COD: CHOCOLATE (How to make Black Bottom Cupcakes)


Growing up, having the opportunity to help out in the kitchen and create delicious treats was definitely considered a privilege. Fortunately, since moving out to attend school, I have had the pleasure of living with people that also love baking, and some who just like to eat the outcome. My bakery's (a tiny kitchen composed of myself and roommate Ellen) and our most popular and favourite production are the BLACK BOTTOM CUPCAKES. Though the title may not initially arouse a sense of attraction, I assure you that these little cakes are succulent and highly addictive to chocolate-lovers.

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2 1/4 cups of cold water

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

5 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 1/4 cups of sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

(For the filling)

1 egg

1/2 cup of sugar

8 ounces of cream cheese (room temperature makes it much easier for mixing!)

** Baking is a lot like chemistry. It is very important to follow the ingredients exactly to ensure the best possible outcome.
Keeping this in mind, our kitchen firmly believes that vanilla extract
and chocolate chip requirements should be always be doubled. This little trick, in every
recipe, always has a terrific and tasty outcome.

(For the vanilla frosting)

1 ½ cup of butter

3 ½ cup of icing sugar (fluffy sugar! Granulated sugar will make your frosting chunky)

2 tablespoons of vanilla extract



Step 1: Preheat the oven to
350°F. You will also need two
muffin pans. To be ensure that the
cupcakes don't stick to the pan, it always a good idea to line the pans with
muffin tins (most grocery stores have an interesting selection. Disney themed are always
acceptable). If you don't have
muffin tins, butter is a sufficient substitute, as it won't let the cupcakes
stick and even adds some flavor.

Step 2: Mix the egg, sugar and cream cheese together.
At this time, we also like to add a couple handfuls of chocolate
chips. Using a beater to mix this
together will make it much easier, as it needs to be beaten until smooth (doing
this part by hand takes a long time and is a bit of an exercise).

Step 3: Mix together all the liquids (water, oil, vanilla, vinegar).

Step 4: Using a large bowl, whisk all the other dry contents together (flour, cocoa powder,
baking soda, sugar and salt).

This part does not take long at all, but be sure to mix it evenly before
going onto the next step.

Step 5: Once all of the dry ingredients s have been evenly mixed, add the liquid combination
and stir everything together.

Step 6: The batter may be poured into the muffin trays once mixed. ONLY fill them a little though (about
half way), because it important to leave plenty of room for the filling and
then another layer of chocolate.

Step 7: Place the filled trays into the oven for about 26 - 30 minutes. To ensure that they are done, stick a
skewer in the middle of one of the cakes, and if it comes out clean is done!
Taking them out any earlier and the interior of the cakes will be runny and
relatively inevitable.

Step 8: The cooked cupcakes should be let to cool in their trays for about 10 minutes. Once they are manageable to touch, take
them out and place the cupcakes on a cooling rack. This process may seem frivolous, however this action ensures
that all the cupcakes don't stick to tray too much and also so that they dry

**Be sure that the cupcakes are room temperature and not even a bit warm before going on to the next step! Frosting warm cupcakes (or any sort of desert for that
matter) causes the icing to get really runny and watery. It won't look nice or stay on the cakes
at all.

Step 9: Using a hand mixer, beat the butter until creamy.
Doing this part by hand is almost impossible, as it will take a very
very long time. When creamy, add
the sugar, but only one cup at a time. 

This way, all the sugar won't lump together and make it more difficult
to properly mix. Finally, add the vanilla (the double vanilla rule may be applied at this time). A spatula and butter knife combination
(one in each hand) works best for this process; other kitchen utensils usually leave markings on the icing that hinder the beauty of the final product.

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