Don't ask me how I managed to stumble upon a website called "Cooking For Engineers". I think I had googled "Dirty Rice" and it was listed as having an explanation. Things escalated from there. I still think it's a hilarious concept, cooking for engineers. The good part, that I've discovered so far, is that the few recipes I've read over come with explanations about the "why" of cooking/baking. Hurray! I have one of those brains that is always wondering why.
I thought I'd make this recipe as a lark. I try not to bake much because I'm usually the only one eating the goods, and ingesting a lot of baking would most likely accelerate the secretary spread process that I am already constantly fighting with my sedentary job. Luckily, I was invited to a games night at my friend Carmen's place tonight so I had a good reason to try this recipe. I can lick the beaters and foist the rest on my friends. We all win! If they like the cupcakes, I might even get asked back some other time.
As recipes go, this one is dead easy, aside from the extra step that my anal-retentive self took in using my beloved kitchen scale to measure out the EXACT weight of required cream cheese. I was pooling 3 different sources, and each of the complete sources weighed 250g. Using two complete resources would have been too much weight (would it have mattered?), but since I'm baking for other people, I thought I'd go exactly by the recipe for the first time.
I softened the cream cheese and used room-temperature eggs. I read somewhere that was a good idea. Sorry to say, but I used the artificial vanilla since I'm trying to get rid of it. I also used Splenda instead of sugar so that if my friends become diabetic after tonight, I'll not be to blame. I happened to top my cupcakes with mandarin orange segments because then I get to eat the rest of the tin of oranges, yum!
I'm not a big cheesecake eater. In fact, I almost never eat it because I find it so very rich. My favourite dessert is fresh fruit and I'm not saying that to make the sweets cravers feel bad. Ask my mom; I've loved fruit since I was wee. Since I almost never eat cheesecake, I've never made it before, and I figured little cheesecakes like this recipe would be a good starting point. That, and no one at the party has to feel that they need to be the first to cut a piece from a giant cheesecake. There's also less to dispose of in this format if you don't like it. Ties in well with my cupcake obsession of late too.
I must admit that, at the time of this posting, I haven't actually sampled the final product. I did lick the beaters a bit, but wanted to deliver the goods intact to Carmen's party. That, and I haven't eaten dinner yet. I'll try to get a review from the girls to post here later.