Friday, May 04, 2007

Back In Action

Hey y'all! As I sit here writing this it really sinks in to me how long it has actually been since I blogged - since I've been able to blog. I haven't abandoned my blog out of sheer laziness or even lack of desire to share recipes. I've been ill - I'm not talking a bad case of the flu ill. I spent months in the hospital, sometimes not knowing if I would make it home, and as I finally turned the corner on the road to recovery, I spent weeks aching to be home, wondering when the day would finally come. I don't want to go into further details, but believe me when I say I thank the Lord for each new day - now more than I ever have. And I'm so glad to be back on my feet able and wanting to be in the kitchen.

Last Friday night was the most fun I've had in the kitchen in a very long time. A friend came over so I could help her bake cupcakes for her boyfriend's birthday party. I can proudly say I'm often the person my baking-challenged loved ones turn to for help when they want to show lovin' with something from the oven. The verdict from the party-goers was that our Cream Cheese-Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes from "Chocolate & Vanilla" by Gale Gand, were a hit. We certainly enjoyed them during our tastetest! The cupcakes were incredibly moist and rich with chocolatey goodness. My only complaint was the tiny amount of cream cheese filling in each cupcake. I would definitely repeat this recipe, but next time I would double the cream cheese filling recipe. The frosting recipe made a HUGE and I do mean huge batch. We had a ton leftover.

Cream-Cheese Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes - batterCream-Cheese Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes - fresh from the oven

Try these out and let me know what you think!

Cream-Cheese Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes - iced and ready to eat!

Cream Cheese-Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes

for the filling
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

for the cupcakes
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 c. hot water
3/4 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. instant cofee crystals (optional)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

for the chocolate frosting
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. superfine sugar
1 1/2 c. cocoa powder, preferabley Dutch-processed
Pinch of salt
1 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. instant coffee crystals (optional)
1/2 c. sour cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

To make the filling, in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl often, and then blend in the egg yolk and vanilla. Add the sugar and chips and mix for a few seconds on low to fold them in.

Preheat the oven to 350. Line 2 (12 cup) muffin tins with cupcake paper liners.

To make the cupcakes, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a large measuring cup, combine the water, oil, vinegar, instant coffee, and vanilla. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined (don't worry if there are a few lumps).

Fill each cupcake liner two-thirds full of batter. Drop a heaping tsp. of the cream cheese filling into the center of each.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cupcakes have puffed on top and are firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the tins.

To make the frosting, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Stir in the sugar, cocoa, and salt. The mixture might look grainy or sandy and this is fine. Whisk the cream and instant coffee into the cocoa mixture and cook over low heat, while stirring to dissolve the sugar grains. The mixture should get hot to the touch but never simmer or boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Let cool until the frosting thickens an becomes spreadable, about 1 hour. If it seems too thin, stir in some powdered sugar.

Remove the cupcakes from the tins. Spread the frosting on the tops of the cupcakes.

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Comments on "Back In Action"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:34 AM) : 

Sorry to hear you have been so ill, but thrilled you are now better and back to baking. Those muffins looks simply divine, will be giving them a go.


Blogger Ziz said ... (8:32 AM) : 

yay yay! I'm so glad to see you back!

I'm so sorry to hear that you were ill though. :( I hope you are doing loads better.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:46 AM) : 

I'm so glad you are on the road to recovery.



Blogger Sarah Caron said ... (7:32 PM) : 

Hey there! I am so glad to hear that you are feeling and doing so much better. And those cupcakes? They look delicious!


Blogger Cate said ... (11:02 AM) : 

Nice to see you back - hope you're feeling better!


Blogger Unknown said ... (5:49 PM) : 

Jaay's back...YAAY! These look awesome! So tell many did you eat when they first cooled?...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:06 PM) : 

I was wondering where you'd disappeared to...Glad to hear you're better and looking forward to more of your baking adventures!


Blogger sandy said ... (10:22 AM) : 

Those look sooo good.

Sorry to hear you have been sick. Wondered why no updates.

Glad you're better.



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