Chocolate cupcakes have a spirited twist

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 11.36.19 AM  Like many people I know, I am a chocolate lover. The darker the better, and I find that dark chocolate really requires few additions to make it a tiny piece of culinary heaven. My husband feels the same way … about beer. He enjoys a nice dark stout without any frills or fancies. So when we heard about Guinness cupcakes, our worlds collided in this moist, delicious treat.

It sounds like an odd combination, but the flavors of dark chocolate and dark beer actually complement each other amazingly well. Since Guinness is made in Ireland, it got me mulling over the other spirited options the Emerald Isle sends our way. It turns out that Irish whiskey adds a tasty kick to an already decadent ganache. Whipped for a few minutes and piped on top of chocolate? Bliss. Complete and utter nirvana in a beautiful little package.

This recipe makes 24 generous cupcakes and enough ganache to frost them. If you have leftover ganache, chill it in the refrigerator. Then shape into balls and roll in cocoa powder, chopped nuts, or coconut for a truffle treat. Or you can hide in the nearest closet with the bowl and a spoon. I promise not to tell.

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

  • 1 cup Guinness stout
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine butter and beer. Simmer until butter is melted. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa powder, whisking until smooth. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until they become lemony in color. It will take about 5 minutes. Add in sour cream and mix well.

Pour the beer mixture over the eggs and stir until combined. Add the flour mixture to the beer/egg mixture and stir gently until the flour is just incorporated into the mixture.

Spoon batter into cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Irish Whiskey Ganache

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (10 ounce) package 60% cocoa chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbsp. Irish whiskey

Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until almost boiling. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Stir well until mixture is smooth. Whisk in the Irish whiskey and then cool completely in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.

Once cooled, give the ganache a stir and spread directly on the cupcakes. Alternatively, you can whip the ganache with electric mixer for a few minutes and place in a decorating bag with #1M tip. Pipe on top of cupcakes for a more decorative look. If piping, you may need to make two batches of frosting, as you will use more per cupcake than spreading.