Twice since March (St. Patrick’s Day, don’t you know?) I have attempted to make Guinness cupcakes (read about the failed attempt here). The first time, the center of the cupcakes completely collapsed, and the texture of the final product did not really seem baked. I thought maybe I simply did something wrong, but when I tried the same basic recipe for a second time, I had the same poor results. I am not someone who needs to repeat my mistakes 1,000 times before learning, so I changed the recipe and had brilliant success today.
I will post pictures and some tasting testimony once I have fed them to people, but at least from the chemical/visual viewpoint, these are spot on.
Guinness cupcakes (success!)
1 cup butter
1 cup Guinness (or other stout)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup white sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
Heat butter, Guinness, cocoa and brown sugar on the stovetop until the butter is melted and the mixture comes together cohesively. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
Mix flour, white sugar and soda. Add the Guinness mixture. Mix well.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the sour cream.
Divide into lined cupcake pans and bake at 350F/175C for about 20 to 25 minutes (until toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean). Let cool 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Place on a cooling rack to allow to cool completely before frosting.
And what would these be without Baileys Swiss meringue buttercream?
Baileys Swiss meringue frosting
3 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons Baileys
Mix the egg white and the sugar over a double boiler. The sugar should be completely dissolved when you remove it from heat. Pour the mixture into a large bowl (preferably the mixing bowl of a stand mixer — Swiss meringue is mixing intensive, so a stand mixer works best). Whisk on high speed until stiff but still wet peaks form. Continue to beat for about five or six minutes after these peaks form.
Switch to the paddle attachment and turn the speed to medium low. Add the butter in one or two tablespoons/pieces at a time. The mixture might start to look lumpy and curdled. Don’t worry. Keep mixing. When things start to come together, beat in the flavoring (in this case, the Baileys) and keep beating for another two minutes. It might take some time to get to the right texture. You will know when it comes together in a solid, fluffy, frosting-like consistency.