Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Guinness Cupcakes aka Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Happy St. Patty's Day everyone!

Maybe I'll get around to posting every now and then, who knows. In the mean time, I thought I would jump in around where I left off and share these amazing cupcakes I made last year to celebrate March 17th and everything Irish and green. Whats better than a sweet treat with the alcohol included (most of it bakes off, yes, but that frosting is potent and delicious!)? Enjoy!

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
*Note: This name is not meant to offend anyone, it is in reference to a drink. If you find it offensive, please call them Guinness Cupcakes.
Recipe from: Smitten Kitchen

Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes

For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup stout (such as Guinness) *Hubby loves that this leaves at least a half can of Guinness for him!
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Ganache Filling
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional, I used more like a Tablespoon.. or a little more)

Baileys Frosting
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)
*I made a double batch of the frosting, and used 3 of the mini-bottles of Baileys.. I didn't measure, but I know I added more than is listed here

Make the cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.

3. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely. (Yes, I made mini-cupcakes because I thought the bite size-ness would work better for the party we were going to. No, I do not remember how long I bakes them, but it was less than 17 minutes.)

Make the filling:
4. Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined. If you add the whiskey to a very hot mixture, some of the alcohol will evaporate. Wait until it cools a little if you want a more potent filling.

Fill the cupcakes:
5. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using a small knife or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Those are your “tasters”. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top. I did not put the removed cake back on top of the filling, I just frosted right over it.

Make the frosting:
6. Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.

7. When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin, beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar to reach a piping consistency. (You may need to add a bit more powdered sugar if you use as much Baileys as I did!)

8. Ice and decorate the cupcakes. [I used a similar method as here, I painted stripes of orange and green gel food coloring up the insides of the piping bag, and then slowing swirled the cupcakes as I was frosting them.]

REVIEW: Awesome. These are so good! You can easily adjust the amount of whiskey and Baileys to suit the tastes of your crowd. I thought the cupcakes were really moist and I was extremely pleased with how they turned out. Plus, they were quite the topic of conversation!