We had a chocolate emergency here last week. Apparently, someone (Craig) was still going through one of his phases where if there isn’t some kind of chocolate baked good in the house, everyone (the poor dog and myself) have to suffer. In our house suffering at the hands of one of Craig’s cravings involves incessant whining, huffing, pouting and an overall crabby demeanor. So, in order to keep the peace, and my sanity, I bake.
Words of Wisdom:
Let me just interject another bit of advice (after all, this is a website dedicated to helping those who are trying to gain the advantage in the dating/relationship pool over all the other individuals out there). Instead of telling your significant other or desired significant other that their hands and feet aren’t broken and they can go to the bakery or grocery store to get something to eat. Or worse, just getting into an argument over the whole thing, take a look in your cupboard and see if you’ve got anything you can make that will satisfy the craving. This doesn’t even have to be something from scratch. When those boxed brownie, cake or cookie mixes are on sale I usually buy a couple for just such emergencies. Feeding your significant other a warm, just out of the oven brownie (even a boxed brownie) raises you up a level you can’t even imagine. If you want to get fancy with the boxed brownies…sprinkle some chocolate chips on top when you throw them in the oven or add some nuts to the batter.
Back to the recipe at hand. So I had just received the latest issue of Gourmet magazine and found a chocolate cake recipe that I was dying to try. The more I looked at it, the more I thought I could have some fun with it by adding a swirl of cheesecake to it. Because the basic cake wasn’t decadent enough. And our local diner occasionally makes these incredible chocolate cheesecake muffins. I fully intended to make this recipe into muffins, but by the time I started making it (at 9:30 p.m.) I got lazy and made it in a loaf pan. It worked out fine, but making these into muffins would have been perfect.
My version of Gourmet Magazine’s Dense Chocolate Fudge Cake. This cake will serve 8-10, but as muffins you could easily get 12 regular size muffins out of it.
- 1 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 3/4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- Slightly Rounded 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 7 Ounces of Chocolate (minimum 60 % cacao), Finely Chopped
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter
- 3 Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten
- 1 Cup Buttermilk
- 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
For Cheesecake Swirl
- 12 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened and Cut Into Chunks
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
Combine in a food processor, or use a hand mixer, until well blended: the cheesecake ingredients. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit, with rack in the middle of oven. Lightly butter pan then dust with flour, making sure that the bottom and sides are completely covered. If making muffins, you can butter and flour each muffin or use paper liners and skip the butter and flour step.
Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Melt chocolate, with butter, in a 2.5 – 3 quart heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat, stirring as it melts. (Be patient, this will take a few minutes. Do not turn up the heat to make it go faster.) Remove from heat and whisk in eggs and buttermilk until smooth. Whisk chocolate mixture into the flour mixture, then add sugar and whisk until mixture is smooth. Pour into buttered pan/muffin tin and lightly bang on the counter to eliminate air bubbles.
The time you need to bake the cake depends on the type of pan you use. If you use a loaf pan, like I did, it will take 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Muffins will take 12 – 15 minutes (for regular size muffins, not those jumbo things).
If using the loaf pan, bake for 1 hour and remove the partially baked cake to the counter. Using a spoon to break through the thin crust forming on top, trace a line down either side of the middle. Then spoon the cheesecake batter into the line you just created. Put cake back into the oven and continue baking until cake is gently pulling away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
If using a muffin tin, bake for 7 minutes and remove the partially baked muffins to the counter. Using a spoon, break the thin crust forming a bit of an indentation on the top of each muffin. Spoon one tablespoon of cheesecake batter into each muffin. Put muffins back into the oven and continue baking until cake is gently pulling away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.