Despite the addition of Guinness, these cakes are not at all bitter;
instead, the beer adds richness and moisture, and balances
the sweetness of the sugar. Topped with a cream cheese glaze,
these are a crowd-pleasing, not-too-sweet dessert.
Recipe via bigcitylittlekitchen.com
1 cup Guinness 1 stick, plus 1 tb, unsalted butter 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa 2 cups dark brown sugar 3/4 cup sour cream 2 eggs 1 tb vanilla extract 2 cups flour 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
8 oz cream cheese 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar 1/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350; butter a muffin tin.
Combine the Guinness and the butter, chopped into 1-inch chunks, in a large sauce pan, and heat to melt the butter. Remove from heat, and whisk in the cocoa and sugar. In a bowl, whisk the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla, then add to the beer mixture. Sift together the flour and baking soda, and fold into the batter. Pour into muffin molds and bake for 25 minutes, or until inserted cake tester comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes, remove from muffin tin, and cool completely on a rack.
Using a mixer, whip cream cheese until smooth, sift in sugar, and beat. Add milk, and beat until smooth. Spread glaze over cooled cupcakes.
To create a thinner glaze, use a tablespoon or two more milk; for a topping more akin to icing, use less milk, and perhaps more sugar. In either case, add a little sugar or milk at a time, mix, and check for desired consistency.
For braised beef: 5 lbs boneless beef chuck (not lean), cut into 2" pieces 3 tablespoons olive oil 3 carrots, quartered 3 celery ribs, quartered 2 medium onions, quartered 1 head garlic, halved crosswise 3 tablespoons tomato paste 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 1 (750-ml) bottle dry red wine (about 3 3/4 cups) 2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California 2 thyme sprigs 3 cups reduced-sodium beef broth 3 cups water
For potatoes and carrots: 2 1/2 pounds small white boiling potatoes 1 1/2 pounds carrots Equipment:
6-to 8-quart heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Pat beef dry and season with 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then brown meat, without crowding, in 3 batches, turning, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a platter.
Reduce heat to medium, then add carrots, celery, onions, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 12 minutes. Push vegetables to one side of pot. Add tomato paste to cleared area and cook paste, stirring, 2 minutes, then stir into vegetables.
Add vinegar and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in wine, bay leaves, and thyme and boil until wine is reduced by about two thirds, 10 to 12 minutes. Add broth to pot along with water, beef, and any juices from platter and bring to a simmer. Cover and braise in oven until meat is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Set a large colander in a large bowl. Pour stew into colander. Return pieces of meat to pot, then discard remaining solids. Let cooking liquid stand 10 minutes.
Cook potatoes and carrots:
While beef braises, peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch-wide wedges. Slice carrots diagonally (1-inch). Add potatoes and carrots to stew (make sure they are submerged) and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 40 minutes.
"James Snowden is an interior decorator, shopkeeper and, as he styles himself, 'blog curator’ based in Kentucky... He’s a blogger of few words but many beautiful pictures of things that have caught his eye - furniture and curios that are gently distressed, and interiors of an almost ethereal stillness. It is all seductively soulful and makes you want to hop on a plane to visit his shop with a fistful of dollars." -- Gareth Wyn Davies, The Telegraph