Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Filling: Betty Crocker Style

Sometimes here at Bakers Anonymous, we like things to be simple and thought-free. Okay, all of the time, which is why I was so intrigued by the Betty Crocker FUN da-Middles cupcake mix. It may have a terribly cheesy name, but who doesn’t love the thought of a no-frost cupcake? And a cupcake with filling, at that!

The box comes with a package of mix and a packet of thick filling. There are three different varieties of the mix: chocolate cupcake with vanilla filling (which you see here), vanilla with chocolate filling, and vanilla with vanilla filling (apparently people like vanilla more than chocolate. So sad!).

According to the packaging, there are many great features of this cupcake mix!

Ah, natural and artificial flavorings. Yum. Note the warning in the corner - don't eat the raw batter! Like that's going to stop me.

The ingredients are the same as any other cake mix – eggs, water, and oil. The filling is pre-made, so there’s nothing to add to it. This mix only produces 12 chocolate cupcakes.

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place in the paper baking cups.

2. Prepare the mix according to the directions.

3. Carefully fill each of the cups about one-third full, making sure the entire bottom is covered.

4. Squeeze the filling package about 20 or so times to warm up the filling and make it squeeze-able. Evenly distribute the filling between the 12 cups, making sure that it DOES NOT touch the sides.

5. Layer the rest of the batter on top of the filling, and then bake for about 35 minutes.

6. Let the cupcakes cool before you bite into them. THE FILLING WILL BE EXTREMELY HOT. (Speaking from experience, here.)

These cupcakes are actually very moist and the cake is delicious, but while they may look like Hostess cupcakes minus the chocolate frosting and little white squiggly on top, the filling isn’t anything amazing or true vanilla tasting. I’d give these three stars for the ease of baking and the ability to taste delicious even without frosting!

Niki’s Note: I don’t think these Betty Crocker commercials have ever aired, but be sure to check out all three videos. They sure are weird!

Chocolate Mint Cheesecake: WARNING! slight failure ahead

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

Cheesecake

I joined a baking group.

Before I started this blog, I didn’t even know that such things as “baking groups” even existed. To say the least, keeping track of all of them is difficult, and completing the challenges successfully, even moreso.

Last month, I joined the Daring Bakers in the hopes that I would challenge myself to make exciting, new recipes and maybe even make some new friends along the way.

What I did learn is that being part of a baking group is difficult when you’re in college.

The recipe we were asked to make a cheesecake centerpiece, a recipe so kindly provided by Jenny Bakes. I took one look at the recipe and nearly cried. Three packages of cream cheese? Heavy cream?4 eggs?! Does anyone think about cholesterol or the fact I’m lactose intolerant?!

Sigh.

I changed some of the ingredients to match a Black Forest Cherry Cheesecake recipe I found in one of my cookbooks, and was planning to use a premade chocolate crust until disaster struck.

Crust disaster

It completely crumbled when I tried to move it to another pie dish. How was I supposed to know that was going to happen? After I hurriedly scrambled together some crushed chocolate chip cookies with the crumbs, melted some butter, and baked that for ten minutes, after which I flopped my cheesecake mixture into the completely unready crust and baked it for almost an hour.

There’s barely any mint flavor in this cheesecake, but at least the water bath kept it creamy. And it was the first time I ever used a water bath too.

Hmpf.

Chocolate Mint Cheesecake

Niki’s Note: Check out the April 27 post on Jenny Bakes for the original recipe. Try to make it yourself!

Ingredients:

2 packages (8 oz each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened

1/2 C sugar

1/2 + 1/8 tsp mint extract (even after I did this, it still wasn’t like, WHOA MINT. I’ll probably make this again to fix that)

2 eggs

2 C milk chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled

1 ready-to-use chocolate crust, 9-inch

(or, if your crust falls apart, use 2 C of crumbs and 1 stick of butter melted, plus 1 tsp vanilla extract to create a new crust. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 -15 minutes and then let cool slightly before pouring in mixture)

Directions:

Mixing1. Boil a large pot of water on the stove. At the same time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and mint until well blended. Add eggs; mix until well-blended. Stir in the melted chocolate.

