Feminist Cupcakes: Áine

My friend, Áine K., taught me the phrase “Punk Domestics.” It seems to express perfectly a thing I’ve been trying to name for a while now, and so I am dedicating a part of this blog to it. I’ll be chronicling recipes (at least a feminist cupcake series) and other domestic pursuits such as crafts projects, gardening, and the like. In addition, I’m going to use the Punk Domestics category to talk about ways to use domestic projects or labor to dismantle some kyriarchy. (Not just hipster White Feminism bullshit like, “If you buy organic you’re not supporting slave labor,” either.)

It seems fitting to me then, to start the category as well as my Feminist Cupcakes series with the cupcake named after her. The cupcake combination is not one I made up, I reclaimed it in the name of the series. That was the beginning of my inspiration to name this cupcake after her…Áine has embarked on an art career that is reclaiming her talents and voice. The cupcake itself is a Guinness stout and chocolate cake, with a thin layer of bittersweet Jameson ganache, and a Bailey’s Irish Cream buttercream frosting. Stout and chocolate are strong, forthright flavors, the ganache is passionate and sweet at the same time, and the frosting is the little bit of sugar and fluff we all need from time to time.

This is a very rich recipe, and so I recommend pairing it with a good black tea with a little lemon and sugar.

 For the cake:

Wet:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 oz. baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup Guinness
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Dry:

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. corn flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

 

1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Get your cupcake pans ready with liners. Trust me, setting that part up will make you happier when you get to the stage where you’re trying to spoon out the batter. But if you have an electric oven, you can probably hold off on the pre-heating part for a while.

2. Cut up the ounce of bakers’ chocolate. I just do it with a regular “big” knife. (Anything in the category I think of as “chef’s knife” really.)

3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. When it’s melted turn the heat down and whisk in the bakers’ chocolate and then the beer and the cocoa powder. Keep whisking until it’s smooth, and seems kind of like a thinnish batter of its own. Set it aside off the head to cool some.

4. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, corn flower, baking soda, and salt. I usually mix with a fork until everything’s combined and the texture of the material kind of resembles a medium sandy powder. Hard to explain, but you’ll know what I mean when you get there.

5. Get your mixer. If it has a bowl, use that. If not, get a nice big bowl. Mix the eggs and the milk with the chocolate/beer/butter mixture. I recommend mixing the eggs and milk/cream, and then adding in the chocolate. If you have an electric oven and you waited, this is a good time to start preheating.

6. Now mix the dry ingredients into that slowly.

7. Spoon the batter into your cake pans. I like to fill the cups no more than 2/3 full, usually closer to 1/2 full.

8. Bake. Check at 15 minutes, they probably won’t be done but they might be. If not, they may take as long as 22 minutes.

9. Remove cupcakes to wire rack to cool. For the assembly steps in this process you’ll probably have the best luck by cooling briefly in your fridge or freezer, so the surface of the cupcake is cool to the touch.

 For the Ganache:

  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp Jameson Whiskey (or to taste)

1. Put the chocolate (I cheat and use chocolate chips) in a large bowl.

2. Heat the cream and butter, stirring often, to a boil. Pour over the chocolate chips and let sit 1 minute.

3. Add Jameson (or whiskey of choice) and stir to incorporate.

4. Refrigerate for 5 minutes, then stir. Alternate cooling and stirring until ganache resembles a thick chocolate sauce, but is not yet hardened.

5. Dip cupcake tops in ganache, and let stand to cool. The best way to keep it from being too messy is by using the fridge or freezer to really chill your cupcakes so it starts to harden on contact.

For the icing:

Wet:

  • 2 lg egg whites
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream

Dry

  • 1/2 cup sguar
  • pinch of salt

1. Whisk egg whites, salt, and sugar together in a heat resistant mixer bowl, just until incorporated.

2. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk sugar is completely dissolved in the egg whites. This should take you about 3 minutes. You can tell it’s done because the egg white mix will be smooth as silk when rubbed between your fingers.

3. Remove egg white mix from heat and mix with mixer and whisk attachment. You’re basically making a meringue here, you want stiff peaks. It should take about ten minutes or so.

4. Mix the butter into the meringue in stages. I cut mine into about 10 pieces. Your mix may look curdled, but just keep whisking until it incorporates. I promise it will.

5. When you’ve added all the butter, mix in the Baileys and change from the whisk attachment to the paddle (for a stand mixer) or beaters (for a hand mixer). This is also a good chance to taste test, and adjust if you feel the recipe needs more sugar.

6. Mix with the paddle until your frosting looks smooth and incorporated. Do your best not to overmix.

7. Frost your cupcakes, with the now cooled ganache on top of them.


Banner used with permission from: Go Make Me A Sandwich.

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