As Chris mentioned in our post about our lamb dish, we went for a short, 10-mile day hike in O’Neill Regional Park earlier in the day. I’m not sure what it is about hiking, but it always leaves Chris and I craving beer and comfort food. While the hike served as inspiration for what to cook, Food52 provided guidance and recipes. Since starting this blog, I stumbled upon the website Food52, and fell in love with the modern look, pristine photos, and unique recipes. Within an hour of arriving home with the groceries, I began to throw together our dessert: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes. While the recipe calls for Guinness, Chris suggested getting a more boutique stout. He ran off to grab the stout, while I found the mint and ginger (ingredients for other items on the list this week). When I found him, he had a bottle of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout in our basket.
I started by boiling the water to make espresso from the powder we had on hand (for camping). Thinking that I was super smart, I skipped the step of warming the stout and mixed together the hot espresso and cold stout. I then added the butter, only to discover that the liquid was no longer hot enough to melt the 1/2 cup block. I transferred everything to a microwave safe bowl and heated it up to ease the melting process, melted a second 1/2 cup block of butter (yes there’s that much butter in cupcakes!), and poured it in with the stout and espresso.
Next, I added the dark, unsweetened cocoa powder and vanilla, stirring it all into a nice chocolate liquid to coat the flour and dry ingredients. I found it curious that this recipe called for melting the butter, while others suggest cutting the butter with sugar. At this point, I imagined that this cupcake wouldn’t be as light and fluffy as others.
Chris mixed together the dry ingredients while I diligently stirred the chocolate base. He also blended the eggs and sour cream together into a nice cream mixture. I then grabbed the hand mixer, and put it on low in the egg and cream mixture while Chris alternated between the chocolate liquid and dry ingredients. I instructed him to wait until just a second after the last big of dry ingredient disappeared into the mixture before adding more. We made the perfect team 🙂
We put the cupcakes in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes, rotating them half way through, and they came out just perfectly. While they were baking I made the powdered sugar, espresso, chocolate glaze. I accidentally added 1-2 extra tablespoons of water (it’s quite thick and difficult to mix), but overall this was a happy mistake. The recipe instructs you to dip the cupcakes (and not ice them) in the glaze. I jumped the gun and tried to do this right away, but failed miserably. See the cupcakes are still pretty delicate when warm and the glaze is a bit heavy, and when you dip a warm cupcake in the glaze the top of the cupcake falls off into the glaze. Chris took this opportunity to nab the broken cupcake top and sample my finished product. He claimed that they were delicious, but I still had work to do.
I took a break, let the cupcakes cool, and then tried again. This time, it worked. I dipped each cupcake in the glaze, spooned a bit extra on top if there were gaps or holes, and then placed them on cookie sheets to catch any drips. We also chose to use my silicone cupcake liners for half of the treats (I only have 12). While these weren’t great for holding on to the cupcakes while dipping, I actually really liked the look and feel of them. Note: Plan to make a little more glaze than the recipe recommends. While I usually have more than enough frosting, I was left with 8 unglazed cupcakes. We had just picked up some fresh whole bean coffee, so we topped each cupcake off with one bean in the middle. They weren’t the prettiest cupcakes in the world, but they smelled fantastic.
After our feast of lamb, mash, and chard, I sampled a long-awaited chocolate stout cupcake. Heavenly! The texture was certainly different from that of my past cupcakes, but in a beyond delicious way. The glaze was perfectly sweet, and the roasted bean on top was a pleasant crunch as I devoured the treat. I usually find myself seeking professional cupcake tasters to finish off the batch that I tire of after 2-3, but this time I’m feeling a bit greedy. You might just have to steal them from me to get a taste.