A rich dark Guinness laced chocolate cupcake topped with this heavenly light frosting is the perfect choice for a St Patrick’s day treat. This buttercream maybe a little more work, but I promise you it’s so worth the extra effort - once you’ve tried this buttercream, you’ll find it impossible to ever make any other!
Recipe By Gemma Simmonite, Chef & Co-Founder of Gastrono-me in Bury St Edmunds
Makes 12 cupcakes
For the Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
3 large free-range egg whites
185g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
250g butter cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
In a large clean bowl combine the whites and the caster sugar.
Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water – make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Whisk constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture reads 71c on a jam thermometer – this should take between 2-3 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the heat and tip the contents into a stand mixer bowl attachment. On high speed use the beater attachment and beat the whites until full and fluffy. The mixture should now be at room temperature and look glossy and whipped.
Reduce the speed to medium on the stand mixer and add the pinch of sugar.
Start adding a few cubes of butter a little at a time, beating well until the butter disappears before adding more. Keep adding until all the butter is used, then add the vanilla extract. Continue to beat for a further 3 minutes.
For the Cupcakes
155g Plain flour
30g cocoa powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¼ teaspoon salt
125g granulated sugar
100g light brown sugar
60g butter at room temperature
1 large free-range egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
125 ml Guinness
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt into a large bowl. In a stand mixer bowl beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and the vanilla extract and beat again.
Add the flour mixture a little at a time alternating between the buttermilk and the Guinness, scraping down as needed. Continue beating until fully combined and no traces of flour remain.
Carefully spoon the batter into the 12 cupcakes cases.
Bake for around 20 minutes until fully risen and a toothpick comes out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool before frosting.
Snip the end of a disposable piping bag and insert a 1m Wilton open star piping tip.
Put the piping bag into a tall wide glass - a pint glass is ideal or a small vase. Allow the sides to overhang, this will make filling the piping bag far easier.
When filled to the amount required, remove from the glass, and carefully smooth the buttercream down the bag to eliminate air pockets, then screw the bag tightly.
Working clockwise, pipe a continuous circle moving upwards on top of the cupcake. It may seem a little daunting if you’ve not piped cupcakes before, but a little practice and you will get the hang of it.
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