Ribbonless but Still #1: Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Whiskey Zabaglione

by Sarah on September 6, 2009

So I didn’t place in the King Arthur “Babycakes” contest. I lost to a VANILLA CUPCAKE with fruit in it with a powdered sugar icing. *yawn* The judge said that “the alcohol flavor was too strong”……well, duh, they’re booze cupcakes. They were SUPPOSED to taste like that. Eh, c’est la vie.

I DID, however, win a blue ribbon with them at the Bonn Lair’s Guinness cook off a couple years ago, so there.
From the Sacramento Bee: “Winning entries include: …and Guinness-flavored chocolate cupcakes by Hollywood Park resident and regular customer Sarah Singleton, who squirted extra shots of Guinness into her cupcakes as soon as she took them out from the oven.” March, 2007

I don’t need you, King Arthur blue ribbon, even if you ARE fancy.

Here’s the promised recipe for my Guinness Stout-Chocolate Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Zabaglione.

Gather your ingredients.

Melt the butter and Guinness together in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.

Watch it, because it’s hard to tell when it simmers because of the beer foam.

Add the cocoa powder–look, the beer will foam like crazy.

Whisk it up and set it aside to cool. Remove the whisk to avoid gravity issues…..I left it there and it flipped out—causing great chocolate spatters everywhere. Not unusual for my kitchen, but you can learn from my mistake.

Whisk your flour, sugar and baking soda, set aside.

In your prized Kitchenaid Mixer (or a bowl with a hand-held), blend the eggs and sour cream.

Slowly, at first, dribble the warm chocolate in while the mixer is running–

Then pour it all in. Don’t over mix.

Pour in the flour mixture all at once.

Mix just to combine.

It should look like this:

Line your cupcake pans with paper cups and fill, using a 1/3 measuring cup.

They will be about 3/4 full.

Bake at 350* for about 20 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick.

Cool on a rack.

Now, on to the icing. Here’s what you’ll need.

First, whip your heavy cream with confectioner’s sugar and 2 tsp of whiskey until it has stiff peaks. Set aside in the refrigerator. I swear, I took a picture of this but it disappeared somewhere. Just picture it in your mind.

Separate your egg yolks. I just like to use my hand, it’s easier. And it feels cool.

Whisk the yolks and sugar together in a large metal mixing bowl.

After a few minutes, they will get light and fluffy.

Add the booze. If you are like the State Fair judges, you may want to add less.

Place your mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water…

and whisk, whisk, whisk! Don’t stop! You don’t want scrambled eggs. Keep going until it gets to be about so thick:

Place over a bowl of ice to cool.

See, it thickens more when it cools!

Remember that whipped cream? Go fetch it and spoon in about a third of it into the egg yolk stuff. Whisk it through to lighten it.

Add another third and FOLD, using a rubber spatula.


Finally add the final third and fold.

See how light and fluffy it is?

Grab a regular old spoon and put a dollop on top of a cooled cupcake. Spread it gently, the icing is pretty soft. You want it to loosely resemble the head of a Guinness.

Ready for judgement.

Oh my goodness, there’s ALCOHOL in here!

I guess they’re just not for the faint of heart.


Guinness Stout-Chocolate Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Zabaglione

1 cup butter
1 1/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350*. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter and Guinness until simmering. Add the cocoa and whisk until blended. Cool.
In another bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and soda. Set aside.
In stand mixer, blend the eggs and sour cream. Add chocolate mixture slowly and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and mix just to combine. Do not overmix. Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick.

1 cup whipping cream
3 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 plus 2 tsp. Irish whiskey

Using a mixer, combine cream, confectioner’s sugar and 2 tsp whiskey and beat till stiff peaks. Refrigerate.
In a medium metal bowl, whisk egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add the whiskey and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk continuously over the water until the mixture is thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the bowl form the pan and cool it immediately in a larger bowl filled with ice water. It will thicken as it cools.
When cool, add 1/3 of the whipped cream and whisk to lighten. Add another 1/3 and fold in with a rubber spatula. Add final third and fold. Icing will be soft.

Using a spoon, place a dollop of icing on the cake and spread lightly to resemble the head of a pint of Guinness.

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