Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chocolate Cheesecake Muffins

Photo by Jennifer Stahl

It's that time of the year again, BIRTHDAY TIME! - I wish there was a way to prepare ahead for these, but each child at kindergarten pretty much has free reign in deciding what they want for their Birthday Brunch, so I'm kept in the kitchen a bit more than usual in May and June.

Today's recipe is Chocolate Cheesecake Muffins/Cupcakes. I say "Muffins" because that is what cupcakes are here in Germany. The only thing "muffin-y" about them, is their shape.

This recipe is not Paleo or GAPS, as I'm not sure if I could convert this one due to the fact it's the first time I've made it, and the chocolate batter has to be a bit runny. I'm not certain that a cup and a half of almond or hazelnut flour would lend to that as easily as my all purpose flour mix.

I do want to note that if you are baking this item in the UK or in the rest of the EU, you will need this guide to help you change over the measurements. And, as I mentioned in my previous post, I use something that's between Bette Hagman's All Purpose Flour Mix and Carol Fenster's General Baking Mix #1, which can be found here at CSA Celiacs Helping Celiacs.I'm sure whatever gluten free flour mix you are using with this will be fine.

I made minor tweaks to the Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes from Nestlé Tollhouse, in that I used 1 teaspoon (US) of guar gum, and I did not have any (and do not use any Nestlé products) chocolate chips from the United States.  I did however have a box of Schokoladen Raspeln (Grated Chocolate) and a few small chocolate chips from a gluten free cake mix that I didn't use. I also did not cover the cupcakes with any melted chocolate. I felt like that was overkill for a tiny brunch where my kids are sure to eat their two cupcakes + a little bit of their breakfast and be sugared up until lunch at One O'clock.

As far as recipes go, this was a rather simple and straightforward recipe. The only issues I personally have with it, is that the recipe does not really separate the directions into "This is for the chocolate cake" and "this is for the cheesecake". I had to read the recipe three times to be sure that all the ingredients were there and what they were being used for specifically.  That can be frustrating to new bakers, but for an INxJ, who trends towards the slightly perfectionist side, it is quite annoying.

Since I have only one Kitchenaid Mixer Bowl, I made up the chocolate cake mix first, and poured it into a liquid measuring cup. I figured this would lend to easier pouring into the cupcake molds.   My hunch was correct, and I'm terribly sorry I did not take a photo or two of these steps. My oldest was running around and asking if I was making "muffins" and whether he could have one, as well as whether I could turn on Disney Junior for him, so finding the camera was the least thing on my mind other than how I'd get these done in time, their lunch packed and them changed all before 9 o'Clock, when we should be in the kindergarten saying hello to his teachers.

The step of semi-melting the chocolate actually took two times microwaving at 30 seconds each in our microwave. So, keep that in mind - it will depend entirely on your chocolate and your microwave as to how quickly this part would be done.  I was a bit skeptical about it coming together with the cheesecake, but it did!

I did end up in a slight quandry wondering how to get the cheesecake into the cupcake molds, since there were no hints in that direction on the recipe. I decided that using a small ice cream scoop (this one: WMF 1881876040 Eisportionierer 4,5 cm) was probably the best way to go. If you're careful about how you measure it (not heaping scoops), it will spread cheese cake to all of the cupcakes. I was not careful and two of them are only chocolate.

The only thing that I would change in retrospect, would be to re-mix the chocolate batter with a spoon prior to pouring. I did end up with some extra chocolate bits in the bottom, so I spread those on top of the last remaining cupcakes and popped those in the oven while I was dressing the children.

All in all, I had the cake mixed in about 30 minutes, and it filled around 20 cupcake molds. I cooked them separately in the oven on top-bottom heat at 180° (350°F) for 18 minutes for the first batch, and 20 for the second. 

Photo by Jennifer Stahl
Isn't that lovely?  This was still cooling when I took this photo, but I did go ahead and try it after the photo was shot. YUM! 

I haven't as of yet put the cupcakes into the refrigerator, but they will be going in there soon. They've only been finished for the last thirty minutes.  I did try a piece after taking this photo, and it is very tasty. Not too sweet, not terribly bland or unsweet either. Definitely something for the person who isn't keen on cakes that are on the sweeter side like my last blog post on Coconut Cake.

For the dairy free among us, I've heard that you can use silken tofu (the very spreadable sort) to replace the cream cheese. In the United States there is a soy alternative for cream cheese, but I've not found anything like that here.  I'd not tried making cheesecake with silken tofu, so perhaps that is something I can try in future for those of you out there that need that option.

I hope this recipe is something that you also enjoy, and that you now know that making something like this isn't complicated or worth a panic attack over. (Believe you me, I've been there!)  I'm not sure when I'll be making this again, but I am saving this for future birthday or party ideas for the kids.

If you have any questions, feel free to pop them in the comments and I'll do my very best to answer them.

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