For the chocolate cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the cupcake pans with 24 liners. Bring a small pot of water to a boil.
In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the milk, butter, vanilla extract and eggs and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Whisk in 1 cup boiling water last. Batter will be very thin. Pour evenly into the prepared cupcake pans until about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 21 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks. Place the cupcakes in the freezer to speed up the cooling process.
For the beer flavored ganache: In microwave-safe bowl, heat the cream on high until it begins to bubble, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the microwave and add the chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Add the cold butter and stir until butter is combined; this will cool the ganache. Then, add the beer and stir until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to dip the cupcakes. (If it hardens too much before you are able to dip the cupcakes, reheat slightly in the microwave for 15 seconds and stir well.)
For the chocolate beer frosting: Dissolve the salt in the beer and set aside. In a 5-quart mixing bowl, cream the shortening until very creamy, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and the cocoa powder to the bowl and mix well. Pour the salt and beer mixture into the bowl and mix until combined. Then add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until fluffy.
To assemble: Dip the cooled chocolate cupcakes into the beer flavored ganache. Then pipe chocolate beer frosting on top of the ganache layer using a 1M Wilton tip, or any tip that will create ridges. Drizzle the cooled Beer Drizzle over the frosting.
Pour the beer into small saucepan. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Heat over medium-high heat. Continue to stir to avoid burning. Reduce the beer and sugar until it begins to thicken slightly and resemble syrup, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.
Use a dark beer for a more pronounced beer flavor such as Guinness, or use a lighter or sweet flavored beer for lighter flavor, such as Honey Brown.
A viewer or guest of the show, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Candi Pittman, Cupcake Wars, 2011