I often get carried away whenever I’m doing online shopping. Just the other day when I was trying to order some cleaning detergents and a carton of coconut water from redmart, but ended up with additional unnecessary-deemed-as-necessity-at-the-moment items in my shopping cart. One of the item was this Japanese espresso stout. I don’t drink stout, but was curious about the flavour and wanted to try baking with it. So the moment it arrived at my doorstep, I made some espresso chocolate stout cake.
I tasted the stout before adding it to the cake batter. It was horribly bitter. I guess the bitterness of the stout comes from the espresso. It was extreme. I am sure my stout-loving friends might enjoy the drink but for me, I am happy to use it just for baking.
Chocolate always dominate in flavor. For this recipe, I wanted each key ingredients; chocolate, espresso and stout to be noticeable. To pursue the espresso flavor, I added a packet of Starbucks Via Italian Roast and a shot of Kahlua into the batter. The coffee taste did come through with a medium hint, which was good enough. So did the stout.
Now can we talk a bit about the GLAZE? The glaze functions like a shiny piece of LBD, dressing the naked cupcakes and readying them for a dressy party. Effortless to make and compliment the cupcakes very well. It is absolutely necessary in my opinion. You can accessorize the cupcake by adding chocolate-coated coffee beans and caramelia crunchy pearls like I do. Gold balls gives a nice sparkle to the cupcakes too. Or really, anything you fancy. Cocoa nibs, malteses, edible flowers, animal figurines…
Espresso Chocolate Stout Cupcake with Glossy Chocolate Glaze
For this recipe, you can play around with different types of stout. I have tried it with Guinness stout and excluded the espresso powder and Kahlua, it turns out great too. If you can get hold of chocolate stout, by all means use it to intensify the chocolate flavour. It’s a great alternative especially when coffee is not your thing. The sour cream plays an essential role for texture and by adding a nice tang to the richness of the cake. It is important to use full-fat sour cream, which will impact the way your crumbs turn out.
Makes 12 regular sized cupcakes
For the cupcakes
- 1/2 cup espresso stout
- 120 grams unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 50 grams dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 sachet Starbucks Via Italian Roast
- 1 tablespoon Kahlua
- 115 grams plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
- 120 grams caster sugar
- 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
- 2 eggs
Method for the cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
In a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the stout and butter into a simmer. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder and espresso powder till the mixture is smooth. Add in the Kailua and mix well.
Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl. Whisk in the sugar. Set aside. In another mixing bowl, whisk eggs and sour cream. Combine well. Add stout mixture to the sour cream mixture and whisk to combine. Fold in the dry flour mixture using a spatula. Mix until just combined making sure not to over-mix.
Fill cupcake liner to 3/4 full, using an ice cream scoop. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let it cool on wire rack before glazing.
For the glossy glaze
- 120 grams 54% dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Combine both ingredients into a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring gently with a silicon spatula or wooden spoon. Once chocolate has melted, remove from heat and continue to stir into a smooth paste. Be gentle as you do not want to create a lot of air bubbles in your glaze. Pour glaze onto a bowl. Set aside and allow it to cool and thicken.
Assembling the cupcakes
Dip each cooled cupcake onto the glaze, swirling around to ensure all sides are glazed. Twist and turn it back up. Decorate with chocolate-coated coffee beans, gold balls or anything you fancy.