Hi, hi, hi!
It has been a whirlwind of activity around these parts! A few weekends ago, I got to hang out with all my bestest blogging babes at Cherry Bombe's Jubilee! Then I hopped, skipped, and skidadled over to San Francisco where I bought too many snacks in Japantown and drank too many tequila shots with my fellow Yelpers. Then my pizza delivery was accidentally stolen by my downstairs neighbors who may or may not be running an illegal daycare service (LONG STORY). Now, my friend Tracy is in town and I fully plan on dragging her to all my favorite junk food spots in the city!
If I'm being 100% honest with you guys, all this activity has not given me much motivation to bake. While the rest of the country is already starting to harvest their rhubarb and strawberries, New York is still stuck on fall/winter fruits like apples and pears. I have been baking with apples and pears since last fall; it's time to switch it up. I am obsessively checking the Union Square Greenmarket app (which tells you what fruits and vegetables are at the farmers market, because this is the terrible dystopian future we live in) daily, hoping that one of these days it will show other things besides parsnips and sweet potatoes and apples.
In the meantime, I'll just have to make-do with what's in my pantry. And that happens to be chocolate. And beer. Lots of it. Perfect for these cupcakes!
This recipe comes from fellow blogger Linda Lomelino's latest cookbook, My Sweet Kitchen. Linda is one of the first baking bloggers who really inspired me and her work over on Call Me Cupcake really helped influence my own blog. Her photos are absolutely gorgeous, and her bakes are even more so. Think: cakes beautifully adorned in flowers, pies carefully and intricately woven, and a selection of perfectly rustic Swedish desserts. These cupcakes are no exception — the stout beer compliments the chocolate very well, adding complexity to their flavor and creating an incredibly moist texture. Each is topped off with a creamy cream cheese frosting and pretzels for additional crunch. Enjoy!
Some baker's notes:
- A stout is a type of porter beer made from roasted malt or roasted barley, giving the beer its distinct flavor and dark color. The most famous stout beer is probably Guinness, which you can use in this recipe to great effect. I personally used a milk stout, which contains lactose, a type of sugar derived from milk — because lactose cannot be fermented by beer yeast, it adds sweetness and body to the finished beer.