Keep up the spirit of st Patricks with this recipe for Irish Moss Cupcakes

Ingredients
Stout Chocolate Cupcakes
250g Butter
250ml Cocoa Powder
5ml Good Quality Instant Coffee Granules
250ml Stout beer or Guinness
625ml Cake or All-Purpose Flour
10ml Baking Powder
5ml Salt
500ml Sugar
2 Extra Large Eggs
250ml Buttermilk or Greek Style Yoghurt (Sour cream could also be used)
5ml Vinegar

Whiskey Chocolate Ganache
125 ml Cream
120g Dark Chocolate (I used 70% cocoa solids) roughly chopped
15ml butter at room temperature
50ml Whiskey

Buttercream Frosting
3 Egg whites
2ml Salt
185 ml Vanilla Flavoured Castor Sugar ( I always have this – fill a Consol or Mason Jar with Castor Sugar, split a Vanilla Pod and stick it into the sugar and seal. Refill as needed with sugar)
375g Butter (at room temperature)
125ml Icing (Confectioners) Sugar – sieved
80 ml cream Liqueur (I used Amarula of course)

How to
Stout Chocolate Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 180C

Line two muffin pans with paper cupcake liners

Melt the butter, stout and sifted cocoa powder together in a small saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave on high and whisk until smooth. Set aside and allow to cool while you make the batter

Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together, add the sugar and set aside

In the bowl of your electric mixer beat the eggs and buttermilk together until smooth

Add the vinegar and mix in

Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture with the mixer running on a low speed then turn up to medium until all combined

Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed until just incorporated. Don’t over mix at this stage

Pour the batter into the cupcake liners, filling each one about 3/4’s full

Bake for about 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean

Allow to cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting

Whiskey Chocolate Ganache
Heat the cream in the microwave until just below boiling point

Place butter and chocolate in a small mixing bowl

Pour the hot cream over and leave to stand for 2 minutes before whisking together until shiny and smooth

Add the whiskey and whisk in. Set aside until needed, whisking every now and again. As it cools it will thicken in consistency

Buttercream Frosting
In the metal bowl of your mixer whisk the egg whites and salt until frothy

Add the sugar and whisk on medium speed until incorporated

Now place your mixer bowl over a smallish saucepan of barely simmering water – the base must not touch the water

Continue whisking with a balloon whisk by hand until the sugar has dissolved into the egg whites and it is starting to look like meringue – test by rubbing a bit of the whites between your fingers and it is ready if no grains are felt. It doesn’t take too long to reach this stage – maybe 5 minutes

Return the bowl to the mixer stand and whisk on high until the mixture has cooled and is almost tripled in volume. It needs to be glossy and at the stiff peak stage

Divide the butter into 4 and add one portion at a time, whisking well to incorporate between each addition – it will thin the frosting down a bit but will build up again to a fluffy consistency

Add the icing sugar and beat in well

Pour in the liqueur and whisk well

I added a bit of green food colouring gel to make it a soft green shade

Fit a piping bag with a star nozzle and fill with the frosting

To decorate
Just spread a thin layer of the cooled thickened ganache onto each cupcake with a spatula, allow it to stand for 10 minutes and then pipe the buttercream on top.

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