Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Beer Cupcakes: The Drunk Walrus
Pinky: It's April and spring has sprung in Vancouver. Which means the weather alternates between sun and rain on a daily basis and today, it poured. So naturally I turned to baking.
I recently bought a book on cupcakes and decided to try one of the designs with a slightly modified recipe to include beer. I was particularly interested in using Phillip's Chocolate Porter, as it's just so gorgeously smooth and rich yet not overly sweet with a nose of bitter chocolate. This is also how Brew cleverly came up with the name 'the Drunk Walrus,' but not until after pointing out that they looked like 'demented bats with learning difficulties,' which is also one of the reasons why I'm not saving one for him (the other reason being he's in Australia).
There seems to be some old established notion that women and kitchens are natural best friends, leading me to think I must have offended the kitchen while I was young because I suck at cooking (hence I divert attention from that flaw with my love of beer). So I can say with total honesty that this is the best thing that has ever come out of my kitchen. Not only were these Drunk Walrus cupcakes edible and cute, they were moist and rich and delicious. I am convinced it was the porter that made them so gorgeously yummy. The last thing I attempted to bake literally crumbled into pieces when I looked directly at it.
For all my friends and for anyone else who may be interested in the recipe, here it is; however, for the walrus-y part, that's entirely left up to your own skills. I used white sprinkles on the snout, which I had to laboriously pick out individually from a container of rainbow sprinkles (...shoot me now), almond slivers for tusks and crushed cookies for that fuzzy brown coating. I also had to wreck a couple of perfect cupcakes to make circles for the heads, which were then 'glued' to the cupcake bodies with vast quantities of more pre-made icing.
•1 cup Chocolate Porter
•1 stick, plus 1 tb, unsalted butter
•3/4 cup unsweetened coooa
•2 cups dark brown sugar
•3/4 cup sour cream
•1 tb vanilla extract
•2 cups flour
•2 1/2 tsp baking soda
Combine the Guinness and the butter, chopped into 1-inch chunks, in a large sauce pan, and heat to melt the butter. Remove from heat, and whisk in the cocoa and sugar. In a bowl, whisk the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla, then add to the beer mixture. Sift together the flour and baking soda, and fold into the batter. Pour into muffin molds and bake for 25 minutes, or until inserted cake tester comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes, remove from muffin tin, and cool completely on a rack. Followed by decorating with chocolate icing and your own choice of toppings.