Thursday, June 23, 2011

Orange You Glad I didn't Say Banana?


I'm a big fan of beer. I love it. All kinds. Whether it's extra fruity, super hopped up, or a mild frothy wheat, I'm a fan. I love it in the summer when you are cooling down after a hard day at work, or in the winter when you are cozying up with a good movie on a Saturday night. Beer rocks.

A couple of months ago, the girls over at We Are Not Martha inspired me to make some delicious Chocolate Stout Brownies. I was totally hooked. Beer and baking, sounds like a great idea.

Leafing through my Bon Appétit Desserts cookbook this weekend, I spied a recipe for Chocolate Stout Cake. Since I don't have a portable cake carrier yet, and I didn't want a giant cake hanging around my apartment all week, I decided to see if the recipe would work in cupcake form. The chocolate frosting recipe that went with the cake called for more cocoa than I had on hand, so I decided to make up my own boozy orange frosting. The two paired perfectly and created a fantastic cupcake that ended up being super popular with my coworkers.

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Boozy Orange Frosting (inspired by Bon Appétit Desserts)
Makes 18

Cupcakes
  • 1 cup stout
  • 1 cups (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon crème fraîche

Frosting
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons triple sec or other orange liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners. Bring stout and butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and crème fraîche in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin tins. Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cupcakes out onto rack and cool completely.

While cupcakes cool, whip butter until smooth and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add orange liqueur, milk, and orange zest and whip until fully combined. When cupcakes are completely cooled, frost cupcakes and enjoy.

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