Chocolate-Stout Cupcakes topped w/Vanilla Bean Buttercream

by Susan Salzman
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ImageIt’s St. Patrick’s Day this 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 frosiing 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.

ImageI 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
Adapted from Epicurious
Yield: 32 mini cupcakes and 18 regular size cupcakes

Ingredients:
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 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon 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 teaspoon vanilla extract (or sub out some Baileys)
3-4 tablespoons whole milk

Instructions:
for the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

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.

 

Susan Salzman writes The Urban Baker blog to explore her dedication to good food in the hope of adding beauty to the lives of her family and friends.  

Comments   

0 #1 Shrey Patel 2014-01-26 22:14
So many great ideas! Everything looks so appetizing!Can’ t wait to try it!
Beautiful!
Thank You.
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