This was the first recipe of a 3-recipe evening. That may sound like a lot of baking and time spent in the kitchen. Well, it was. However! I can already see that as I grow more familiar with baking, I’m spending less time worrying about the next step. I’ve learned that “most of the time” I need to mix the dry ingredients, then prepare the wet ingredients, then cream the butter and sugar (if there is any butter, which most often there is), and so on.
I was looking forward to this recipe most of all. When I saw this incredible ball of thick chocolate batter come together in the mixing bowl, my genetic predisposition toward chocolate happiness went into overdrive.
Then I had the pleasure of pouring big spoonfuls of liquidy cream cheese + chocolate chips on top of this into the muffin cups.
And it turned out beautiful to behold (for which I’m truly grateful), but only OK in terms of ultimate cupcake quality. I accept full responsibility for the just-OKness. Detours? Learning?
I made a connection to prior learning. Huh? I was so afraid of the cream cheese stuff being poured on top and put into the oven. I couldn’t imagine how it was going to go well. But I trusted. I had to. Experts told me to. So I popped them into the oven, and this is what came out:
At this point I remembered that American bakers put cream cheese into the oven all the time – Cheese cake, duh. All but a couple of these were eaten. I know that for some, this was the favorite of the three treats at the library. But it wasn’t so for me. FLAVOR: excellent, TEXTURE: cupcake correct, MOISTURE: on the dry side.
No mistake made(?), yet something else learned. Risk having a gooey cupcake rather than one that is too dry. Why? Maybe it’s just personal. I can’t stand a dry cupcake. I deal much better with goo. But, hey, that’s not learning. That’s just preference. Where’s the learning? It’s in the detour. I’ve said before that I under-bake by a minute or two most everything put into my oven. I and my friends have noticed before that the standard issue oven in our houses cook hotter than what they read. Add to that, Magnolia mentions on page 6 of Helpful Hints that some ovens may be as much as 25 deg. or more too hot. One should use a thermometer to find the true temperature of the oven. I read that before baking this batch. I will test the oven before moving forward — and I’ll let you know what’s up.