I haven't posted a recipe in a while, but, trust me, this one is totally worth the wait. Technically, it isn't a recipe of my own, rather that of my wonderful baker friend, Hannah. Hannah and I started our friendship at work and we quickly bonded over our love of cake (amongst other things). As you know, I love baking, but Hannah is next level. Her creations are utterly stunning; her attention to detail whilst baking and decorating is second to none, and a skill which I can only dream of ever having! She's so good, my manager asked her to make her wedding cake for her! The highlights of our working day were always made by Han bringing her latest baking concoction into the staff room; from strawberry daquiri cupcakes to gooey brownies, each bake never fails to wow us. When I left this workplace a month or so ago, Hannah kindly baked me these chocolate cheesecake cupcakes as a leaving gift. A mixture of the Hummingbird Bakery 'black bottom cheesecake cupcakes' recipe and Hannah's own adaptions, this recipe is perfect for any sweet-toothed chocolate lovers! I think the name and photos speak for themselves really!
Ingredients: (makes 12)
For the chocolate batter
190g plain flour
120g caster sugar
60g cocoa (sieved)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
50ml sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar (type of vinegar is very important! Make sure you get this kind)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 3 teaspoons of vanilla essence)
For the cheesecake mix
120g cream cheese
60g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting (optional- not used in this batch)
50g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
300g icing sugar
125g refrigerated cream cheese
1. First things first, preheat your oven to 170 degrees centigrade (325 farenheit, gas mark 3). Mix together all of the dry ingredients for the chocolate cake batter (flour, sugar, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda) in one bowl until they form the texture of fine breadcrumbs. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, add in the wet ingredients (oil, vinegar, water and vanilla) and stir until combined.
2. Preferably whilst using an electric whisk or kitchen aid (although this, of course, is not essential...good old elbow grease will do the job!), slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl, adding it bit by bit to ensure everything gets combined perfectly. Stop every now and then to scrape down the sides and ensure that no bit of batter is left behind! Mix again for 1 or 2 minutes. Add this cake mixture to your cupcake cases.
3. In a new bowl, beat together all of the ingredients for the cheesecake mix. This mixture should end up looking fluffy and smooth, although it doesn't matter if it goes a bit creamy- just ensure the cream cheese is fridge-cold before adding. If too warm, the mixture will curdle. If you want to be super fancy, indulgent and chocolate-y, sprinkle some white or dark milk chocolate chips into the mixture!
4. Blob this cheesecake mixture into the cupcake batters, creating a nice marbled effect. Pop them in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until they are firm to touch and a skewer comes out clean. The cheesecake should puff up a bit and start to turn a gorgeous golden-brown colour. Pop the individual cupcakes onto a cooling rack and voila! Once they are cooled down they are ready to eat.
5. If you're feeling really adventurous, you can top these cooled cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting. This added extra is great if you're giving this cupcakes as a present or just want to show off! Mix the butter with the sieved icing sugar until it is thick and breadcrumby in texture. Add the cold cream cheese to this mixture and beat with a mixer or whisk, being careful not to over-beat (after 5 minutes the mixture may become a bit runny). Spread the icing over the cupcakes as you desire, and (as Hannah instucts) eat one immediately as you, the baker, deserve one after your hard work!
If you want to check out more of Hannah's mouth-wateringly fabulous creations, please check out her Instagram page (or follow her @hannysbakery). You can also find her on Facebook here. If you want to go one step further and order one of her magical creations to try for youself or for events, do send her a message on Facebook!
Let me know if you try this recipe (or like the sound of it!) in the comments below.