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What would it be like to have 3,000 years ahead of you — what would you do with the time?
When they weren’t fighting off the armies of Sauron and saving men, hobbits and dwarves from orcs, the Elves used the time that they were given perfecting the art of forging the finest swords in all of Middle-earth, stitching intricately embroidered banners and tapestries, and relaxing together as a community with fine food and friends.
When Bilbo first came to Rivendell he charmed the Elves with his extemporaneous poetry at their evening gathering at Elrond’s House, in the Hall of Fire. (This was on Bilbo’s adventure with the Dwarves to recover their wealth from the dragon Smaug.) Lucky for this Hobbit there were Elves who had perfected the art of cooking! They provided the community with such tasty morsels as these Black-Bottom Cheesecake Muffins to cap off a night of “spoken word” performances. And since Bilbo could go on and on into the night, obviously enjoying the spotlight and camaraderie, everyone must have gotten the munchies before he finally gave out and they could retire to their beds.
Chocolate is a universally adored confection, and this recipe is easy to like. While I believe I followed the directions correctly, I thought the cream cheese mixture was a little runny. It didn’t sink into the chocolate batter base like I expected it would. The result was fine, but I was expecting a creamier cream cheese center. I probably overfilled the muffin tins or perhaps my baking soda was a little close to its expiration date, but the muffins raised and then the tops went flat and crunchy.
I planned to serve them for a birthday party at work, but they didn’t look as good as I wanted. I had taken the suggestion in the recipe to double the ingredients for the chocolate base so there was enough batter after 12 muffins to make a 9 inch square cake. I spooned the cream cheese mixture into the cake same as directed for muffins, then swirled it around a bit for a marbled effect. But I got worried that it would be dry the next day, so I bought hot fudge sauce and, just before the party, I warmed up the cake and poured the hot fudge on top, letting it drizzle down the sides. We served it with triple vanilla ice cream and fresh raspberries!