Now back to the topic du jour....cupcakes.
Remember how we hosted a birthday party for John's dad? When it came time to decide on the dessert, I knew I'd be baking. It had to be chocolate and there was already a request for the Stone Smoked Porter chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel cream cheese frosting. But I wanted to try something new too. Yes, I'm that person that makes new recipes for a party.
Fortunately, it wasn't a total risk. The bottom half of the cupcake was already tested and deemed John's favorite cupcake that I've ever baked. He could be found enjoying quite a few bald (sans frosting) smoked porter cupcakes. Sometimes chocolate cakes or cupcakes can be dry, but the sour cream is the trick to keeping them moist.
After a little searching on one of my favorite foodie blogs, Eat Live Run, I found my answer: chai buttercream. Seasonally appropriate (I looove cinnamon). A little something different. But not too strange.
|Yes, those are mustache candles|
Stone Brewing Co. Smoked Porter Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Chai Buttercream
Cupcake adapted from The Brooklyn Kitchen
Frosting adapted from Eat Live Run
1 cup flavorful dark beer – I used Stone Brewing Co. Smoked Porter. You can also use somethig like Rogue Mocha Porter, Lagunitas Cappucino Stout, or Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder)
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (I used Medaglia D'Oro)
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Preheat oven to 350*.
Combine the beer and butter in a large sauce pan and heat to melt.
Remove from heat; whisk in the cocoa, sugar, and espresso.
In your mixer, beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla. Add the beer mixture a little at a time. It'll still be warm (or hot) and you don't want scrambled eggs.
Sift together the flour and baking soda, and fold into the batter. Mix until combined.
Pour into cupcake pan (you can go a little more than ¾ full on these) and bake for 20-25 minutes for regular-sized cupcakes and 10-12 minutes for mini's. Test with a toothpick to be sure they're baked through.
Cool completely on a rack.
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
About 3-4 cups powdered sugar
2 chai teabags
2 T boiling water
2 T milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon (heaping if you love cinnamon like me)
Beat the butter in a mixer with the whisk attachment until soft.
Brew the tea in the two tablespoons of boiling water and let sit for ten minutes to steep. Then, add the milk.
Add the chai tea mixture, cinnamon, and the powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) to the butter and continue to beat for 10 minutes until very light and fluffy.
Frost liberally :)