Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Chocolate & Vanilla Frosting - dairy free

Even though we lost an hour of sleep Saturday night, I am so glad the clocks are pushed back. It's still (somewhat) light at 7pm! To celebrate the extra daylight, Mr Official Taster and I put in some thought and heavy lifting and created a little garden on our balcony over the weekend (more on that here). Unfortunately, our ten day forecast looks like it did when we lived in Seattle. But soon, I hope, it will be both warm and dry, and we can have dinner outside and enjoy our baby garden. Eventually, we might even be able to eat from our garden. Here's hoping.

As soon as I came across this recipe, I knew I had to try it, and Mr OT welcomes any excuse to finish off a bottle of beer. Since this recipe only uses a little, I waited until the weekend so he would be around to drink chivalrously help. As wonderful as chocolate cakes are, I didn't have a party to bring one to, and cupcakes are, well, easier and cuter, so they won. But if you have something or someone to celebrate, go forth and make the cake. It will be both impressive and delicious.

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Chocolate & Vanilla Frosting - dairy free
inspired by Bon Appetit

Especially with the chocolate frosting, these cupcakes are for serious chocolate lovers. The frosting is super intense, and I think I actually like the cupcakes with vanilla frosting better. Using milk chocolate rather than dark would make it sweeter.

The recipe works with the same quantities of real salted butter and milk. Instead of cupcakes, you can make a cake! Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and then grease and flour over the parchment. Baking time is approximately 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Double the frosting recipe.

Cupcakes (yields 24)
I used Rogue Brewery's Chocolate Stout, but several other breweries also make versions. Guinness is probably the next best thing. 

3 large eggs, separated
2 1/4 C all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
14 Tbsp (1 3/4 sticks) vegan butter, room temperature
1 1/4 C plus 3 Tbsp sugar
3/4 C chocolate stout, regular stout, or porter
2/3 C freshly brewed strong coffee or espresso

Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin tin with cupcake papers. 

Separate the eggs- the whites should go in a medium bowl and the yolks can just go into a small bowl or measuring cup. Separate them when you first take them out of the fridge, and they can come to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Place chopped chocolate in small metal or glass bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water and set aside.

Meanwhile, cream butter and 1 1/4 C sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy and pale. Add egg yolks, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Add lukewarm chocolate and combine. Then add stout and coffee. Beat in flour mixture in two additions until just incorporated.

With clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites and remaining 3 Tbsp sugar in a medium bowl until stiff but not dry (I interpreted that as stiff and still shiny) - approximately 8 minutes. Fold egg whites into chocolate batter in three parts.

Spoon into cupcake papers. Fill each mold 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cupcake tops spring back after pressing lightly with your fingertip (or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean). Allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. 

Chocolate Frosting (covers about 12 cupcakes)
1/2 pound bittersweet or dark chocolate (54% to 60% cacao), chopped
1 C nondairy milk (I used almond)
1-2 tsp vanilla

Combine chocolate, milk, and vanilla in a glass or metal bowl (you can reuse the one from the batter. one less to wash!) and set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Chill chocolate frosting until slightly thickened and spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours. If you're impatient like me, place frosting in freezer until thickened and spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Spread frosting over about half the cupcakes. 

*This is too thick to pipe, but if you want to be able to make those pretty piped tops, try adding some butter at the beginning so it's more of a buttercream. Maybe 1/4-1/2 stick??*

Vanilla Frosting (covers about 12 cupcakes)
1/4 C (1/2 stick) vegan butter at room temperature
1 C (~100g) confectioners' sugar 
1 tsp vanilla extract
non dairy milk (I used almond)

Cream the butter and mix in vanilla. Add sugar, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. If frosting is too stiff, add milk 1 tsp at a time and beat until well combined. Spread or pipe frosting over the remaining cupcakes.

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