Guest chef

John Whaite

After winning series 3 of The Great British Bake Off, John has gone to train as a professional baker. His first book, John Whaite Bakes has recipes to suit every mood. He builds a great gingerbread house.

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Guinness and cassis cupcake roulette

  • Makes 12
  • Total time 2 hrs 10 mins
5.0/5 rating (1 votes)
Guinness and cassis cupcake roulette
Guinness and cassis cupcake roulette

step by step

  • 1Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with deep cupcake cases (black or dark brown look dramatic).
  • 2Beat the butter and sugars together in a mixing bowl – either with a wooden spoon, a handheld electric whisk or freestanding mixer and paddle attachment. This won't go fluffy, as there is much more sugar than butter, but try to get it as smooth as possible. Beat in the eggs. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda together into a bowl and fold this in, alternating with the buttermilk, until well combined. Pour over the Guinness and fold in until you have a smooth batter.
  • For "Russian Roulette", add 1 teaspoon of Marmite to a little of the cassis jam filling and add it to one cupcake. Decorate the cupcake in the same way as the others and keep your fingers crossed that you won't be the one that gets it!
  • 3Divide the batter between the muffin cases. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack, in the muffin tray. Don't turn off the oven.
  • 4For the 'glass' shards, unwrap the mints and grind them to a fine powder – I do this in my NutriBullet, but you can do it in an ordinary food processor. Line a baking sheet with a piece of baking paper and sprinkle the powdered sweets onto the baking paper as evenly as possible. Heat in the oven until it forms a molten pool of 'glass' – about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool and harden completely.
  • 5For the filling, put the jam into a sieve over a bowl and press the jam though to remove the seeds and skins. Set aside 3 tablespoons of the sieved jam for the icing. Mix the remaining sieved jam with 3 tablespoons cassis. Remove and reserve 3 tablespoons of this mixture to use later as a 'blood dribble'.
  • 6Use a small sharp knife (or an apple corer) to remove a small round of cake (about 2cm) from the middle of each cupcake, to create a cavity – be careful not to press right through to the base of the cupcake – and set aside these pieces of cake, don't discard. Using a small teaspoon, divide the cassis jam filling between the cavities of the cupcakes (see recipe introduction) and plug the tops with the reserved little pieces of cake, to enclose the filling.
  • 7For the purple cassis icing, whisk the butter in a bowl until pale and light. Sift over the icing sugar in 2 or 3 batches, whisking with each addition until light and creamy. Add the reserved 3 tablespoons sieved jam and 1 tablespoon cassis, plus as much of the gel food colour as you want.
  • 8To assemble, cover the tops of each cupcake with the icing using either a piping bag fitted with a 15mm nozzle, or a small palette knife or spoon to spread the icing.
  • 9Break the 'glass' into sharp shards. Insert one big shard into each cupcake, with a drizzle of the reserved jam and cassis mixture as blood.
  • Weigh the Guinness rather than measuring it out in a jug, as the froth can often impede an accurate reading, and weight is far more accurate than volume. Any leftover Guinness can be drunk or saved for use in a beef casserole or stew.

Get ahead

Make the cupcakes 2 days ahead, then fill and decorate on the day. The iced cupcakes can be frozen for up to 1 month. Add the 'glass' shards just before serving.

You will need

For the cupcake batter

  • 70g softened salted butter
  • 150g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 180g self-raising flour
  • 45g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 140ml buttermilk
  • 75g Guinness (see Kitchen Secret)

For the ‘glass’ shards

  • 200g Fox’s glacier mints

For the filling

  • 454g blackcurrant jam
  • 3 tbsp crème de cassis liqueur

For the purple cassis icing

  • 125g softened unsalted butter
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp crème de cassis liqueur
  • 10g tube Dr. Oetker ultra violet gel food colour (depending on desired colour)

+ Nutritional Information