It’s St. Patrick’s Day next week and since I don’t really drink, I figured I would just find ways to incorporate booze into my food. As I have learned from baking with stout in the past, beer is a surprisingly wonderful addition to stews, brewed drinks, and cakes.
Originally, I wanted to make a triple layer cake. I could only find 2 of my 3 eight inch cake pans and I wasn’t really in the mood to go and purchase an additional cake pan for this project. This cake didn’t really have a purpose. I did’t need it for any specific occassion or event, I was just in the mood. I invisioned the chocolate cake with Bailey’s buttercream frosting and green chocolate clovers around the perimeter of the cake. I found clover lollipop molds, but could not track down mini clovers.
Change of plans. I went with cupcakes. I know; there are tons of “green-themed” cupcakes circling the internet right now. Not totally original, but what the heck – lots of people in my community benefited from my baking whim. I made minis for Isaac’s classmates, larger ones for the M’s and the G’s, and the office gals got an unexpected afternoon snack.
I will confess to sneaking a bite. They are moist, light and not one ingredient over powers any of the others. They are the perfect balance. I made a simple vanilla bean buttercream and added a little Bailey’s (subbed out the vanilla extract) to the frosting. Gave them the little extra kick that I was looking for.
I presume you are all “over” the whole cupcake thing. I thought I was – until I took one bite of this cake. I kept all but 5, the rest were packaged up, tied with a ribbon and left on peoples doorsteps. I love littering my friends doorsteps with sweet treats.
Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream
for the cake:
2 cup stout (Guinness)
8 oz. unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (dutch-processed), sifted
2 cups all-puropse flour
2 cups whole cane sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. sea salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cups organic sour cream
for the buttercream
2 cups(16 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 1/2 – 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 vanilla bean, pulp removed
1 tsp. vanilla extract (or sub out some Baileys)
3-4 Tbsp. whole milk
for the cake:
• preheat oven to 350*.
• line cupcake molds with liners.
• in a heavy saucepan, melt butter and add the stout. brink to a simmer over low heat. once butter is melted, whisk in the cocoa powder. cool slightly.
• in a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. whisk and set aside.
• in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs and sour cream. slowly add the chocolate mixture. mix to combine.
• remove the bowl from the mixer and using a rubber spatula, mix in the dry ingredients.
• divide the batter evenly amongst the cupcakes.
• bake the mini cupcakes 12-15 minutes and the regular size cupcakes 16-20 minutes.
• let cool before frosting.
for the butter cream:
• mix the butter until very creamy (about 3-5 minutes).
• split the vanilla bean down the middle. with a pairing knife, scrape out the seeds from the bean. add them to the creamed butter and mix, pulsing slowly(save your pods and throw them in a jar of sugar. I keep vanilla sugar on hand it is a great way to dress up any dessert).
• add the sifted powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until you get the consistancy that you desire.
• add the milk and Bailey’s(or vanilla) slowly.
• I like a thicker butter cream, so I tend to use more sugar and less milk.
• frost the cupcakes with a pastry tip of your choice or an off set spatula. add food coloring if you choose, decorate with jimmies, sprinkles, or whatever would make a festive cupcake.
The Urban Baker / SusanSalzman.com