A Southern Grace: bewitching black-bottom cupcakes

April 7, 2008

bewitching black-bottom cupcakes


The word "bewitch" isn't used enough in everyday speech. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard it used out loud until I watched Pride and Prejudice the other day.

"You have bewitched me, body and soul."

Call me sappy, call me a romantic, call me a girly-girl (all right, don't call me a girly-girl), but that line made my heart flutter and has apparently lodged itself in my head.

That, my friends, is why I've dubbed these cupcakes Bewitching Black-Bottom Cupcakes.

In addition to giving me an excuse to use the word "bewitching" and reveal my fondness for mushy love stories, these cupcakes are also the first of many dandified dessert experimentations to come. (In case you've forgotten, I'm making the desserts for my cousin's wedding reception this summer.)

The tried-and-true recipe I used comes from the splendid David Lebovitz, and as expected, it worked like a charm. These little beauties are practically a shoo-in for the reception (assuming they're approved by the bride) because a)they're delicious (clearly the top priority), b)they can be made two or three days in advance, and c)no refrigeration is required. They're also really easy to eat. Trust me, I know. That's an important part of this testing process. :)

Bewitching Black-Bottom Cupcakes
The Great Book of Chocolate, David Lebovitz
Yield: 24 mini + 6 regular cupcakes

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 ounces chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used dark chocolate with cranberries, just to mix things up and make them a little different)(it was a nice touch)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the filling, beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the chopped chocolate pieces. Set aside.

Adjust the rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line mini-muffin tin with paper muffin cups.
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients, stirring until just smooth. Stir any longer and you will over mix the batter and end up with less-than-tender cupcakes.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups. (I went about half-way full for each.) Spoon a dab of the filling (less than a tablespoon) into the center of each cupcake, dividing the filling evenly. This will fill the cups almost completely, which is fine, but don't get too generous.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and the cupcakes feel springy when gently pressed.

Since this recipe has been made time and time again and simply will not fail (knock on wood), I'm sending it over to Giz and Psychgrad at Equal Opportunity Kitchen for their first blogging event, appropriately named Tried, Tested, and True.

What a great theme--the round-up will be an awesome collection of go-to recipes.


Anonymous said...

Bewitching they are! Are you sure it's not American by birth, Northern by the Grace of God? I am a Yankee living in the South working my way to becoming a Southerner. My plan, learning to cook Southern for a year while waiting for God's call. I'll be back soon, great site!

LyB said...

We should use that word more often, shouldn't we? I might try it out on my better half tonight, see if it gets his heart a-flutter! :)

Meanwhile, those cupcakes are amazing, I made them a while back and had I started using the word, I'd have called them bewitching too!

Melanie said...

You make me laugh! I love the bewitching cupcakes...and I love that line in Pride and Prejudice, too. I'm bookmarking the recipe - they look divine!

PG said...

They look like a perfect yin and yang of cupcakes.

Thanks for the great submission to Tried, Tested and True!

Roni said...

Why oh why do you torture me like this!?!? LOL

They look FABULOUS!

Tabby said...

Those look delicious! I'm sure they will be a big hit at the reception!

test it comm said...

Those muffins look great. The cream cheese in them sounds really good!

Anonymous said...

Oh Wow! Those look unreal!

Pixie said...

Great entry and those cupcakes look delish!

Anonymous said...

i love black bottom cupcakes! thank you for the reminder: this is the perfect use for the cream cheese in my fridge, leftover from an icing disaster!

RecipeGirl said...

They do look bewitching. I'd like to rent that movie again. I was just browsing through a cookbook last night and a recipe similar to this one caught my eye!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Those are some very sexy cupcakes. They look really tasty and I love the filling!

Emily said...


Anonymous said...

those look amazing... you always have to love the word bewitching... I might try it on my kids tomorrow to see how they react.

eatme_delicious said...

Oh delicious!! I've been wanting to make cupcakes like these.

Gigi said...

They look sensational! I just got the book in the mail yesterday. These will definitely be on the bake list!

Aimée said...

That reminds me, it's almost time for another Ladies Tea/Pride and Prejudice movie marathon. Love that movie...loving these cupcakes.

Jescel said...

Hi Grace. I'm your partner for the Taste and Create...This would be my first time. I will do this recipe..your pics made my mouth water! I hope I'll be sucessful with it..

Anonymous said...

These look positively... bewitching! Wonderful photos, too!