It seems everyone is having a ‘dry January’ this year. Girl chats over a bottle of wine have been replaced, much to the barman’s dismay, with diet cokes all round. Saturday night cocktails are on hold until February. Gin and Tonics on ladies nights have been substituted with pyjamas and blankets on the sofa. Not that I’m an especially big drinker. Yes, I do love a good glass of red after a long day, and there’s nothing quite like an ice cold beer sitting out in the sun, but I don’t need alcohol to be happy. There are times though, especially when it’s a frugal January, When you just need a naughty treat. A little something you really shouldn’t be having, but it just makes you feel so darn good.
Guinness Cupcakes do just that. The recipe comes from Nigella Lawson’s big, sticky, moist and dreamy Guinness cake. I’m in love with it’s black crumb and it’s foamy cream cheese head. The uncooked batter is in itself so delicious I could probably drink it with a straw. However, It’s a big cake, and It’s still a little too soon after Christmas to be considering that much indulgence, but an innocent little cupcake? Surely a tiny treat’s allowed….
For the Cake
40g cocoa powder
70 ml sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
135g plain flour
1 1/4 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda.
For the topping
150g cream cheese
75g icing sugar
65ml double cream
– Preheat the oven to 180 C
– Heat the Guinness and butter together in a large saucepan, until all the butter has melted. Whisk in the sugar and the cocoa. In another bowl, beat together the egg, sour cream and vanilla until smooth. Pour into the deliciously sticky, beery pan and whisk together. Finally whisk in the flour and bicarb. The batter will be very runny like brownie mix, don’t be tempted to add more flour!
– Spoon the mixture into a lined cupcake tray, cooking for about 15 minutes until they are springy to the touch. Leave them to cool completely.
– Meanwhile, mix up the cream cheese topping. Whip the cream cheese until it’s smooth, then sieve in the icing sugar and beat together. Slowly add and mix the cream in, until you reach a smooth, spreadable constancy. Top the cupcakes with the frosting, so it looks like the famous white head sitting atop a thick black pint.