Valentine’s Chocolate & Stout Cupcakes

Valentine’s Chocolate & Stout Cupcakes. I have been reading up on beer. It’s nearly as good as drinking the stuff and I’m catching up with a lot of stuff buried deep in my memory from my time running pubs. I learnt there is a renaissance in the popularity stout and porters. It seems everyone is drinking the stuff. Now I love a good hoppy pint probably more than most and summer just isn’t the same without watching the sunset with a perfectly chilled cider, especially if you live near a beach. But at this time of year there is something about the perfect balance of bitter dark chocolate and coffee with sweet biscuit and caramel flavours in a delicious creamy stout.

Valentine’s Chocolate & Stout Cupcakes

Valentine’s Chocolate & Stout Cupcakes

I have been writing a bit about food and drink pairing so I thought it was only time for me to go one step further and not only pair a beer with a dish but include it in the recipe. Stout and chocolate is a classic pairing. The combination of bitter and sweet flavours in both the chocolate and stout develops the characteristics of each. This is such a great bake for a Valentine’s Day beer ( and chocolate ) lover.

This recipe will make a fabulously rich, dark, yielding cake but you will have to adjust the cooking times. I have chosen cupcakes as they will require less cooking time and one is really quite rich and filling. The cream cheese icing pays homage to the creamy head on top of a perfectly poured pint of creamy stout and contrasts the flavour of the cake perfectly. However, the recipe is so moist that if you want to just eat the cakes, then go ahead, they are great with just the lightest dust of cocoa powder.

What is Stout?

Guinness Stout

Stout is a type of dark beer made with heavily roasted chocolate malts that give it the distinctive aromas. flavours and colour. Original called Stout Porter because of its higher alcohol content than regular porters which helped extend the product’s life. From the start of the eighteenth-century porters were popular with brewers and their customers because of the strong flavour and low cost. Today the most iconic stout around the world is Guinness which pioneered an even darker brew than the English ales with the distinctive chocolate bitterness.

The East London Brewing Co. Quadrant Oatmeal Stout

I use an oatmeal stout in the recipe not because it makes any great difference to the finished cake but because I like to drink what’s left. You can use any stout you prefer. At the moment my tipple of choice is the East London Brewing Co. Quadrant Oatmeal Stout ABV 5.5%, it’s silky smooth and easily drinkable, with  lots of complimentary dark berry and chocolate flavours and finishing with distinctive espresso coffee notes.

Valentine’s Chocolate & Stout Cupcakes

You will need a deep cupcake or muffin tray and some paper liners. Makes 12 medium sizes cupcakes. You can buy vanilla bean paste and decorations from any large supermarket.

For the cupcakes

275 gr Self-raising Flour

400 gr Golden Caster Sugar

75 gr quality Cocoa Powder

250 ml Quadrant Oatmeal Stout

200 ml Vegetable Oil

150 ml Natural Yogurt

2 large free-range Eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste

1 level teaspoon Baking Powder

For the icing

200 gr full-fat Cream Cheese

100 gr unsalted Butter, at room temperature

100 gr Icing Sugar, sieved

1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste

Preheat your oven to 350 F / 160 C / Gas mark 4 and line your muffin tray with paper cups.

You will need two bowls and a jug. In the latter mix the stout and oil then in the first bowl sieve the flour, cocoa, and baking powder.

In the remaining bowl beat the eggs, vanilla and yogurt together. Next add the flour and cocoa mix and slowly whisk in the oil and beer until thoroughly incorporated and the mix is smooth with no lumps.

Carefully pour this mixture into your cupcake cups leaving around a centimetre for the sponge mix to rise. Then place in the centre of your oven and cook for around ten to twelve minutes until a small skewer inserted into the middle of the cupcake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Place the soft butter, this is best if left at room temperature, cream cheese and vanilla into another clean bowl and beat together. Add the icing sugar a spoonful at a time and slowly mix together. When all of the icing sugar is mixed in give the mix a good whisk together. Pipe or spoon on to the completely cooled cupcakes and decorate.

If you fancy making some more cupcakes try some more of my recipes….

The Best Ever beer free Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Here is my Chocolate and Coffee Buttercream Cupcake Recipe the only beer free Chocolate cupcake recipe you will ever need.

Strawberry Milkshake and White Chocolate Cupcakes

The secret of this recipe to use Nesquik milkshake powder which gives a real milkshake flavour to both the cake and the topping and I added another childhood favourite some white chocolate buttons to give it my own little twist.

Published by Christian Gott - An Island Chef

I am a food and drink writer, chef, one-time publican and restaurant manager, and qualified ASET trainer with over thirty years of experience in hospitality. I now live and work in the Channel Islands with my beautiful family. I’ve worked on six islands and in probably just about every type of business you can imagine, from beachside burger joints to world-famous pizza restaurants and in more than a few really good food pubs, historic country inns, and a former RAC Blue Riband UK Hotel of the Year. I have helped to create a small informal dinning group, been a group executive chef for eighteen diverse bars and eateries, demonstrated at food festivals, and contributed to the Real Food Festival Cookery Book, national and local publications, and podcasts. I am a proud member of the Guild of Food Writers and the British Guild of Beer Writers.

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