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Black and Tan Cupcakes For St Patrick's Day

The Neighbours are having a little St Patrick's shindig tomorrow night, which I was very exited about. Unfortunately, I now have to work for a zillion hours tomorrow so I won't be able to attend, but luckily Shack and Little Shack will be there and I know that my wonderful Neighbour will save me some of her delicious stew and a nice slice of home made bread to eat when I finally get home.

Wanting to contribute to the meal, I offered to do a dessert but I knew that I didn't want to make anything green. I understand the kitsch factor of green beer and green cake/icing/random dessert but unless we are talking green tea ice cream, I just don't find foods that are not supposed to green very appetizing after they have been dosed with green food colouring. I don't really want to drink green beer or eat a green cake. I searched high and low and finally found these Black and Tan Cupcakes at Dinner With Julie and knew that I had found the perfect treat. Kind of a funny play on a classic Irish beer treat, rich with chocolate flavour and the colours are natural. If I could have found them, I would have LOVED to bake them in cupcake liners that look like a big beer glass. Last month I made cupcakes that had a butterscotch filling made with real scotch and these black and tan cupcakes are 100 times better to me.

Oh, if anyone can tell me  how to bake cupcakes in liners and still have the liners look fresh and pretty, please share. They are really nice St Patrick's day liners but after baking, they look like nothing. Do I use two or three on each cupcake? Foolishly, I thought i would just pop the cupcakes into a fresh liner to serve them but they don't fit the cupcakes after they are cooked. The only one that I doubled up by mistake is the cupcake I photographed so I am not sure if that is the way to go or not or if it turned out by fluke.

They are not beery tasting at all but rich and chocolately with a caramel tasting icing and I like them a lot. Little Shack loved feeling like he was getting away with something by eating beer cakes even though there is probably the equivalent of a tsp of beer in the icing for each one.

There was JUST enough icing to do all 18 cupcakes. I just cut the end off of a disposable piping bag to ice and that worked really well but I almost ran out of icing and had to get a little scotch with the last few. Get it? Scotch with the Irish icing.

Black and Tan Cupcakes 

1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of Guinness or some other Stout ( I used a Porter from Black Creek keeping it local)
1 1/2 cups of sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups of all purpose unbleached flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Guinness Frosting:
1/2 cup softened butter
3 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup Guinness ( I used Sleeman Cream Ale since I was busy keeping it local)

Preheat oven to 350F

Melt the butter with the Guinness in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove it from the heat and pour it into a bowl (I used my kitchen aid) and whisk in the sugar and the cocoa. Next, whisk in the sour cream, the eggs and the vanilla. I switched from the whisk to the paddle attachment before adding in the flour, the baking soda and salt and mixed that until well blended. Divide the batter between paper lined cupcake tins - this recipe made 18 for me. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until the tops are springy and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. It took mine 20 minutes to be perfectly cooked.
 Remove them from the tins after about 5 minutes and let cool completely on a cooling rack before you frost them.

For the frosting, beat the butter, the beer and the icing sugar with your whisk attachment until its all fluffy and a good frosting consistency. Fill a disposable piping bag and then snip the tip off so you have a big enough opening to pipe out a nice, fat coil.

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