This is the cupcake that I entered into Willow Bird Baking’s Cupcake Challenge (it is also the other cupcake that I brought to our friend’s birthday party):
Chocolate Cupcakes with Guinness Chocolate Pudding and Caramel Buttercream
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder (I used Cacao Barry extra dark)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup strong black coffee (can be hot)
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil cupcake liners. In bowl of electric mixer sift all dry ingredients. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients, and with the paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Pour into prepared cupcake pan until cups are 2/3 full (or just less). Batter will be liquidy.
2. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer comes out with just a few crumbs (try not to overbake). Cool on wire racks in pans for 5 minutes, then gently turn cupcakes onto racks until completely cool.
Makes 24 standard cupcakes
*Adapted from Sweetapolita
Guinness Chocolate Pudding
4 large eggs yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Guinness Stout
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
4 ounces high-quality bittersweet (70 to 72%) chocolate, finely chopped
1. In a large non reactive mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar.
2. Pour Guinness and cream into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and whisk to combine. Set over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until bubbles just begin to form at edges. Remove from heat, add chocolate, and whisk until smooth.
3. Slowly pour hot chocolate mixture into eggs, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. Return mixture to saucepan and set over moderately low heat.
4. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens (at least 15 minutes). If mixture looks separated, blend in blender for one minute. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled and set.
*Adapted from Epicurious
Note: You will need to double the recipe in order to generously frost 24 cupcakes.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Bring 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar and the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Wash sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Cook, undisturbed, until caramel is dark amber. Remove from heat and slowly add cream, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth. Let cool.
2. Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Place white and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160°F on a candy thermometer.
4. Remove from heat, and attach bowl to a mixer. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add beaten butter, 1 cup at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla.
5. Switch to paddle attachment. With mixer on low speed, add caramel, and beat until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.
*Adapted from Martha Stewart
Using a small knife (or an apple corer, if you have one) cut a hole on the middle of the cupcake.Fill with some of the pudding, and then top with the frosting (I piped it on with the French Giant Pastry Tip from Bake it Pretty).