Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Stout Cupcakes with Basil Buttercream

I like cake.  I really like cupcakes.
I like beer.  I really like dark beer.

I have been known to wash down cake with a beer, especially chocolate cake.  If you have not tried this before, grab a buddy (safety first), get the chocolatey- est cupcake you can find, choose your porter or stout brew of choice, and enjoy a life truth -   Beer + Cupcake = Bliss.

For my birthday last year a friend, who was in culinary school, made my birthday cake. She is a really good friend and I kind of knew that she would volunteer to make the cake.  Full disclosure - it was why I had the party. ;)  There were 10 of us and we all went out to dinner to a trendy Seattle restaurant.  She brought the cake to the restaurant for dessert - example of why we are friends.

The cake was a dark chocolate stout cake with ridiculously good ganache.  I have had ALOT of cake in my life and it was in the top three EVER!  I can still smell it.  The crumb of the cake was perfect, not too wet, not too dry.  It had just the right amount of sweetness,. You could taste the cocoa powder on your tougue and it had just a ting of a sour note. The ganache was smooth and shiny, rich and luscious! It was a hard cake to share.  I was concerned that after a big meal people would pass on a big slice of cake. We were full. As the best testament to its goodness everyone did a very respectable job on their cake slices and the only doggy bags that left the restaurant that night had dark chocolate stout cake in them.  It made the best breakfast I ever ate. 
Let me know what brew you washed your cupcake down with? 

Here is the recipe from epicurious. 

I paired it with basil buttercream inspired from the Vanilla Bean Blog. 

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (three sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces (about 70 degrees – butter should be  soft enough to mix well, but firm enough to give some structure to the buttercream)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine milk, heavy cream, and basil in a heavy bottomed saucepan.  Heat gently,  until just simmering, and remove from the heat. Let cool, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Remove basil leaves from cream, squeezing any ‘basil juice’ from the leaves into the cream.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk-cream-basil mixture and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool, 7-9 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, about another 1-2 minutes.
Add the vanilla and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the proper consistency.

 Image result for chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icingImage result for chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing


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