Today marked the first day of Austin Beer Week!
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Guinness chocolate cupcakes.
Guinness is a popular Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness at St. James’s Gate, Dublin. For many years a portion of aged brew was blended with freshly brewed product to give a sharp lactic flavour. Although the palate of Guinness still features a characteristic “tang”, the company has refused to confirm whether this type of blending still occurs. The thick creamy head is the result of the beer being mixed with nitrogen when being poured. It is popular with Irish people both in Ireland and abroad and, in spite of a decline in consumption since 2001, is still the best-selling alcoholic drink in Ireland where Guinness & Co. makes almost €2 billion annually.
Guinness stout is made from water, barley, hops, and brewer’s yeast, and is treated with isinglass finings made from fishes’ air bladders, although Guinness has claimed that this finings material is unlikely to remain in the finished product. A portion of the barley is roasted to give Guinness its dark colour and characteristic taste. It is pasteurized and filtered. Despite its reputation as a “meal in a glass”, Guinness only contains 198 kcalper imperial pint, fewer than skimmed milk or orange juice and most other non-light beers. [Source: Wikipedia]
Guinness chocolate cupcakes
1 cup stout (Guinness)
16 tbsp. butter
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
- To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
- Combine the stout and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend.
- Add the stout-butter mixture and beat just to combine.
- Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 to ¾ full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 19 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Guinness ganache filling
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. butter, room temperature
1/4 cup Guinness
- To make the ganache filling, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
- Heat the cream in a small saucepan until simmering, then pour it over the chocolate. Let sit for one minute and then whisk until smooth. If the chocolate is not completely melted, place the bowl over a double boiler or give it a very short burst in the microwave (15-20 seconds).
- Once the mixture reaches 90 – 95 degrees F, add the butter and Bailey’s and stir until combined.
- Set aside to let the ganache cool until it is thick enough to be piped. (You can use the refrigerator to speed the cooling process, but be sure to stir every 10 minutes or so to ensure even cooling.)
- Meanwhile, cut out a portion from the center of the cupcake using the cone method (a small paring knife works best for this).
- Once the ganache has reached the correct consistency, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a wide tip and pipe it into the cupcakes.
Guinness whipped cream frosting.
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. Knox gelatin
1 tbsp. cold water
2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup Guinness
1/2 tsp. vanilla
- Reduce 1/4 cup Guinness in a saucepan until it reaches half of it’s original amount. Allow to cool.
- Soften gelatin in cold water in a saucepan for 5 minutes. Heat gently until gelatin melts. Add to cream, beating only to combine, not whip. Chill in refrigerator at least one hour.
- Whip heavy cream and add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, whip until cream holds its shape. The cream will stiffen further upon refrigeration.
Guinness has a dark amber and brown color and a very acquired taste. Miraculously, I was surprised to see how well it meshes with chocolate. A match made in heaven?
The Guinness did get a little lost inside the cupcake so I decided to make the whipped cream Guinness flavor as well. Guinness is a thicker beer but it was still too liquid for the whipped cream so I would recommend reducing it before whipping it with the whipped cream. I also recommend added gelatin to stabilize the whipped cream frosting or the frosting will fall off the cupcake.
College in a cupcake?
Look at that sexy thing across the kitchen counter…
… Now let’s take off that cupcake liner
Let’s take a peek on what’s on the inside shall we?
Chocolate ganache filled!
Fun fact: Did you know there’s a plastic ball inside Guinness cans? It’s called the widget. The purpose of the widget is to release CO2 from some of the beer in the can to create the head. It is meant to mimic the texture and head of Guinness on tap.