Usually on Friday’s I only post a Friday Fancies article, but given that tomorrows is St. Patrick’s Day, I couldn’t very well go without paying tribute to this oh so important day. Yeah, I said important. Tomorrow night I will meet my friends and partake in the annual whiskey filled evening at my favorite pub, and being as enthusiastic as I am, I will probably wear something green too. It’s allowed, for everyone becomes Irish on March 17th.
Ok fine. So it’s just an excuse for us to drink a little more whiskey (specifically Jameson) than usual. It’s also a great excuse to make chocolate stout cupcakes filled with whiskey chocolate ganache and topped with whiskey buttercream. Oooh yeah. I started making them last year after I came across a great recipe for Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes on Smitten Kitchen. They are to die for! I took them with me to the bar last year and they were a hit with my friends.
This year I plan to make them again, only this time they will be vegan. Why? Well, St. Patrick’s day always lands during lent and one of my best girlfriends goes vegan for lent and last year she couldn’t indulge in one of my cupcakes. I felt horrible. So, this year I am making it up to her by making the same cupcake vegan.
I wanted to find a recipe that was just like the one by Smitten Kitten and I did, but found the cake consistency of another recipe to be a bit better. In the end I combined two vegan recipes and the results were fantastic! Now, I know what your thinking, I too was a non believer until I tried them. I think my friends are going to like these very much.
I followed the cupcake recipe from Chef Chloe who by the way has delicious vegan recipes if you’re ever in the mood for something new.
Update 4/18/12: I’ve updated the name of this post to Chocolate Stout Vegan Cupcakes with Jameson Frosting because one of my site visitors has pointed out that Guinness is not vegan as Guinness brewed beers are made with isinglass finings. Isinglass is a substance obtained from the dried swim bladders of fish. Truth be told, I did not know this and I’m glad she shared this information with me. Thank you Nicole! However, I do want to set everyone’s mind at ease and let you know that I did not use Guinness in this recipe and I should not have included the Guinness name in the post title. I followed Chef Chloe’s recipe to the T for fear of ruining the taste and used Trader Joe’s Oatmeal Stout. Since I wanted these cupcakes to reflect both the Irish theme and inspiration of the original cupcake recipe, it never occurred to me that I needed to adjust the name of the recipe. I hope this clears things up and makes everyone feel confident that this is truly a vegan recipe.
Chocolate Beer Cupcakes
Makes 12 to 14 cupcakes
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour plus ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup stout beer (like Trader Joe’s Oatmeal Stout)
½ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For the chocolate whiskey ganache and whiskey buttercream I followed the recipes on the Dharma Bakery blog.
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup soymilk (use 2/3 cups soy cream if you can find it)
2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated margarine, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) non-hydrogenated margarine, at room temperature
3 to 4 tablespoons “Baileys”
Directions for chocolate beer cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Line 2 (12-cup) cupcake pans with 14 cupcake liners.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together stout, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.
6. Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter.
7. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it.
8. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.
Directions for chocolate whiskey ganache:
1. Begin the filling by chopping the chocolate and transferring it to a heat-proof bowl.
2. Heat the soymilk until simmering and pour it over the chocolate.
3. Let it the soymilk sit for one minute and then stir until smooth.
4. Add the margarine and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.
5. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.
6. Using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes about half to 2/3 of the way down. You may need to use a small knife to help extract the centers.
7. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
Directions for whiskey buttercream:
1. When I made this, I ended up adding more than 4 cups of confectioners sugar to get it to the right consistency. I would recommend using 1/4 cup of the margarine instead. Begin the frosting by whipping the margarine for a second in a large mixer bowl, and then adding the powdered sugar, until it’s stiff.
2. Bailey’s is not vegan of course. So, since Bailey’s is basically cream and whiskey, what I did was simply alternate adding a tablespoon of whiskey and a tablespoon of soymilk to the frosting until it reached the proper consistency and taste. Soy cream might provide a better consistency.