Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Black Bottom Cupcakes

For those chocolate lovers out there.  Chocolate cupcakes with a tasty cream cheese and chocolate chip filling.

Be sure to use cupcake papers when cooking as these babies will definitely stick to the pan no matter WHAT you do.

Black Bottom Cupcakes

  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 oz chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 tbsp salad oil
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Pre heat oven to 350.  Line 18 muffin tins with papers.

Beat the cream cheese, egg and sugar together until smooth.  Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.  If you don't like the extra chocolate overload, you can leave out the chips. 

Make batter.  In a medium bowl mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt.  In a smaller
bowl or measuring cup mix the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla.   Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Fill the paper cups 1/2 way with the batter.  Top each one with a heaping 1 tbps filling.  Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

Bake for 25 minutes.   Let cool before eating as they will be very gooey in the middle with melted chocolate.

Super easy recipe.  I've made these from this recipe for over 40 years and have no idea where I got it fro originally.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Apple Upside Down Cake and The Perfect Moment

The other day I had a perfect moment in an already pretty good day. 
You know.... one of those moments when you realize that everything is GOOD. Despite what you hear, it can be good. Things are fine, peaceful, calm and happy. When you are suddenly thankful for the moment. For the small things that make life worthwhile. When everything somehow comes together to create that moment of perfection.

I was making this cake.  The rest of the perfect day post is at my other blog Dust Bunnies of the Mind.

Here is the recipe.  It turned out fabulous!!!   My husband is already requesting a repeat performance.

Apple Upside Down Cake
  • 8 tbsp butter softened (really soft)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large Golden Delicious apples
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal (Martha White is the best brand!)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 9 inch cake pan or spring form pan
  • parchment paper or waxed paper
Grease the sides of the cake pan.   Cut a 10 inch circle from the paper.  This will allow the paper to go up the sides of the pan and cling.  Fit the paper into the pan and butter or grease the paper.

Peel and core the apples and cut into thick wedges (about 1/2 inch in width).

Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl.   Put the cornmeal in a larger bowl, that you will be mixing the batter in.

Beat the eggs and vanilla together in another small bowl and set the 1/3 cup of milk on the counter to get a bit war.

I know!!! Lots of bowls and stuff to clean up later.  BUT. I  find that having everything pre measured and ready to go saves time and makes easier to do a new recipe.  I don't have to keep referring back to the instructions as often or make a mistake in measuring.  In addition having all the ingredients (eggs and milk) at room temperature when baking seems to make the cake or bread rise better.

Melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a frying pan on medium heat.  Add 1/2 cup of sugar and stir for a few minutes. (Don't let it become caramel!!! Otherwise you will end up with candy when you put in the cooler apples. I found this out the hard way. ) Add the apples and toss in the butter sugar mixture and cover. Let cook on low heat for 5 mintues or so, stirring occasionally.  Remove the lid and gently stir and cook the apples for 5 to 8 minutes more letting the sugar syrup begin to thicken.   Cool slightly and place the apples and syrup in the lined cake pan, arranging them neatly.

Pre heat the oven to 350

Pour the boiling water over the cornmeal and quickly stir and add the butter while the mixture is still hot.  Beat until well blended.  Add the eggs and beat again.  Stir in the flour alternating with the milk and beat well after each addition to make a smooth batter.

Pour over the apples .   Bake for 40 minutes or until a tester in the middle of the cake is clean.   Cool on a rack for 5 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge of the cake. I invert onto a plate and carefully remove the parchment.


Because I used apples from our own orchard, they were small.  Instead of taking time to try to quarter the peeled apples, I just stand them on end and slice them vertically near the core ending up with 4 pieces and a square core left over.  SO much easier.

The first attempt at the caramel turned into chunks of apple flavored candy and didn't coat the apples as the original recipe suggested.  Ah well.   The candy tastes pretty good and I made apple sauce with those apples.

I like a spring form pan instead of a cake pan.

It may take longer than 40 minutes in your oven depending on how your temperature is calibrated.  I know my stove and set the temperature to 375 for 45 minutes.  Just keep testing  :-)

MARTHA WHITE yellow cornmeal is the best for baking.  It is finely ground and makes the most fluffy.....not gritty.....cakes and corn bread.   I buy several bags at a time and keep them in the freezer.   A must for cornmeal, or polenta to keep the bugs at bay.      I also keep my flour, nuts, semolina and oatmeal in sealed packages in the freezer for the very same reason.