This was a big challenge of my baking abilities. I really learned a lot just from making these cupcakes.
First and foremost, prepping is my best friend! From watching all of the cake reality TV shows I have noticed how the bakers would prep before they would get started on actually making the batter. I think I have mastered this. The more you do before you bake, the easier the baking process (and cleaning process) is.
I also learned the value of reading the recipe. If you think you read it right, read it again. Just a note, because the smallest thing such as putting a heaping tablespoon of crushed graham crackers at the bottom of the liners instead of a heaping teaspoon makes a huge difference. Guess which one I did? Oooops!
Anyway, I have never made a cheesecake in my life. Let alone cheesecake cupcakes. But I have eaten “many a cheesecake” in my day (and will continue to do so well into the future). I decided to make these cupcakes because my friend Kim missed out on the Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day. She gave up chocolate (not Guinness) for lent so I wanted to make it up to her by baking something that is not on the lent list.
The batter was good to go! I folded the egg whites and the cream of tartar (which is a spice…didn’t know that. It sounds pretty gross until you meet one-on-one) into the cream cheese mixture fine. And aside from putting too many crushed graham crackers, I though I did pretty good. If you do make the same mistake just remove the cupcakes from the liners and serve them on a plate and no one will know of your inability to read, just mine!
If you have read my other blog entries you may have picked up on the fact that I have mini freak outs when making my cupcakes, i.e. thinking that the soup-like chocolate Guinness batter is not going to rise. Well, for these cupcakes my mini freak out was due to the fact that the batter looked like it cracked at the top so I just put them in the freezer to cool and hoped for the best. It turned out that the batter just puffs up and then sinks back down. Who knew? And I’m shaving years off of my life. Whatever. I just want to make mention of this so that only one of us is freaking out for the both (or all) of us. Just saying.
Now on to the Orange Sauce. I feel that cheesecake usually comes with one of two toppings, 1. Strawberry or 2. Raspberry. So I said eff that, I’m doing orange. And it was so.
Orange (Sauce) Observations-
Again some of these may see like no-brainers but in case you were unsure, this advice will serve as your confirmation.
1. Do NOT use concentrated orange juice. It makes the sauce come out terrible. I have heard and learned that “fresh” is always the better choice.
2. Also, having a juicer is very convenient (I’m sure because I didn’t have one). I juiced the old fashion way, if you will.
3. I added a little bit of water to my sauce and it made it a little diluted and not as sweet. My office fam is not into super sweet. You just have to know your audience!
4. To bring out the orange flavor of the sauce I also garnished the cupcake with little Cutie Mandarin Oranges to really up the “fresh” factor!