As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve wanted to try the combination of Guinness and chocolate for years, ever since I saw a recipe for a chocolate-Guinness cake. My recipe challenge seemed like the perfect time to try this, as I have to make new recipes anyway! After making the disappointing Black and Tan Brownies (twice), I wanted to go back to my original motivation – Guinness-chocolate cupcakes!
Rather than go through all my paper recipes on Tuesday night, I decided to do a quick online search. I wasn’t going to bring more sweets to work – one dessert per week at work is plenty. [I want people to actually eat what I take to work, and they won’t if I overload them!] I just wanted something satisfying that I’d be able to have as my own personal dessert each day – rather than store-bought junk or jelly beans if I wanted something sweet. I could probably eat nine cupcakes by myself, given some time, and I knew where I could give away the three others, so I looked for a recipe that would be easy to halve.
I finally found a recipe that had an even number of eggs. I made brownies from a recipe featured on Smitten Kitchen and they were divine, so I was pretty sure these would be good. The recipe was actually for Chocolate Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes, which involves Guinness chocolate cupcakes with a whiskey chocolate ganache and Bailey’s Irish cream frosting. I didn’t want to get that involved, so I made a half batch of the batter for cupcakes and a quarter batch of the frosting with milk instead of Bailey’s (because I didn’t want other flavors competing with the cupcake).
As I said, I halved the cupcake batter. I used full-fat yogurt instead of sour cream since that’s what I keep in the house. These were a dream to make, particularly after the debacle with the Black and Tan Brownies. The batter came together easily and made 12 cupcakes of perfect size. I had to bake these two or three minutes longer than the 17 minutes the recipe said.
The frosting… I was lazy and only wanted to use the 2 tablespoons of margarine I already had cut in the fridge. I don’t like frosting that much anyway, but I knew from the batter that I would need a layer of sweet on the cupcakes. I used two tablespoons margarine, about 3/4 cup of powdered sugar, and a tablespoon milk to pull together an icing that would put a nice, thin layer of sweet on top of rich chocolate cake. I didn’t really care about decorating them prettily – it would just get messed up when I carry them one at a time to be lunch.
You know the cake mixes that have pudding in them? This cupcake has that moist tenderness that you get from those kind of cakes. I’ve dreamt of finding a cake recipe that had that kind of softness to it (though admittedly, I hadn’t looked very far yet), and this one has it. It’s far superior to the chocolate cupcakes I made last month. I bet that tenderness comes from the yogurt (or sour cream from the original recipe). This may have become my new standard chocolate cupcake recipe, they’re that good. The icing on top gives another thin layer of moisture.
I don’t really taste “Guinness” when I eat these – I taste delicious chocolate. I had Alex try these, even though he doesn’t like beer and particularly doesn’t like Guinness. He really liked them too – which means that they’ll be gone twice as fast. There’s no one who would dislike these more than Alex if they tasted too beery or Guinness-y.
I’m going to make these again. I may even make them with the whiskey filling and the Bailey’s frosting, because I think that sounds fantastic as well. I’ll find the next appropriate special occasion and let you know how they turn out!