Hello, hello! It's Monday so I think we should have a cupcake (maybe two) - or at least plan to enjoy one of these tomorrow on St. Patrick's Day. I love a chocolaty bite after Irish stew, and these are rich indeed! They are heavily infused with malty flavor thanks to a dose of Guinness Draught.
I will find any excuse possible to use my chef's torch. It's one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. It's ideal for toasting the beer-flavored marshmallow meringue on these cupcakes, but if you don't have a chef's torch they'll toast up mighty fine under the oven broiler.
The cupcakes can be poured into paper liners if you prefer (and if you're looking for one less pan to clean). If you plan to use a kitchen torch to toast the frosting, remove the liners first because they'll easily catch fire.
May the road rise up to meet you, friends!
with Toasted Beer Marshmallow Meringue
[click for printable version]
Yields about 20 cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
11.2 ounce bottle (about 1 1/3 cups) Guinness Draught
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray the cavities of one or two nonstick cupcake pans with cooking spray.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt.
Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in the microwave at 30 second intervals until the two can be stirred together and the mixture is smooth (this took about 2 minutes in my microwave). Alternatively, heat the two together in a small saucepan over low heat until melted; stir to combine.
Beat the sugar and eggs together on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer until the mixture lightens, about 4 minutes.
Decrease mixer speed to low and slowly add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Pour the Guinness Draught in a thin stream down the side of the mixing bowl with the electric mixer at medium speed. Batter will be thin (see video). Scrape down the batter bowl and mix again to be sure all the ingredients are well distributed.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan(s) about 2/3 full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean (my batch was well baked at 15 minutes). Let the cupcakes cool completely before topping them with the meringue.
Toasted beer marshmallow meringue
1 cup Guinness Draught
3 egg whites at room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
10.5 ounce bag mini marshmallows
20 pretzel sticks
Place the Guinness Draught in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let the beer cook until reduced to 1 tablespoon, about 20 minutes. Let cool.
Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the pinch of tartar and mix again until the mixture thickens slightly and becomes opaque. Gradually add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Fold in the marshmallows using a large rubber spatula. Fold in the beer reduction.
Pile meringue high atop each cupcake and brown with a kitchen torch. Alternatively, place the meringue-topped cupcakes on a large baking sheet and place them under the oven broiler for a few minutes (watch them constantly to prevent burning!) until the meringue is well browned and slightly puffed.
Insert a pretzel stick in each cupcake. Let them cool for 1 to 2 minutes before enjoying.