Come Hallowe’en, I become obsessed by all things pumpkin pie. Even though I make (in my opinion) the best pumpkin pie, the Clever Boyfriend and my nearby friends hate the stuff, and thus I’m usually left to eat most of the thing myself. This means I have to limit myself to making it once a year (I don’t want an entire pumpkin pie going straight to my thighs on a regular basis, you see…) and it becomes even more special.
Since not everyone is a fan of the traditional Hallowe’en pumpkin flavours (and those that are usually already have a favourite recipe), these little cakes are a great alternative. Their richness seems Hallowe’en appropriate, and the eggless base becomes a dark, fudgey (almost truffle-like) base which is offset nicely by the sweeter cheesecake top. And the best part? It impossible to eat more than a couple of these, so your thighs will generally be happier…
Bittersweet chocolate base:
190g plain flour
125g caster sugar
40g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
45ml vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar (you won’t taste this, but it is essential to react with the bicarb soda to make the cakes rise)
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g reduced fat cream cheese
60g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
100g dark chocolate chips
Cream cheese frosting:
150g reduced fat cream cheese
150g icing sugar (sifted)
50g butter (room temperature)
Preheat oven to 170c / 325f
For the chocolate base:
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and bicarb soda until combined.
In a separate jug, stir together the oil, vinegar, vanilla and 125ml water.
Slowly add the liquid mix to the dry ingredients, mixing constantly. The mixture will become very thick; continue to beat until all the ingredients are completely combined. If mixing by hand rather than electric beater, you may need to add a little more water to allow the ingredients to combine – do this by slowly adding 1 teaspoon of water at a time until you have a thick, fudgey consistency.
Spoon the mixture into a muffin tray lined with paper cases (each case should be 2/3 full).
For the cheesecake topping:
In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese, egg, sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate chips until evenly dispersed (do not overmix).
Scoop this mixture on top of the chocolate mixture (about 1 tablespoon in each case).
Bake for around 20 minutes, or until the cakes are firm to touch and the cheesecake has become golden (do not overcook as cheesecake will become dry).
Leave to cool slightly before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting: beat together the icing sugar and butter until the mixture is creamy and well combined. Add the cream cheese and beat until completely incorporated. Continue beating at high speed until the whole mixture becomes light and fluffy (about 5 mins).
Once cool, ice each cake with the cream cheese frosting (below) and a sprinkling of cocoa powder.
What are you making for Hallowe’en?
Love, Miss B xx