Friday, August 22, 2008
DID YOU SAY BEER?
At work, I normally avoid all the sweets that people bring in. Partly, it's because I don't like to eat sugar, and then crash, at work; partly it's because many of the things people offer aren't homemade and don't appeal to me. But this week a coworker brought in chocolate cupcakes made with Guinness--yes, beer--and topped with espresso cream frosting. They are the best cupcakes I've ever had. I ate two of them.
The recipe has a lengthy lineage. My coworker found it on a blog called A Mingling of Tastes, which adapted the recipe from The Detroit Free Press newspaper via another blog (devoted to cupcakes) called Cupcakes Take the Cake, and from a recipe by the Food Network's Dave Lieberman from Dave’s Dinners cookbook(Hyperion, 2006). The frosting is adapted from The Betty Crocker Cookbook (I can't verify which edition). I've adapted it additionally for my own methods and tastes, and the photo credit goes to A Mingling of Tastes.
Guinness Cupcakes with Espresso Cream Frosting
For cupcakes or cake:
1 stick unsalted butter (premium butters are great for baking)
12 oz. Guinness
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder (use a high-quality powder such as Penzey's)
1 teaspoon salt
1-¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup sour cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill two 12-count muffin pans with paper baking cups or grease a 9 x 13 cake pan for a single layer cake.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, Guinness and vanilla. Stir occasionally until butter is melted. Pour into a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.
3. In another large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Gradually combine with the Guinness mixture. Beat in the sour cream, then beat in the eggs one at a time.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pans (or cake pan), filling each cup about three-quarters full. Bake cupcakes for about 25 minutes (30 minutes for the cake) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave cupcakes in the pan to cool for 5 minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack. Frost cupcakes or cake when cooled completely.
*Makes 24 cupcakes or one 9 x 13 layer cake.
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter (at room temperature)
3 tablespoons espresso (make your own or use instant powder)
In a large bowl, combine the sugar and butter. Pour in the espresso mixture and beat until frosting is smooth and creamy.