For the cheesecake filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
For the muffins:
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup milk, divided
1½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil or melted butter (3 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the optional streusel topping:
1 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons sugar
Prepare the cheesecake filling. Mix together cream cheese, sugar and eggs until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 16 muffin cups with paper muffin cups.
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate with ¼ cup of the milk. Stir together flour, baking soda, sugar and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine oil, egg, vanilla and melted chocolate. This can be done by hand or in a mixer using a paddle attachment. Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the remaining milk. Mix just until combined.
Spoon half of the batter into the prepared muffin pans. Place 1 tablespoon of cheesecake filling over batter. Top each with remaining batter. Alternately, you can put the muffin batter into a large disposable piping bag and the cheesecake filling into another bag to fill the muffin cups neatly.
If you are using the streusel topping, combine sliced almonds with sugar and sprinkle over muffins. Bake 25 -30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool a few minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a rack.
Serve within a day or freeze in an airtight bag or container.
Most muffins can easily be altered to lower fat. Just substitute each whole egg for 2 egg whites and half the oil or butter for applesauce. Bake as directed and store airtight.