Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Beer? In Cupcakes?

Yep, you read that correctly. I made cupcakes with beer in them. I wasn't sure what to think of it, but in the end I think the beer just added a bit of richness and moisture to the cupcake. There was no hint of bitterness at all....

I had come across this recipe sometime back reading Pinch My Salt, one of the food blogs I read on a regular basis. I was intrigued by the addition of Guinness to the chocolate cupcake recipe, so I bookmarked it for later. Well, with an extra can of Guinness leftover in our refrigerator from who knows what, I decided it was a sign. I was meant to try the cupcakes!

Most things in the recipe were rather normal. There was an addition of yogurt, which I assume was for some extra moisture and a bit of cinnamon, with which one can never go wrong. Basically, in the same process as the banana muffins, I mixed the wet ingredients together, I mixed the dry ingredients together, and I combined the two.

Into the oven they went, and they came out looking lovely.

A bit later after they had cooled, I whipped up the frosting. I thought it was a bit stiff, but in actuality, I think it could have been thicker. I used my new cookie press/decorator and I think it would have worked slightly better had the icing had a more firm consistency. However, after I got through icing a couple of cupcakes, I started to get better...

One of these days I'm going to be a real professional! wink These cupcakes were scrumptious. They were incredibly moist, with just the perfect amount of richness...and I could taste that tiny hint of cinnamon. And who doesn't love cream cheese frosting? I could have eaten the whole batch, so thankfully I shared them with my co-workers...two of whom commented on how good they were! biggrin

If you'd like to give them a shot yourself, here is the recipe. Happy baking!

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup plain, thick yogurt, at room temperature

6 oz. dark stout (I used Guinness), at room temperature

2 t. vanilla extract

1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa powder (I used regular unsweetened cocoa)

1 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with cupcake papers; spray the whole thing, cupcake papers and all, with nonstick spray. Set aside.

3. Melt butter in microwave or on stovetop, then set aside.

4. In a large bowl, preferably with a pouring spout, whisk together eggs and yogurt. Add beer and vanilla whisk until well combined.

5. Sift all the dry ingredients together (cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking soda, and cinnamon) into a separate bowl.

6. Add about a third of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and using a hand mixer, blend well. Add the rest of the flour mixture, a third at a time, mixing well after each addition. When all ingredients are blended, add the melted butter then continue mixing until very well combined.

7. Pour batter into the twelve cups, filling each only about 3/4 full.

8. Bake on center rack of the preheated 350 degree oven and for approximately 25 minutes.

9. When cupcakes are done (toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake will come out clean), remove the pan to a wire rack. Let cool for ten minutes then remove cupcakes from pan and let them cool completely on wire rack.

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 t. vanilla extract

Seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean that has been split and scraped

In a medium bowl, blend together cream cheese, butter, vanilla and vanilla bean seeds. Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing well until it’s all incorporated. Use immediately. The frosting will harden in the fridge, so plan on bring it back to room temperature if you must refrigerate it before frosting the cupcakes.


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