pretzel stout cupcakes

April 26, 2017


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!


featured:

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.   


Pretzel Stout Cupcakes
(barely adapted from My Sweet Kitchen)

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Ingredients

For the Stout Chocolate Cupcakes:
(makes 12 cupcakes)
  • 3/4 cup (3.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick // 4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (1 ounce) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) stout beer
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup (2.65 ounces) sour cream

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
(enough for 12 cupcakes)
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks // 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup (5.3 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For Decorating:
  • mini pretzels
  • chocolate syrup
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Recipes

For the Stout Chocolate Cupcakes:
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 (F). Prepare a muffin pan by lining with 12 cupcake liners.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside.

  3. In a medium saucepot, melt 1/2 cup unsalted butter. Whisk in 1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/2 cup stout beer. Let the mixture cool slightly.

  4. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 large egg and 1/3 cup sour cream. While whisking the mixture, add the butter, cocoa powder, and beer mixture. Continue whisking until well combined.

  5. Sprinkle the dry ingredients (from the 2nd step) over the wet ingredients (from the 4th step) and continue whisking until smooth. 

  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan — do NOT fill the cups more than two-thirds full, otherwise, they'll overfill and sink in the center! If necessary, reserve some batter for a second batch. 

  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, before turning out to cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  1. In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat 3/4 cup unsalted butter on medium-high speed until light and creamy. Lower the mixer speed to its slowest setting and add 1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt all at once, turning the mixture back to medium-high when the sugar has disappeared into the butter, beating for around 30 seconds. Lower the mixer speed back to its slowest setting and add 2/3 cup cream cheese and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract; turn the mixer speed back on to medium-high and beat for another minute until the frosting is fluffy and smooth.

Assembly:
  1. When the cupcakes are completely cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting. Fit a pastry bag with your choice of tip and fill the bag with the cream cheese frosting. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and decorate with pretzels and chocolate sauce for garnish. Enjoy!

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