Dark, Bitter and Handsome: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes from Rainy Day Gal

CakeSpy Note: This is a guest post from Rainy Day Gal (a.k.a. Jenny Miller), a fellow Seattle blogger with a major sweet tooth.

Once in a blue moon, I love a good dark beer.

But every day that ends in y do I love chocolate stout cake.

It's rich, moist, and tastes like an indescribably dark chocolatey-chocolate cake without being overly sweet. Plus, you get to pour beer into the batter. Which is fun. For those of you wary about adding beer to chocolate cake, fear not--they don't taste like beer, the stout just keeps them moist, rich, and prevents them from being overly sweet. I came across an intriguing recipe that was begging, nay, pleading to be turned into cupcakes. Because, c'mon. Who bakes whole cakes anymore? We are living in a cupcake world and I am a cupcake gal. So without further ado, here they are. Fair warning: this recipe makes an ungodly amount of cupcakes. Make a half-batch if you don't know 48 people who would like to eat a chocolate stout cupcake in the next two days. Oh, and fair warning #2: You should probably also be drinking a stout while you're making these. Just sayin.

First, let's make the ganache because it'll need a few hours to chill. You need one pound of bittersweet chocolate (chopped or in chip form) and one pint (or 2 cups) of whipping cream. Again, halve this if you don't want to make a billion cupcakes.

Place the chocolate in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the wisk attachment. You could also use a hand mixer if you're more in the mood.

Bring the cream just to a simmer on the stove and then remove from heat. Immediately pour the whipping cream over the chocolate. Mix on medium-low until totally combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

You should probably lick this. It's okay. No one is watching. I'll wait. All done? Wasn't it delicious? Good. Let's move on to the cupcakes.

You need at absolutely sinful amount of butter. 4 sticks or 2 cups unsalted. Paula Deen would be so proud. Also find some sour cream (1 1/2 cups) and four eggies.

For the dry stuff, grab some baking soda (1 tbsp), all-purpose flour (4 cups), salt (1 1/2 tsp), and granulated sugar (4 cups. Yes. I'm serious.). Oh, and you'll also need 1 1/2 cups of cocoa powder. Sorry--forgot to snap a photo.

Finally, the goods: Guinness. Or a similarly dark stout. You'll need two cups, which turns out to be about 1 1/4 bottles. Ready? Let's go. Preheat your oven to 350°. If you want to. Or wait 'till later. Measure out your beer. It won't hurt it it's a few sips less than 2 cups. I promise.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the stout. Bring just to a simmer and then remove from heat. I never thought I would have a pan of butter and Guinness heating on my stove.

Grab your cocoa powder...

...and immediately whisk it into the butter/beer mixture until smooth. Set aside to let cool for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, mix your dry ingredients together in a big ol' bowl...

...and put the sour cream and eggies into another bowl. I love cracking eggs. It's my favorite part of baking. But I'm also completely terrified of finding a little baby chicken fetus inside. I would cry for days. Too much information? Alright. Moving on.

Cream together the sour cream and eggs using an electric hand mixer on low speed.

Ummm....don't lick these blades. Even I don't love sour cream that much. For the next step, grab a big bowl....

...and dump the sour cream/egg mixture into it. Pour the beer/cocoa/butter mixture on top. Mix on low with the electric hand mixer to combine.

Next, dump in the flour/sugar mixture. Beat a little with the electric mixer just to get it started...

...and finish it off with a spatula. Shiny.

Pour into greased (or lined) muffin pans. I usually use liners, but all I had were the ugly ones left from a Christmas variety pack. I couldn't handle dancing reindeer today. Where's Bella when I need 'em? Bake, one pan at a time, for 16-18 minutes or until...you know the drill. Clean toothpick. Or not. Sometimes I think when the whole toothpick comes out clean that I've already over-baked them. You're the judge of your own cupcake world---you decide.

I filled them up almost to the brim because I like big cupcakes.

Let cool on wire racks.

See what I mean? Ungodly amount of cupcakes.

Once the cupcakes have cooled and the ganache has hardened, let's frost those suckers. Give the ganache a good stir before we start.

Spread it around. Spread it around good. I used about a tablespoon and a half per cupcake and still had a little leftover. You frost 'em however you like 'em.

Oh my. A moment of silence, please.

I wasn't drinking that Guinness while eating a cupcake. You must be thinking of someone else.

Nope. Not me (*licks chocolate ganache from lips*).

The verdict on chocolate stout cupcakes? They were divine. Moist. Rich. Chocolatey with a hint of stout. The bittersweet ganache made them ultra-decadent.

When I make them again, however, I'll try a few variations:

1) Use a more flavorful stout. Maybe a local brew, or something with a little more body. Maybe I'll even boil a larger quantity down to make it more concentrated. I wanted more Guinness-y flavor and less sweet.

2) Halve the recipe. Too. Many. Cupcakes.

3) Try not to eat so dang many. There goes one full week of salads. Happy monday!  

The original recipe for chocolate stout cake can be found right here. Just follow the directions above to make them cupcakes. Enjoy!