Wow. With the exception of the crummy piping job I did on the icing, these are da BOMB!
My Nikon's battery was dead and I wasn't about to wait around to make these until after the battery is charged. If I get the opportunity to take better pics with the next batch I'll definitely replace them. These photos are pretty crummy but I was so excited to make this recipe I'm lucky I remembered to even grab our little Fuji pocket camera.
I also have to thank our friend's the Z's. Thanks for leaving your left over Guinness in our fridge. I promise to repay you with cupcakes. Trust me, you'd rather have these than just a bottle or two back!
The only thing major I did was cut the recipe in half except for the Icing. Trying to use the mixer with half a stick of butter was a joke. So I made a little extra. Never a horrible thing. I can honestly say for once that I don't need seconds. Granted I did my share of taste testing. So by the time I finished them and sat down with Hubs and ate one, my tummy said OK no more! [In that good way, ya know the way your tummy says ok no more when you've eaten more than half the bag of Milano Cookies in one shot- too much of a good thing!]
Recipe reprinted from Smitten Kitchen
Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
** I've decided these cupcakes by themselves are delicious. They would probably be great with a simple Cream Cheese Frosting if you don't have the time to make everything else. I mean, really you should MAKE the time, but if you've already made like 2-3 dozen and you are coming down from the high and need to have more....
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)
*oh just do 4. Comeon it's worth it!
Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners.
Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.
Make the Ganache: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.
Let me interject here with the fact that Guinness, Butter & Cocoa Power smells frikin AMAZING.
Time to melt the chocolate. *update* Batch two was a full batch and I opted for 1 TBS of Jameson!
**I used a paring knife to cut out the 'tasters', set them aside in a separate bowl and add any extra ganache and icing to bowl. It amounted to about 2 cupcakes worth. Perfect if you dig in with a spoon later on! I also did not wait for the ganache to cool. I immediately used a teaspoon and filled each cupcake, they took about a 1 1/2 tsp of ganache each. Why mess with the piping bag at all. One more thing to clean. This worked just fine for me.
Make the frosting: [Try not to eat it all in the process] Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.
**I have the hand mixer now and it is impossible to tablespoon in the sugar. I measured out a cup an dumped in about 1/4 or 1/3 at a time. This worked just fine. I believe I only needed just over 3 cups of the sugar, maybe 3 1/4 C.
This photo of the cocoa mixture in with the egg mixture would have been really awesome if I were using the better camera. Oh and some non-flouresent lighting. This photo also makes me think of the movie PCU. "Swirlieeeeees" hahaha I gotta watch that now!
Ice and decorate the cupcakes. I used a zip loc bag with the corner clipped off.
**Second time I made them MUCH prettier with a star tip on a piping bag. Then sprinkled with green sugar. Perfect for St. Patty's! They looked too pretty to eat.... almost!
Smitten Kitchen Says: You can bake the cupcakes a week or two in advance and store them, well wrapped, in the freezer. You can also fill them before you freeze them. They also keep filled — or filled and frosted — in the fridge for a day. (Longer, they will start to get stale.)
**I made cupcakes Thursday night and stored them in the fridge overnight, cut, filled & iced the next day. Perfect!
Somehow in my arsenal of growing kitchen supplies, I do not own an apple corer. Or a 1" cookie cutter. I used a little paring knife but make sure cupcakes are completely cooled before doing this. Oh and I now have a MIXER. WOO! Oh and I have an apple peeler, corer slicer. I love it but its a serious pain to clean. Next fall I'm SOOO making apple pie.
**Below are a the Updated photos of the batch I made for a Family Party this past weekend. Way better looking the second time around. [a full batch] Tasted just as good. I had a fight with the Guiness, butter & Cocoa powder the but after letting the mixture cool a while and spooning out a tablespoon or so of butter that separated from the rest of the mixture, it ended up working out okay. I'm not sure what happened there but in the end they tasted great.
My girlfriend had stopped by to visit as I was having said fight. She tried to console me but to no avail. That was the last of my cocoa powder and I did not have any more and was not going to have the opportunity to get back to the store. I obsessed over it for the length of her visit and as she was leaving I checked it again and the mixture apparently needed more cooling time. Yessssss! Crisis averted!
I finally got a few extra cupcakes to my friend over the weekend and got a phone call from her yesterday. "Wow, Now I understand why you were obsessing.... those were gooooooood!"
Everyone at the party was impressed. Me too! I love getting rave reviews. Well okay, who doesn't?!