanilla and melted chocolate; beat at high speed 5 seconds.

Finally, beat in “Part 1” dry mixture to your “Part 2” chocolate mixture alternately with milk. Beat the final combined mixture together on high for 5 seconds to blend.

Assembly:

Divide the chocolate batter among cups, filling them 1/3 full.  Place 1 heaping tablespoonful cream cheese filling in each center, then cover the remaining 1/3 with more chocolate batter.

Bake cupcakes until toothpick inserted into center (but not cream cheese filling) comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pan; cool completely on rack.

Katie C is one of the old UBC English Lit crew and met Allie and Katie F at an infamous pub night three years ago. She has been an excellent fellow cook and happy eater ever since!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Hélène permalink
    August 14, 2011 5:13 pm

    omg these cupcakes were so delicious. I want to eat them all over again!

    PS. Camping food with all you guys is so great.

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