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Monday, February 21, 2011

Chocolate and stout cupcakes (beer - Guinness - and chocolate cupcakes)

Now these I cannot begin to describe. They are the chocolate-y perfection incarnate, and the dark stout Irish beer (Guinness, which has a tradition older than the United States) only enhances the chocolate flavor, leaving behind as it cooks a deep, subtle, earthly chocolate tone. 
To give you more about Guinness, I could encourage you to look it up on wiki or I could just tell you that it's heavier and sweeter than regular beer and that it is wonderfully used in baking because of its chocolate undertone, that it's an acquired taste and, as a lovely Irish girl likes to point out, a very grave and serious beer, not one to drink with fries and meatballs or pizza, "not a teenybopper beer or a frat boy beer" :). 
Also, these are probably the lightest cupcakes possible (or close :P) and certainly the lightest we will be making - reduced amount of butter replaced by sour cream and beer. To keep it lighter, we also skipped the frosting, replacing it with a simple sprout of whipped cream and a mocha-shaped chocolate piece.
The recipe is loose-ly adapted from Nigella Lawson's recipe for Chocolate Guinness Cake, although I searched the internet long before I combined different aspects of recipes into one that promised the perfect light, fluffy and chocolate results. And I believe I've found it, so here it is:

Note: more boozy sweets here:
Pina colada cupcakes (muffins);
Amaretto (almond) liquor cupcakes;
Orange jam&liquor Linzer torte.

Ingredients (for 12 cupcakes):
  • 125 ml Guinness
  • 135 g flour
  • 125 g butter
  • 200 g sugar
  • 40 g cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 80 ml sour cream
  • 1 and a half teaspoons baking soda
Optionally, for decorating:
  • some whipped cream (about 50 ml)
  • 12 chocolate pieces (in nice shapes - or not :P)

Measure the Guinness amount carefully:

Careful to not be deceived by the foam in your measuring. Put a small/medium pot over heat source and place the beer and butter in it. Let melt and stir:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C or gas 4 and line your muffin tin with paper forms:

After the beer and butter mixture is even, turn off the heat and add the sugar and the cocoa, mixing:

After all is incorporated, beat the egg in a separate bowl, then add the sour cream to it and mix well. Afterwards, pour it in the beer-choco mixture:

Then, mix the flour and baking soda and incorporate them too, in the molten choco-beer batter. With a large spoon, pour the mixture into the paper muffin-liners:

Don't fill them to the top, give them space to grow and puff up. Fill only to 3/4 of total height (or leave at least 0,5 cm free):

Keep going until all are filled. If you've spilled a few drops on the muffin tin, wipe them.

Put them in the oven and let bake for 25-30 minutes, then get them out:

If you want to decorate with whipped cream, you should wait until the cupcakes are cooled and not do what we did - put the cream on anyway and have it melting and dripping on our fingers :). It was delicious though. 

They're delicious the next days too, of course, but nothings beats them when they're warm so... dig in! :)


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