Monday, 31 January 2011

Black Bottom Cupcakes

I'm more excited about my new plate than I am about these cupcakes. Do you like it? I'm always on the look-out for pretty plates for my photographs but I don't very often see individual plates - even the charity shops usually sell sets, or part sets, which they don't want to split. So I was quite excited to find this Doulton tea plate from the 1930s, looking forlorn on a shelf, surrounded by unrelated bric-a-brac - not a matching cup in sight! I just couldn't leave it there, could I?

The cupcakes are a different matter. One look at the online recipe and photograph will pinpoint the main problem - the recipe says scoop out the cheesecake mixture; mine was pourable! In consequence, instead of the chocolate sponge rising round the cheesecake blob, the cheesecake spread over the top, and looked like a frosting when baked. The recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, and it's the second recipe I've tried which has been disappointing.

The second potential problem, for me, was that the chocolate sponge base was one of those eggless mixtures, raised by the action of bicarbonate of soda on vinegar. I didn't realise this until I'd reached a point of no turning back, and I was quite worried, as the last time I made one of this type of cake it was so awful we had to throw it away! Happily, this batter rose nicely and didn't taste too bad - just a few random air-pockets to spoil a photograph!

Like Choclette, I had a problem with the consistency of the chocolate batter and had to add more water - about 30mls, which is quite a lot extra on 125mls. I also didn't bother with the frosting - it doesn't  really fit in with lowering the fat content of things!

Although CT was happy to eat these, Hubs didn't like them, and I don't think I'll be making them again - or not from this recipe at least. I still like the idea of these, but would like to find a recipe which works better, and a reason why my cheesecake mixture turned liquid.


12 comments:

Foodycat said...

Did you use full-fat Philadelphia? I have found that using other brands (Marks and Spencer I am looking at you) or reduced fat can make a cheesecake mixture much runnier.

snowy said...

I've tried 2 recipes from the Hummingbird book and they've not been successful. Sorry I can't help with why the cheesecake was so runny. Maybe it was the cheese, as Foodycat says? I love your new plate.

Suelle said...

I used full-fat Philadelphia, Foodycat, but it was approaching it's use-by date. I don't know if that could affect things? I haven't directly compared this recipe to any others yet, so it may just be a dud recipe!

Snowy - I sometimes wonder if commercial bakery recipes run into trouble because they are just scaled down by arithmetic, rather than being tested in a domestic kitchen.

Chele said...

So glad I read your post!! I was just flicking through that book an hour ago and was tempted to make the recipe but opted for a red velvet cupcake from another book. I find the Hunmmingbird book isn't that reliable, I've only made a couple of recipes from it but neither have been show stoppers! I'd give them another go Suelle, but maybe try a different recipe. Cute plate though ;0)

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

well they look good to me... I'm constantly having rising issues (this sounds a LOT more pervy than it's meant to!!!) and many cup cake failures... I guess just try another recipe another day!

Suelle said...

I think you're both right, Chele and Dom, I should just move on to another recipe. I will, sometime!

Hazel said...

What a shame because I think they are possibly the greatest cupcakes of all time, despite being rather difficult to make! I have struggled with recipes from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook too. Beautiful plate. I love collecting unique plates, cups and saucers too :)

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

They look really good and moist..it's sad that you weren't 100% happy with them though.

C said...

I've been tempted by those cupcakes too - the picture in the book is good, but sadly doesn't really reflect what you get. I've definitely had mixed success with that book. A couple have worked well, but there have been a couple of disasters that make me wary of trying the more unusual recipes. I also think that most of the recipes have an unusually high proportion of sugar in them, or is it just me?

Your plate is lovely. I'm constantly on the lookout for accessories to improve my photos, not that you'd know it from the end results!

Suelle said...

C - even though many of the recipes are high in sugar, I really love the basic buttercream recipe, which tastes much lighter than the traditional recipe usually used in the UK.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to see this post... i made these at the weekend, the looked like yours do on top (not like the book!) but my sponge was terrible..... not spongey at all! The taste ok,but not great, but I would not give them to anyone except the family and I think I will throw the rest of the batch away :-(
I make brownies from this book all the time and several other good things.... but this was a disaster!

Anonymous said...

so glad to find this post... i made them at the weekend, look like your top picture but middle was not spongey at all! very disappointed :-( Wasn't sure what i did wrong... my cream cheese mixture was also runny and I def did not over mix it.
I make the brownies and cookies from the book all the time and they are delicious!