Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Week 11: The Five Star Irish Stout; Chocolate Guinness Stout Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache and Bailey's Buttercream Swirl
Hi friends! Even though my home is still drying out and my hardwood floors resemble a washboard (severely warped), I was still able to come up with a fabulous cupcake for this week! I really think you will love it!
I remember making a "Guinness Stout Cake" a while back when I had a subscription to Bon Appétit magazine. The more time I spent at my "Five Star" hotel, the more inspired I became with this combination, again! As you well know, I am a fan of anything chocolate. With St. Patrick's Day around the corner, I wanted to come up with something unique and most definitely not cliché, so I tried very hard to find the recipe I remembered seeing so many years ago. The changes I made to the recipe (with my own Cupcakery twist) are below!
The cake is so moist and surprisingly not as dense as you would think. It is definitely from the sour cream. The Guinness Stout adds such depth of flavor that does not make the "chocolate" part of the cupcake taste too sweet. I would be remiss if I did not tell you how luscious the Guinness and butter simmering before adding the Dutch-process cocoa smelled. I could almost swear a loaf of fresh baked bread was in the oven (it was that good)! I have made this recipe with and with out mini-morsel chocolate chips; It's entirely up to you - but if you really like chocolate... the more, the merrier! The ganache is a perfect complement to the robust flavors of the cake and then I added a swirl of Bailey's Buttercream frosting on top of all this deliciousness. This, if I may say, was a really unexpected surprise for the tastebuds each time I make this recipe.
This, to me, is proof that God loves the Irish! Even if you are not Irish, eating this wonderful combination made with some of Ireland's most popular and flavorful beverages, you will be Irish enough to make anyone's eyes smile!
If you get a chance to kiss the Blarney Stone this year, may you have a lifetime of eloquence! If you don't get to the Emerald Isle, I can just about guarantee this cupcake will transport you there! Happy St. Patrick's Day!
These cupcakes are also perfect for a regular Tuesday at work also!
Chocolate Guinness Stout Cupcake
2 cups Guinness Extra Stout
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
4 cups all purpose flour
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sour cream
1 pkg. Hershey's mini-morsel semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Line baking cups with paper liners and set aside.
2. Bring 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Do not boil.
3. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
(Once the cocoa powder is added, your mixture should look steamy like this.)
4. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend.
5. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.
6. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine.
7. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed.
8. Using a rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Gently fold in mini-morsel semi-sweet chocolate chips.
(Mixture will appear robust and lumpy as pictured.)
9. Divide batter among paper liners and bake 17 - 22 minutes. Cupcakes are done when tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack.
10. VERY IMPORTANT: Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting!
12 ounce pakage Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips (or milk chocolate)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. Combine both ingredients in a double boiler.
2. Continue to mix thoroughly over boiling water until ingredients are smooth and chocolate is completely melted.
3. Layer this ganache on completely cooled cupcakes and allow to harden.
Bailey's Buttercream Swirl
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. whole milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 (2 1/2 Tbsp. Bailey's Irish Cream)
1. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and salt for about 30 seconds.
2. Add half of the powdered sugar and the milk to the butter and beat again until combined. Scrape down the bowl.
3. Add the remainder of the powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice. Beat until combined. Scrape down the bowl again.
4. Add Bailey's Irish Cream and beat on high speed for 5-6 minutes or until the frosting is fluffy.
5. It is preferable to use the frosting on the same day you make it, but it can keep in the refrigerator for 3 days if tightly wrapped. Make sure and stir the buttercream well before using to get the air bubbles out of the frosting and then pipe onto completely cooled cupcakes.