Moist Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
The beloved bar combo of beer and pretzels can be transformed into a refined dessert that even your fanciest Champagne-and-caviar friends will love. For this recipe, contributing editor and pastry chef Jason Schreiber bakes Guinness-flavored chocolate cupcakes in popover pans for height and tops them with cream-cheese frosting tinted with cocoa to resemble the foamy head on a nice cool one.
- Yield: Makes 2 dozen
Photography: Paul Barbera
- Unsalted butter, for pans
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 bottles (11.2 ounces each) dark stout, such as Guinness
- 3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
- 1 3/4 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted, plus more for dusting
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- Pretzel rods (for assembly)
- 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 24 popover cups and dust with cocoa powder.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. In another large bowl, whisk stout, molasses, and cocoa until smooth; set aside. Beat eggs and both sugars on medium-high speed until combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Gradually beat in stout mixture. Raise speed to medium, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low again, and beat in oil and vanilla. Add flour to mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream, and beat until combined.
Fill prepared popover cups about 3/4 full with batter. Gently tap on the counter to eliminate some of the air bubbles (batter will still look bubbly). Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, rotating cups halfway through baking.
Remove from oven and invert cupcakes onto a wire rack. Turn cakes right side up and cool completely. Using a serrated knife, trim rounded tops of cakes to create a flat surface.
Cream-cheese frosting: Place cream cheese in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium until lightened, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually beat in butter and sour cream until smooth and well blended. Sift in confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder, and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla and mix to combine.
To assemble: Dollop about 3 tablespoons frosting on each cupcake. Garnish each with a pretzel rod.