I love to do the ‘copycat’ recipes. In fact, the reason I started really baking in the first place was to make things for my kids that would be less harmful (if only slightly) than the supermarket brands of the same thing. I never wanted to say ‘don’t eat twinkles!’ I just wanted to say “the corporations make bad decisions regarding what goes into twinkles, and so I will show you we can make them without artificial flavors or colors or unnecessary preservatives.” Of course, mine will go bad within three days and theirs will still be edible after the zombie apocalypse has subsided (see Zombieland for details). Above, I was not content to use anything bottled, so I made the marshmallow creme filling, the ganache and icing for the squiggle on top for these Hostess-lookalikes. This is the ‘piping the marshmallow creme’ stage, which was a lot of fun, but somewhat challenging to fill the cupcakes without breaking them open.
January | February | March | April | May | June
July | August | September | October | November | December
Though Ireland is rich in heritage, I must say that my experience with both the nation and the holiday has been limited to savory experiences. Needing to come up with something for an office pot luck, I turned to the world of baking to find something good to bring. Apparently, putting Guinness Stout in cakes and bread is done quite widely, or at very least, lots of people write recipes about this combination. Having read quite a few of them, I determined two things. One, I needed to buy some stout (and had no idea if that would be challenging on the eve of Saint Patrick’s Day, but then I remembered I live in Boston) and two that I was probably going to make cupcakes, not a cake. I figured since beer-baking was new, I’d want to try it out before I shared it with a crowd. You don’t really want to start slicing a cake just to see if tastes good. In any case, they came out wonderfully and even my wife said they were as good or better than my signature best chocolate cake ever, which for me, was liking finding a pot of a gold at the end of rainbow.
Makes 24 Cupcakes.
- 1 cup Samuel Smith Chocolate stout
- 10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 cup regular unsweetened cocoa
- 2 + 1/4 cups superfine sugar
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1.5 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2+1/8 tsp of salt
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt, to taste
- 1 tsp maple extract or a tablespoon of maple syrup
For the cupcakes: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cupcake pan and use liners.
- In a saucepan, combine stout and butter, melt and then cool.
- Whisk together sifted cocoa and superfine sugar and add to stout-butter combo.
- In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla; mix well.
- Add to stout mixture.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
- Add to stout mixture.
- Whisk or just combine; use a #2 scoop to fill your cupcake trays.
- Whack your tray to reduce air pockets, place in oven for 22 minutes
For the frosting:Make sure ingredients are at room temperature
- Cream butter and cream cheese together.
- Add confectioner’s sugar.
- Add vanilla, maple syrup extract and heavy cream, add a pinch of salt.
- Mix until smooth.
Transfer frosting to piping bag (or equivalent) and frost cupcakes.