A year ago, we ventured into NYC for our annual trek to one of the many museums. On that trip, we went to The Guggenheim. Honestly, I thought it was bizarre. Looking back, I realize I am so not into the artsy-fartsy scene (apologies to my artsy-fartsy friends.)
Last year's exhibit was Tino Sehgal’s art of human interaction. The museum was overwhelmingly bare. The man and woman in the lobby making out in slow motion (part of the exhibit) was fun to look at for maybe 5 minutes, but that got old real fast. Strange children kept approaching me, trying to start up conversations, as I'm hoofing it up the ramp trying desperately to find some art work.
By the time we got up to the top floors (finally, some artwork), I was tired and annoyed, speedily hopped into the elevator and exited the building. A few short blocks away, as if sent by the heavens, we stumbled upon the Cupcake Stop truck. I ran. I ordered. I wolfed one down - something chocolatey - I told the servers I follow them on twitter and how excited I was to find them - and immediately went back for a second. Turning to my family to share my second cupcake, they said "Mom you've got chocolate all over your face." Ah well. At least the day wasn't a total disaster.
Adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe for Chocolate Stout Cake, I first made these mini cakes to celebrate Guinness' 250th birthday. It's an awesome cake. I like to top off these beautiful little cakes with a simple mocha icing, since this recipe is all about the cake. To dress it up, plop a nice fat berry on top, or a shiny whole coffee bean.
If the Cupcake Stop served these, I'd go back for seconds again, but now I'll remember to wipe my mouth. —mrslarkin
for the cupcakes
espresso, or strong black coffee
unsalted butter, room temperature
light brown sugar (press out any lumps)
1 1/2 teaspoons
baking soda (press out any lumps)
for the mocha glaze
1 1/2 cups
2 1/2 tablespoons
perfect berries, washed and air dried, or 24 perfect whole coffee beans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set oven rack to middle. Lightly grease cupcake pan(s) with cooking spray. Line cupcake pan(s) with 24 paper liners.
Warm the stout and coffee. I do this in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, then add butter and stir until melted. Add cocoa powder and vanilla, and stir till combined.
In large bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking soda and salt.
In mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together the eggs and sour cream. Pour in chocolate mixture and mix slowly. Gradually add flour mixture and gently mix until it is all combined. Fill each liner ¾ full.
Bake for 18 – 20 minutes, turning pan(s) from back to front and top to bottom half-way through cooking time. Check with a cake tester to be sure – it should come out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove cakes from pan(s) and set on cooling rack to cool completely.
For glaze, mix together dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Add hot water by tablespoon-ful. Mix with a spoon until a loose icing is achieved. Alternatively, you can use fresh-brewed espresso in place of the water and espresso powder. Dip tops of cakes into glaze and set on wax or parchment-lined pans to catch drips. Top with berries or coffee beans and let cakes dry for about 20 minutes.
Serve with a lovely espresso, caffe latte, glass of milk, or the remaining stout if you haven't guzzled it down already.
Alternatively, bake in two 8 1/2" or 9" round cake pans, greased and lined with parchment, for 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.