It’s that time of year again, my favorite quarter. Fall is coming, and pumpkin is everywhere. We figured we may as well make an adult themed cupcake with all the pumpkin beer and ale that I have seen everywhere. The testing took a little while. I don’t cook with beer very often, and there was somewhat of a learning curve in understanding what the beer did to the batter. The first go round we made 16 different cupcakes with a variety of 8 different beers and ales. Our two base cupcakes were chocolate and the second one was a spice yellow cupcake. It was interesting to see the results. We used a base dough and just put in the 8 different beers. Some were dry, some were chewy, some were just not even tolerable. The beer that we liked the best ended up being a pumpkin stout by Crown Valley Brewing. It just worked great with the cupcakes, the texture was not too delicate, nor too crumbly, and the flavor was decadent.
Once we narrowed down the stout, we then decided that it paired the best with the chocolate base cupcake. We then tested two other chocolate recipes to determine which one yielded the moistest cupcake. Once we determined the base chocolate, we wanted to find a way to get a little bit more of the stout flavor into the cupcake. What other way than to add some more chocolate, right? So we started testing a stout ganache. Once we narrowed that down with a blend of two different chocolates, then we came up with the idea to add the ganache to the cupcake prior to baking. What we ended up with was a moist delicious cupcake that had melted ganache flowing through the entire cupcake once it melted during the cooking process.
But what was interesting, is that the cupcake right out of the oven was like a molten lava cake. The ganache was just hot molten goodness at the bottom of the cupcake. Which is great, but not practical for picking up a cupcake and biting into it. But after a few hours of resting we then saw that the ganache ended up soaking up into the cupcake during the cooling. We were then left with a cupcake with a hole in the middle. Well, heck… why not just make more ganache and fill the hole. And that’s how this yummy little creation came about.
This cupcake was now created. What could we possibly put on top to meld with the richness of the cake? Salted caramel seems to be everywhere, so we figured why not make it a little decadent and go with a salted caramel swiss buttercream frosting. After 20 different cupcakes we have finally finished this recipe.
We have maximized the chocolate flavor, blended it with a great pumpkin stout and came up with a rich, yummy dessert. Give these chocolate pumpkin stout cupcakes a try. We would love to hear how you do with them or your thoughts on flavor.
Chocolate Pumpkin Stout Cupcakes
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 ounces beer
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped fine
- 1 ounce dutch processed cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup hot beer
- 4 1/8 ounce bread flour
- 5 1/4 ounce sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoon pumpkin puree
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Salted Caramel Buttercream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 5 egg whites
- 5 ounce sugar
- 16 ounce butter
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- In a small saucepan heat cream to a boil.
- Put the chopped chocolate in a separate bowl.
- Once cream boils, pour over the chocolate. Let it sit and melt for about 30 seconds then stir to combine.
- Slowly add beer and stir.
- Then add butter, stir and place in refrigerator to cool.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°.
- Line 12 cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners.
- Place chocolate and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl.
- Heat the beer to boil in a small saucepan. Once hot, pour over mixture and let sit, covered for five minutes.
- Whisk mixture until smooth, then transfer to refrigerator to cool completely. About 30 minutes.
- Whisk flour, sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and baking soda together in a medium bowl.
- Whisk oil, eggs, vinegar, pumpkin puree and vanilla into cooled chocolate until smooth.
- Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
- Using an ice cream scoop, divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Place 1 slightly rounded teaspoon ganache on top of each portion of batter.
- Bake cupcakes until set and just firm to touch, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating muffin tin halfway through baking.
- Let cupcakes cool in muffin tin on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from tin and let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours.
- Once cool, pipe remaining ganache into the cupcakes.
Salted Caramel Swiss Buttercream
- Combine 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook to a deep amber.
- Remove from heat and add heavy whipping cream. Being careful not to splash.
- Add butter and salt and set aside to cool.
- In a kitchenaid bowl add 5 egg whites and 5 ounces sugar. Place over a double boiler and let it heat until it reaches 160°. Remove from heat and transfer to stand mixer.
- Using the whisk attachment, whip mixture on high until it holds stiff peaks (About 6-7 minutes).
- Continue beating and add the butter a few pieces at a time. Add salted caramel sauce. Continue beating until buttercream is thick, smooth, and glossy (about 3-5 minutes)
- Frost the cupcakes.