I have never baked.
Not cookies. Not cakes. Nothing. Not even from a box. Not even with a fox.
I’ve come close to making green eggs and ham.
See, when I was in college and such, I learned to cook. With some people on speed dial to help me if needed, I played around with things. I learned how to cook protein. I even figured veggies and other sides. Pasta wasn’t my thing, but I could do it if I needed to.
Not dessert. No way, no how.
See, if I wanted dessert I’d go get it elsewhere. I realize making a cake from a box isn’t too hard. Get a thing of icing and, voila, it’s done. Instant dessert. I don’t know why, but I just never have done it.
Until last week.
I was minding my own business and had the Food Network on. During some commercials, Sandra Lee popped on talking about Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day (shocker, I know, that she was talking about a cocktail, right?) She noted some Guinness stew and mentioned going to the Food Network’s website to see what other types of things one could cook with Guinness.
Then I saw this — Guinness cupcakes!
See, now the February blog challenge run by Nicky and Mike over at We Work For Cheese got me into trying crazy things. Remember when I blogged about making blintzes? Exactly. I always look for interesting things to do for a blog post, but trying different cooking things never came to me until that “where can I get a good blintz?” blog prompt.
So here we are, staring at this recipe.
And what does it tell me? It should take about 40 minutes (I want to say it was about an hour and change) and I’d get 24 cupcakes (nope, got 28) out of it. The key part? Easy.
Anyway, for the most part, this wasn’t too hard to pull off.
Things learned, though, include the idea of letting the Guinness warm up and the melted butter to cool a little. See, I had extreme heat and extreme cold and, well, the butter seemed to turn into curds. It took a little work to get it right, but it worked out in the end.
Here’s the recipe:
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for dusting finished cupcakes
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch fine salt
- 1 bottle stout beer (recommended: Guinness)
- 1 stick butter, melted (I used margarine)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
- Lightly grease 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out.
Note that I didn’t use the icing that this recipe calls for. Instead, a sugar-free one was used, a little green food coloring made it festive for St. Patrick’s Day and, in the end, it tasted just as good.
This recipe got me 28 cupcakes, which was nice as I gave them out to people. I’ve heard good things, so I’m happy about that. I’m no Cake Boss or Sweet Genius, but it’s nice to know my first trip into baking was not from a box.
My review of these cupcakes is pretty simple — if you like chocolate, you’ll like these. It’s a strong chocolate taste. I think part of the Guinness is there, but it’s very, very subtle. (And, obviously, no alcohol as it’s gone in the cooking process!) So if you do this up, I highly recommend a nice, cold glass of milk while eating these.
I will definitely do it again. I’m considering making them at some point and using a bottle of my homebrewed Irish Stout instead of the Guinness. I’ll probably stick to the Guinness, but you never know.
As for doing more with Guinness and cooking — these recipes might be on tap (ha!) for me:
- Guinness Sundaes
- Guinness Milkshake (though I would imagine the alcohol stays for this one?)
- Guinness Float (not only does this have Guinness, but a bit of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Irish Whiskey — hoo rah!)
This was definitely a fun process and the cupcakes came out well. I’m glad I took the chance and look forward to playing around to see what else I can come up with.
Even if it doesn’t include Guinness.
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