It’s here, it’s here! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’m going to be celebrating the day with these Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting. Oh be still my heart! I’m sure ya’ll know by now that I absolutely love cupcakes. And that chocolate and peanut butter combination? Om nom nom nom! Yup these cupcakes are right up my alley. They are even topped with a Malteser, which is another personal favorite of mine. (Maltesers are malted milk balls. The closest thing we have readily available in Virginia are Whoppers. But you better believe I keep a secret stash of emergency Maltesers squirreled away.)
I’m not so sure though, upon reflection, that peanut butter is very popular in Ireland. In fact, when I was living there, which was quite a while ago now, I remember having to search high and low to find a jar of peanut butter. And when I finally found it, it wasn’t “Jif” or “Skippy” brand that I was familiar with. It was called “American Peanut Butter” and was covered with red, white and blue and stars and stripes. And Reese Cups, which I’m pretty much addicted to, were nowhere to be found either, much to my dismay. I should say though, there was an abundance of other really tasty food readily available. I certainly was not in any danger of losing weight while in Ireland. The pints alone would see to that!
So, considering the whole peanut butter scarcity issue, the Irish pedigree on these cupcakes is probably a bit shaky. I did dress them up with some requisite St. Patrick’s Day shamrocks. Well…at least I did dress one up with the shamrock sprinkles. I don’t think any folks out there over the age of three like to eat those crunchy sugar crumbles really. Though they do look adorable!
And they do have the whole Guinness thing going for them, which is pretty dang Irish, so there is that. Not to mention the whole delicious thing. That is certainly worth a bunch of St. Patrick’s Day points I should think. The cake is dark, rich and oh so moist. And that Peanut Butter frosting is simply to die for, light, silky and fluffy as a cloud.
These cupcakes are my St. Patrick’s Day dream come true…all sweet and boozy…just like The Husband! Bake a batch before you head out to your St. Patrick’s Day parties. Folks will be so glad you did. Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daiobh! (Happy St. Patrick’s Day!)
Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
recipe for cupcakes from:Life As a Strawberry
recipe for frosting from: Handle the Heat
For the Cupcakes:
- 1 cup Guinness Stout
- ¾ cup dutch process cocoa
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
- 5 large (150 grams) egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 sticks (340 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- maltesers -for topping (optional, but not if you are making them for me! Mini Reese cups would also work well as a topper.)
For the Cupcakes:
In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add Guinness and bring mixture to a simmer.
In the meantime, place sugar and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat them together until incorporated. Add salt and flour and continue to mix. The mixture will be relatively dry and resemble coarse biscuit dough.
Add baking soda to buttermilk. Careful, it will foam up and out and all over the counter if you take your eye off of it for a second. Add the baking soda when you are ready to start streaming it into the batter.
Stream buttermilk/baking soda mixture into batter and mix until combined.
Add vanilla extract to batter.
Once stout and butter mixture has come to a simmer, stir a little of the stout mixture into the cocoa and mix until it is smooth and creamy. Add the cocoa mixture into the hot liquid and whisk to combine. Remove the Guinness/cocoa mixture from heat and stream it slowly into batter while mixing. The batter will be thin – that’s okay!
Pour batter into standard sized cupcake liners. Fill about 3/4 of the way full.
Bake at 375° F for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Set cupcakes on wire rack to cool. Remove cupcakes from baking tin after 5 minutes. Continue cooling.
For the Frosting:
Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice or vinegar to remove any trace of grease. Make a double boiler by placing the mixer bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl, whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 140°F, or until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl no longer feels warm, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add the butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated. Continue beating until it has reached a silky smooth texture. If the buttercream curdles simply keep mixing and it will come back to smooth. If the buttercream is too thin and runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes before continuing mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together. Add the vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
Add peanut butter slowly, 1 Tablespoon at a time, and mix until well combined.
If you would like to make this frosting ahead of time, keep in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let come to room temperature and rewhip in the mixer with the paddle attachment before using.
When you are ready to frost the cupcakes, place frosting in pastry bag fitted with whatever tip you desire and pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Top with malteser if you desire. (Oh yes! You know you do!)
Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)
Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting:
Malteser’s Candy– If you prefer you can substitute Whopper’s Candy for the Malteser’s