It's always interesting to get commissioned to make a specialty cupcake. This time around I was asked if I make a stout cupcake. I've made Guinness cupcakes before and they're easy. But because I am who I am, I do mine differently than other bakers out there. My secret is to always reduce the main ingredient because it helps intensify the flavor of it and thus allows it to become part of the symphony of the cupcake rather than become lost amongst the chocolate or the vanilla. Here, I was given a list of stouts and lagers to choose from and create a cupcake for a friend's coworker. I was intrigued with the Smoked Porter so decided to try it. It's a lovely dark beer with hints of chocolate, vanilla bean, and coffee. It translated well into my basic chocolate cupcake batter which was indeed a chocolate cake with forward flavors of the Smoked Porter. To double the fun, I also used the Smoked Porter reduction in my buttercream frosting. I topped it off with 70% dark chocolate shavings and a chocolate covered espresso bean. This is my newest cupcake, "The Swartz", named after my friend's coworker, who received these as a gift.
1 cups all-purpose flour
1 cups sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup Bergenfield unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
Then add to dry mixture in order given:
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cups hot water
½ cup reduction of Stone Brewing Company Smoked Porter *
1 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or paste
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Pour into paper-lined cupcake molds and bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool on racks before frosting. Makes 12 cupcakes.
* To make a reduction of the Smoked Porter: In a heavy saucepan, bring to a low boil, 2 cups of the porter until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Let it cool completely before adding it to your batter. You can drink the rest of the bottle if there is any left.
Smoked Porter Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened slightly
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons reduction of Stone Brewing Company Smoked Porter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla paste
In a stand mixer or mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy then slowly add the confectioners' sugar. Beat until fluffy, then add the Smoked Porter reduction and the vanilla. Beat until mixed thoroughly. Add more powdered sugar if you need a tighter buttercream. Pipe rosettes using a Wilton 1M.