3. Pour into the crust.

4. Pour the water into a casserole dish or other high side pan and place on the lower rack of your oven, OR place your pie dish directly in it. Make sure the water does not come up over the sides.

5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Extend the time if baking directly in the water bath.

6. Let cool on a wire rack, then place into the refrigerator for at least three hours.

Even after all of that, I couldn’t get a decent slice of cheesecake out. I don’t think I’m good at this. 😦

Slice of pie


Niki’s Postscript: I decided that the last thing I’m baking in my apartment this semester are sugar cookies that you’ll get to see tomorrow. It’s getting too hot in Glassboro, and in my apartment for that matter, to light up the gas oven, so from here out (and probably the rest of the summer), I’ll be making only no-bake desserts. Don’t forget to check back for dessert reviews, too!

Niki’s Post Postscript: I apologize for probably the ugliest photos I’ve put up in a long time. Cheesecake making in 80 degree weather is a BAD BAD BAD decision. Also, I’m not really sure why I’m posting the recipe I used. The cheesecake doesn’t taste bad, it’s just not minty.

Man, I’m weird.

Get your chocolate fix from Super Fresh!

Cake slice

Grammy and I are two peas in a pod when it comes to food shopping. We’ll run off in two different directions at any given grocery store, perusing aisles for tempting treats and, on some occasions, cabbage. This past trip to Super Fresh we picked up a few odds and ends, as well as an interesting chocolate loaf cake.

Chocolate cakeFor three dollars, Grammy and I purchased a double chocolate chip loaf creme cake (they came up with the name, not me) that looked to be quiet interesting.

The cake came in a white wrapper, to seal in freshness, I assume, and was kind of a nuisance to take off the cake. Especially when I wanted a slice right then!

The cake is fairly easy to cut, but crumbles easily. The room temperature cake was pretty good, though I did refrigerate a slice just to see if it were any better, and it was. Definitely eat this cake with a scoop of ice cream on the side! You can’t go wrong.

Don’t be fooled by the “double chocolate chip” name, however, because this cake could use another cup of mini chocolate chips. That could be my chocoholic side calling out, but hey, I’m allowed.

As a sidenote, I can’t recall tasting any creme in this cake. Maybe it was in the glaze?

Cake topDon’t want to leave your house for some loaf cake? Try this out!

Quick Facts:

Serves: about 6 decent-sized slices

Cost: $4.00

Best served: cold, with a scoop of ice cream

Tastes like: Moist chocolate cake with a hint of chocolate chips

The Ginger Ale experiment

Raw ginger root

Raw ginger root

“I wonder what a ginger ale cake would taste like?” I said to my beloved boyfriend one chilly afternoon in the car.

“I don’t know, honey, good?” he responded.

Two days later, he came home to tell me that his latest writing assignment for Rowan’s magazine “Venue” was to cook an entire meal with ginger ale, even making his own ginger ale to drink. He also admitted to completely stealing the idea from my musing of ginger ale cake.

What a jerk.

We then journeyed to our favorite Shop-Rite to purchase ingredients for our ginger ale experiment. While I’m only posting the recipe for ginger ale cake, my boyfriend did make two variations of ginger ale – one without yeast and one with yeast.

Ginger Ale Cake

Green ginger ale cake

Ingredients

One box white cake mix (NOTE: mixes require eggs and oil, so make sure you have both!)

2 C ginger ale – we used Schwepps, but I prefer Canada Dry

1 small tub of Cool Whip

1 packet of lime JELL-O

Directions

1. Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box. Substitute the ginger ale for the water in the mix. I poured my cake batter into a nine inch Springform pan and baked it by the directions on the box.

Lime-flavored Cool Whip2. While the cake is baking, scoop out the Cool Whip into a mixing bowl. SLOWLY mix the JELL-O gelatin into the Cool Whip. DO NOT MIX IT ALL IN AT ONCE. The powder has a very strong flavor to it and will make your frosting grainy if you use too much.

3. Put the frosting in the fridge to chill while the cake cools. Frost the cake evenly; the frosting should go on smoothly.

When I made this cake, I used all the JELL-O powder from one packet. It made the frosting so sweet that I can only eat one piece at a time. On the other hand, the cake came out really moist.

We’ll see what my boyfriend thinks. 🙂

slice-o-cake