Because A Friday Treat is the Perfect Way to End the Week!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Chocolate Cheesecake Muffins

This week found me enjoying one of my frequent visits to Durham to see the boyfriend and as per usual we found ourselves visiting our favourite cafe. I’ll be honest, it’s not a great cafe but we’ve been going there since the very early days of our relationship and now it’s kind of a habit. Anyway, this week during our visit we shared a blueberry cheesecake muffin. That’s right; blueberries...cheesecake...and muffin. It was great! What more could you want? Oh wait, what? Chocolate? Ok then - chocolate cheesecake muffins.

When I first started coming up with the idea for this recipe (during our coffee date...a lot of our conversations end up being about cake), I was thinking about making a separate cheesecake mix and adding this to the muffins. And then I thought, that sounds like a lot of hassle, particularly when there is that great chocolate cream cheese that is essentially pre-made chocolate cheesecake that I could just use instead. I say chocolate Philadelphia is great and hopefully in this recipe it is, although I have to admit that to begin with I was very wary of it. It looked weird. Anyway, I then stayed at my sister’s house one day and she had a tub of it and a handy packet of digestive obviously I experimented and put them together and then I saw the light. Instant baby chocolate cheesecake. So yes, maybe chocolate cream cheese does seem a little weird when you first come across it but it’s ultimately chocolate cheesecake filling in a tub and therefore very useful, particularly in recipes like this one.

Now, the eagle eyed amongst you may feel like this recipe seems a little familiar and that may be because it’s essentially the same recipe I used for the dark chocolate and ginger muffins I made many moons ago. I’ve used the same recipe and adapted it ultimately because it’s a great basic muffin recipe that works – why mess with success?

In summary, I feel like cream cheese muffins are the way forward. Maybe they’ve been around for ages and I’m late to the party but they are my thing of the moment so if you’ve never tried one, have a go at this recipe! It’s really quick and easy and looks fancy enough with its magical combination of cheesecake and muffin that anyone you serve it to may be under the impression that you are a culinary wizard. Enjoy!!

Some final things before you get started:
  • As with all and any muffin recipe, keep all mixing to a minimum. When I say stir until just combined, I mean it! As you can see from the pictures of my mixture, it’s pretty lumpy and horrible looking but that’s exactly what it should be like. Don’t try to make it smooth...don’t do it!
  • My trusty ice-cream scoop which I usually use to pour my batter into the muffin tins has been abandoned with this recipe because of the layering of the mix. This potentially means that your muffins are not all the same size and therefore as aesthetically pleasing but never mind! They’re delicious.
  • With this recipe, I’ve only used white chocolate chips and so the muffin batter itself does look a little anaemic but this is what it’s supposed to look like! If however, you’re insane and not a white chocolate fan, do use whichever chocolate you prefer.
  • Finally, please experiment with this idea and recipe! I’m only just starting to think about the combinations that you could come up with in the cheesecake muffin genre. Fruit and chocolate cream cheese? Maybe raspberries? Fruit and normal cream cheese filling? Have a play and use whatever ingredients you prefer! As I said, for this recipe I’ve used my basic go-to muffin recipe so if you do want to experiment, just stick with the basics and add the flavours of your choice!

 Chocolate Cheesecake Muffins

Makes 12

350g Plain Flour
Pinch of Salt
2 tsp. Baking Powder
½ tsp. Bicarbonate of Soda
160g Caster Sugar
70g Unsalted Butter (melted and cooled)
270ml. Buttermilk
200ml Whole Milk
1 Egg
½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
200g White Chocolate (roughly chopped)
150g Chocolate Cream Cheese (e.g. Cabury Chocolate Philadelphia)

12-Hole Muffin Tin

1)      Preheat the oven to 170◦C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add the caster sugar and stir together briefly.
2)      In a large jug, combine the melted butter, buttermilk, milk, egg and vanilla extract. Whisk together until combined.
3)      Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The mixture should still be lumpy. Add the roughly chopped white chocolate to the batter and briefly stir until evenly distributed throughout.
4)      Fill each muffin case with 1 tbsp. of the muffin mixture. Onto this, place 1 tsp. of the chocolate cream cheese. Cover this with 1 tbsp. more of the muffin mixture and swirl together briefly with a skewer. Finally, top each muffin with ½ tsp. of the chocolate cream cheese and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden brown.
5)      I’m not going to say cool before serving...if you eat them still warm from the oven then I will not judge you! Enjoy!


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