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St. Paddy’s Day sweets: Black and tan cupcakes!

Black tan cupcakes - st. Paddy's day sweets: black and tan cupcakes!

A classic black & tan is made with dark stout or porter and pale ale, the contrast creating a light bottomed, dark topped pint; the layering of the Guinness on top of the ale or lager is possible because the relative density of the stout is less than that of the ale.

These cupcakes are a play on the classic chocolate stout cake, and are the reverse – dark on the bottom and golden on top. The Guinness chocolate cupcakes are dense and moist, and the frosting, also spiked with stout, doesn’t taste of beer but has a buttery, caramelly flavor that I found completely addictive – as one who doesn’t actually like beer, I couldn’t get enough of it. The combination is unique, with a depth of flavour similar to a classic chocolate-caramel combo, but with far more character.

To get swirly-topped cupcakes like these, spoon the frosting into a zip-lock bag, seal, snip off a corner and pipe it out. Easy – and no clean up!

Black and Tan Cupcakes

1/2 cup butter
1 cup Guinness or other dark stout
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Guinness frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4-1/3 cup Guinness

In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the Guinness over medium heat; remove from heat, pour into a bowl and whisk in sugar and cocoa. Whisk in the sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt just until blended. Divide the batter between paper-lined cupcake tins and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes, until tops are springy to the touch.

To make the frosting, beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar and Guinness until you have a spreadable frosting. Wait until the cupcakes have cooled completely before frosting.

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