One of my Little Green Wagon clients turned friends are returning back to England. For their good-bye party, I thought it would be nice to bring something personal and festive to their St. Patrick’s Day gathering. Vinegar Hill House in Brooklyn has this abundantly moist Guinness Chocolate Cake that almost every patron there completes their meal with. I thought their recipe would be perfect for the occasion: Brooklyn + Irish + friendly party food!
For those who don’t favor super sweet desserts, this is a really nice mellow chocolate cake where the Guinness brings out the flavor of the chocolate. I adapted the recipe a bit for the cupcakes. Since I had a little bit of batter leftover, I decided to try out the bake-in-a-can technique. Unless you do not have any cake or muffin pans, I do not recommend using anything larger than a Campbell soup can because it takes a considerable amount of time to bake.
- 1 cup Guinness stout
- 1 stick + 2 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3/8 cup Unsweetened cocoa
- 2 cups, Superfine sugar (or granulated)
- 3/8 cup Sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups All-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 oz Cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup Confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 cup Half and half
- 2 Tablespoon Sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Over medium-low heat, combine butter and beer into a saucepan. Keeping sure not to cook the butter, carefully stir but not to encourage the carbonation. Once the butter melts, remove pan from heat to cool. The color becomes this beautiful amber where the butter tends to float atop the stout.
Whisk in the sugar and cocoa into the pan. Unless you are a math whiz, you may be puzzled by the 3/8 cup. I figure since 4/8 is 1/2, then it’s a tad short of 1/2 cup. To be precise, 88.7205887 milliliters or 6 Tablespoons. This is how it measured:
In a mixer, or you can even do this by hand since the butter has melted, mix together eggs and sour cream with the whisk attachment. Add vanilla extract then thoroughly mix well. Once the chocolate batter has cooled, combine it into the egg mixture and give it a few more twirls. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients by starting at a slow speed until it comes together. Stop to wipe down the sides of the bowl. Continue to mix right until you see no trace of flour. Pour batter into cupcake liners or buttered cake pan lined below with parchment paper. I like to fill my cupcakes almost to the brim so that they form a dome top when finished baking.
The cupcakes will take 17 minutes but check with the toothpick test. For cake, 40-45 minutes. Transfer cake to a wire rack to cool.
While the cake is cooking, assemble the frosting by adding all its ingredients into the mixer with the whisk attachment. Slowly build up the speed in order to avoid any sort of confectioner’s sugar windstorm. I encourage people to play around with the measurements of frosting b/c it’s not a science like baking and you can easily conform it to your liking.
For some odd reason, when I use foil liners, I include the white paper ones too like it is the undergarment to its dress.