Thursday, February 19, 2009

Chocolate Guiness Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

My foray into the baking-blog world all started by my own obsession with wedding dresses.  Which then led to wedding cakes.  Which then led me to Cake Wrecks, which led me to Bakerella, and then to several other blogs which I now read religiously, most especially when they involve some kind of baked good.  All of this has led me to the discovery of several cake/cupcake recipes that I have been dying to try, including this one from Pinch My Salt which is the first one I decided to try.  (Up next week Cola Cupcakes, and Red Velvet Cake balls).

I made a couple of changes to it because of availability of ingredients.  Namely I didn't want to buy a 6 pack of Guiness (I can't drink much of it) and my local liquor store was out of singles, but had some singles of Road Dog Porter, which is dark and malty and worked quite well, I think, though it definitely lacks the chocolate undertones present in most stouts.   I also used Liberte Méditterranée Moka yoghurt in place of plain.  It was on sale at Safeway, and how could I possibly go wrong with a mere 8.5%MF?  Plus I figured the coffee flavour would support the chocolatey nature of these cupcakes.  Asside from those two small alternations, I stayed true to the recipe.  Oh, and my eggs were right out of the fridge (not room temperature) and it still worked wonderfully.

As for the flavour... well, the cupcakes were very moist once cooled.  The day after they seemed to have dried out a tad and gotten a bit denser, but I have several very good reasons to believe that the container they were in was not in fact air tight.  This is definitely not an ordinary chocolate cupcake - they have a complex flavour, and while the stout/porter is noticible, its subtle and not a sharp stick to the tastebuds overpowering everything.Oh, and I only used 3.5 cups of icing sugar instead of 4 for the icing because Edmont
on is so dry this time of year.  I actually had to give the icing two tries.  The first time I wasn't incorporating enough icing sugar at a time and I over beat it.  It turned into this runny mess with the consistency of warm yoghurt... not suitible for cupcakes but I couldn't let all that creamy cheese deliciousness go to waste so it is now sitting in my freezer until such a time as I make cinnamon buns (AKA, next week).  I plan to use it like the milk/icing sugar glazes a lot of grocery store cinnamon buns have on them, except when you bite in - Surprise! cream cheesey delight!  I can't wait.

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes (from Pinch My Salt)

2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup plain, thick yogurt, at room temperature
6 oz. dark stout, at room temperature
2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
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.
3. In a large bowl, preferably with a pouring spout, whisk together eggs and yogurt. Add beer and vanilla whisk until well combined.
4. Sift all the dry ingredients together (cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking soda, and cinnamon) into a separate bowl.
5. 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.
6. Pour batter into the twelve cups, filling each only about 3/4 full.
7. Bake on center rack of the preheated 350 degree oven and for approximately 25 minutes.
8. 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.