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Death by Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes #FoodieReads


Last week I blazed through Sex, Murder & Killer Cupcakes by Allison Janda* in an evening. I liked the title, loved the cover, and it was a welcome distraction from my almost nightly Zoom meetings for various organizations with which I volunteer. Zoom fatigue is real!

On the Page
image from amazon.com
This book was okay. Just okay. Nothing earth-shattering or wow-inspiring. Even though it entertained me for a couple of hours, there really wasn't much going on in this story. The main character, Marian, owns and operates a food porn publication - Think naked guys holding food in front of their private bits. Yes, really. - and moonlights as a crime scene photographer with the local police department. Though that seems like an interesting combination of career choices rife with possibilities for character development and conflict, this book is mainly about her obsession with two guys, attempts on her life, and her wild and unsubstantiated conclusions about who murdered the model in her studio. The murder weapon, by the way, was a poisoned cupcake.

Amateur detective stories can be amusing. This one quickly grew tiresome because Marian's character was annoying naive.

But it did its job in distracting me as we head into our twenty-fourth week of being sheltered-in-place during this corona virus pandemic. For the first month or so that we were ordered to stay at home, I couldn't focus on reading. I would read a page or two, and my mind would drift. Then I started reading voraciously...and my standards plummeted. Ha. Now I'll pretty much read through anything.

On the Plate

There was no doubt in my mind that I had to make cupcakes for this post and I definitely wanted to make a 'death by chocolate' kinda creation. I don't know why I usually only make chocolate cakes with Guinness in March. I guess it's because Guinness isn't usually on my shopping list except in preparation for St. Patrick's Day. While it was my college beer of choice, now I lean towards smaller microbrews. But, here we are.

Ingredients

Cupcakes
  • 1 cup Guinness (or other stout beer that you have on-hand)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 cup organic dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup organic granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • Also needed: cupcake liners (I used shamrock green!), piping bag and tips

Chocolate Ganache
  • 1 cup organic heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks or chips


Procedure

Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Combine the Guinness and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk till smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In another mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend. Add the stout-butter mixture and beat just to combine. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

Spoon batter into cupcake liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-35 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache
Place whipping cream and butter in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until bubbles begin to form on the side of the pan. Add in the chocolate chunks and swirl to make sure they are covered with the warmed cream. Let stand for 3 minutes. Whisk until smooth.

Cool in refrigerator until it thickens, at least 30 minutes. Once it's cool, you can whip the cooled ganache into a pipeable frosting. Pipe over cooled cupcakes. You can refrigerate them to set the frosting. But my trio devoured them as is.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.


Click to see what everyone else read in August 2020: here.

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