Saturday, 27 March 2010

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

Anyone notice a trend in the desserts I make?? That's right - chocolate. This recipe was brought to my attention when the Food Network tweeted about it on Twitter. It's nice to know that site is actually good for something! I haven't made a lot of cupcakes from scratch, but these are by far the best tasting cupcakes I have ever made! They were also simple, which I always appreciate! I'm usually not a huge fan of alcohol-flavored cakes and candies, but the flavor is really subtle in this recipe. They were incredibly moist and not too sweet. The icing is sweet, but since the cake isn't overly sweet it works well. Also, the cream cheese compliments the chocolate nicely. I usually make cream cheese icing with butter, but this recipe uses heavy (double) cream instead. I preferred this over the butter recipe and I'll be using it again.

For best results, if you're making them for a special occasion then make them the day before. They'll taste even better the next day.

Here is the original recipe from the Food Network and I've also typed it out for you below.

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

¾ c unsweetened cocoa (I used Green and Blacks), plus more for dusting the finished cupcakes
2 c sugar
2 c all-purpose flour (plain or cream if in the UK/Ireland)
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 bottle (12 oz or ¾ of a pint) stout beer*
1 stick (½ c) butter, melted
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs (medium if in the UK/Ireland)
¾ c sour cream or crème fraiche
8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened to room temperature
¾ c heavy cream (double if in the UK/Ireland)
1 lb (450g) confectioners' sugar (icing sugar if in the UK/Ireland)

Preheat the oven to 350°F/170°C (fan assisted).

In a large bowl whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients in with the wet ones.

Lightly grease 24 muffin tins or use idiot-proof muffin cups like I did! Divide the batter equally, filling each tin ¾ full. Bake for about 12 minutes, rotate the pan, then bake for an additional 12-13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out, or if in a muffin cup pop them out and cool on a rack. Cool completely before icing.

To make the icing: In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. On low speed slowly incorporate the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Dust frosted cupcakes with cocoa powder.

The icing recipe makes MUCH more icing than you'll need and I'm pretty liberal with mine. Next time I'll halve the recipe. If you need to make a boat load of cupcakes and decide to make two batches, you could definitely just make one batch of the icing and it will be enough for all of the cupcakes.

Also, I covered my un-iced cupcakes with plastic wrap and stored them on the counter. I frosted them as I needed them.

*The recipe suggests you use Guinness, but my Corkonian husband isn't a fan of Liffey water, so I used Beamish in ours!


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