I love cupcakes but since they are literary in every mall in the country, I prefer not to make cupcakes at home. No I don’t buy store bought either it just find them too common, if that makes sense. I must admit every pretty dolled up cupcakes I often see online or in the shelves always managed to draw me in, I get all gushy about their cuteness and the wonderful array of colour. But that’s about it, I don’t go crazy of wanting one unlike some of my friends, probably because I know how easy it is to make one and I find it more satisfying to enjoy something that I baked. OMG! I’m turning into a food snob! Hopefully not! It’s just that whenever I’m out eating or just browsing through the bakery, I get my inspirations from what others are doing and how they decorate it.
One of the new cookbook I got myself is the Butch Bakery Cookbook. It’s a book that focuses on cupcakes but none of that swirly pastel coloured frostings. These are MANLY looking cupcakes and have gutsy flavours like bacon and beers. It seems odd to be adding bacon or beer to cupcakes but then again that’s what I like about baking trying new things that makes me go “hmmm... this is good!”
After weeks of pondering whether or not, since I was afraid that it would taste offish or just plain boozy and I couldn't find stout anywhere. I saw some before but now that I needed it I cannot remember which particular store I saw it before. I asked around what would be a good substitute for stout and the answer is Cervesa Negra, which literally translated as dark beer. Got a couple of bottles and started baking.
It smells like any kind of beer for my untrained nose, so what's so special about this? But heck its been years since I smelled beer so what do my nose knows, right? I stopped all the questioning and followed the recipe on the dot and they came out good! Honestly better than good, they are moist and soft, I can easily tucked down two of these in one go. I know I'm a glutton but they are just that good!
My only problem is that the recipe said it could make 12 cupcakes? I don't think so I barely made 7 and that was pushing it. I scrapped the bowl until not a single drop is left. Although not intentionally but I managed to make them cute! not manly looking at all! Oops! Since have no idea where to get chocolate covered pretzels, they came out looking like these.
Adapted from The Butch Bakery Cookbook
Makes 12 cupcakes
For the Chocolate Stout Cupcakes:
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup dark stout, such as Guinness, poured and settled before you measure
- 2 large eggs, broken into a small bowl
- 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted through a strainer
- 3 tablespoons dark stout, such as Guinness, poured and settled before you measure
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 3/4 cup crushed chocolate-covered Pretzels
Make the Cupcakes: Place a baking rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 6-cup jumbo-size muffin pans with liners and set aside. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Remove from the heat, add the cocoa powder, and stir until smooth. Then stir in the stout. You’ll think that you have some stout left to drink, but hold your horses! You’re going need some for the frosting, too. Set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and the sour cream. Add the cooled chocolate mixture, incorporating well. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt, and whisk until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Fill each prepared muffin cup with 1/3 cup batter, about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until the tops are just firm to the touch and a tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Leave the cupcakes in the pan on a rack to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack to cool completely before frosting, about 1 hour.
Make the Buttercream: In a medium-size mixing bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar, stout, vanilla, and salt into the bowl, and continue to beat until very smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Cupcake Construction: Get out that ice cream scoop (2 to 2 1/4 inches in diameter) and top each cupcake with a scoop of frosting. Sprinkle each cupcake with a tablespoon of the crushed pretzels. Cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days in an airtight container, or frozen for 1 month.
If You Like: Before you sprinkle on the pretzels, you can shine the cupcakes up a bit by taking a butter knife (no serrated edges, please) and pushing the frosting down to about an inch high, flattening the top, and then taking the knife and making a flat 45-degree angled edge all the way around the side of the scoop of frosting.
Virgin Beer Run: Substitute your favorite soda for the beer. We like a cola or root beer the best.