Friday, 22 June 2007

Night and Day Cupcakes

This, like the cream cheese brownies, uses my favourite combination of densely sweet and smoothly sharp - Nigella Lawson
What a change from oat cakes hey! Back to the tried and true chocolate cupcakes (well, clearly not these particular ones, I've never tried them before, but you know what I mean). I do like a cupcake - a single serve size of moderate amount, portable, and very easy to eat. The problem is, how do you stop at one!

The verdict
Unusual or substituted ingredients - nothing particularly unusual, except perhaps for the cream cheese icing, which you wouldn't ordinarily expect on a chocolate cupcake. But as Nigella says, it adds a nice dimension to the sweetness of the chocolate (particularly given the loads of icing sugar added to the cream cheese, which sweetens it quite a bit).
I'm not sure if it is proper cooking etiquette to do this, but I pretty much always cube my butter and soften it in the microwave - otherwise it is never soft enough to blend properly (I always forget to take it out of the fridge hours before I'm going to be cooking!) - am I the only one who does this?

Special cookware or utensils - none, except a food processor - this is a very easy recipe, pretty much bung it all in the magimix and whiz until blended. Ok, it's a little more complicated than that, but not much! As always, Nigella suggests using a muffin tin. She must have very small muffin tins. I used a patty cake tin and got the recommended 12 cupcakes, plus two muffin sized ones. If I'd used a muffin tin, I think I would only have got 8 altogether - not enough for a work morning tea, which is what these were for!
Repeatability - I would definitely make these again - nice light cupcakes, not too rich or heavily chocolate but luscious enough with the cream cheese icing to feel special.
Sauciness - mmmm, I enjoyed scraping the food processor bowl clean on these babies! (who doesn't, when they cook cakes?!). With the icing, I made only half the recommended amount, which was plenty for all of these cupcakes, unless you like your icing an inch thick!

Nigella recommended decorating with a chocolate coated coffee bean, or shaved dark chocolate. Not having any coffee beans on hand, and not feeling like I could be bothered with shaving dark chocolate, I was pretty happy to leave these as is. And I think they worked perfectly just so!

Overall pleasure level - both the cooking and the eating was good on these. I'm giving them an 8.5!