Since I started this blog, over 3 and a half years ago, one of my most popular recipes has been for Chocolate Stout Cake, made with Guinness beer. I may be a little bit partial, but it has been one of my favorite cake recipes too.
Not too long ago, A friend of ours had a birthday & I was in charge of making some cupcakes for her birthday party celebration. I love it when friends have birthdays because it gives me an excuse to make cake (or other dessert, if they are not cake people).
I asked her what kind of cake she would most like & immediately she requested cake with Guinness in it. Excellent choice.
The peeps I made at Easter & brought to our brunch with friends were extremely popular. If the peep meringue/marshmallow can be piped into shapes, why couldn’t it be piped onto the top of cupcakes?
As I opened the pantry to get out the sugar for the meringues, I had to move a bottle of Torani Toasted Marshmallow syrup, and a second inspiration hit: toasted marshmallow flavored marshmallows!
Just by adding a couple tablespoons of toasted marshmallow syrup to the meringue while it is whipping, the regular marshmallows flavor is deepened. Easy peasy. Torching the marshmallow toppers just before service elevates the cupcakes to a higher level. So beautiful & so tasty.
p.s. Today also happens to be the birthday of my youngest sister. Happy Birthday, sister!
CHOCOLATE STOUT CAKE
adapted from Epicurious.com
yields 24+ cupcakes
Note: due to the beer in this recipe, it cannot be adapted to be gluten free, unless you’ve found a gluten free stout....
1 cup (8 fl oz) Stout Beer, such as Guinness
2 sticks (8 oz) Unsalted Butter
3/4 c (60 g) Cocoa Powder, preferably Dutch-process, sifted--I used Green and Blacks Cocoa
2 c (11 oz) AP Flour
2 c (14 oz) Granulated Sugar
1.5 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 tsp Salt
2 large eggs
2/3 c (159 g) Sour Cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line cupcakes pan with 24 papers.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add the beer & unsalted butter. Microwave until the butter is melted. Whisk to combine the two. Add the cocoa powder & whisk until smooth & there are not any lumps. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, soda & salt until the ingredients are well blended.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the sour cream and eggs. Add the slightly cooled cocoa/stout/butter mixture. Mix on low speed just to combine. Scrape down the sides.
- Add the dry ingredients in several additions & beat on low speed until just combined. Finish by removing the bowl from the mixer, scraping down the sides & stirring with spatula to ensure all the flour is combined.
- Portion the batter into the muffin pans, filling the cups approximately 3/4 of the way. I like to use a portion scoop. (There may be leftover batter & I usually portion it into a large ramekin & bake an “extra” cake).
- Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pans half-way through the process, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the center cupcakes comes out clean.
- Transfer to a rack to cool, removing the cupcakes from the pan as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Allow to cool completely.
TOASTED MARSHMALLOW TOPPING
Note: this recipe MUST be made in a 6 qt mixer. If yours is smaller, divide it into two batches. And make sure that you use the splash guard.... You really, really do not want to be burned by super hot sugar....
2/3 c Cold Water
2 packets gelatin
14 oz (2 cups) Sugar
1/2 c Water
2 Tbl Toasted Marshmallow Syrup
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Bloom gelatin in cold water in bowl of mixer
- stir together sugar & water & heat to softballs stage
- With mixer running on low, pour syrup over gelatin. Increase speed to medium for 3 minutes. Put on the splash guard. Increase speed to high & beat for 3 additional minutes.
- Add the toasted marshmallow syrup & vanilla extract. Beat on high for an additional 7 minutes (splash guard is not necessary)
- While the marshmallow is whipping, prepare a large piping bag by fitting it with a large star tip (I used an Ateco 828).
- Once the marshmallow is very thick & holds its shape/a stiff peak, use a portion scoop to scoop it into the prepared piping bag.
- Pipe rosettes onto the top of each cupcake, starting from the outside and ending in the center with a slight peak. Work quickly so that the marshmallow does not set up in the mixing bowl or in the piping bag.
- Pipe any remaining marshmallow into star shapes on a sprayed, parchment-lined pan.
- Allow the marshmallow-topped cupcakes to set at room temperature for an hour, then transfer to an airtight container.
- Just before serving, torch each cupcake to caramelize the marshmallow & burn it slightly.