01 March 2009

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

I stumbled on this idea over at Smitten Kitchen ... and was intrigued. A friend's birthday gave me just the occasion to try this out, and also gave me a reason to sip on some of the ingredients as I was baking. Blissful, really.

The basic gist to these wonderful confections are the following: moist Guinness chocolate cupcakes, filled with a Jameson laced chocolate ganache, topped with a creamy Baileys Irish Cream frosting. The result - FAR better than I imagined. I may never make chocolate cake without Guinness and sour cream again. Bold statement, but man alive, these things made me believe. They were a huge hit with the my dinner guests, and gave us a reason (who needs one though, c'mon) to toast the birthday boy with real liquid Irish Car Bombs. M'mm.

Enough gushing, on to the goods.

Makes 20 - 24 cupcakes. For me, 22.


Guinness Chocolate Cupcake Base:
1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
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

Jameson Ganache
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
3-4 tsp Jameson (I liked mine a bit stronger, and I eyeballed. This is optional, and Smitten Kitchen uses 1-2 tsp ... trust me, the whiskey flavoring adds a tang that's hard to describe, and absolutely divine.)

Baileys Frosting
2-3 cups confections sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 - 6 tablespoons Baileys (I added more, originally calls for 3-4 TB. More Baileys = creamier frosting and stronger taste.)

First, make the cupcakes:

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. Whisk in cocoa powder and mix until mixture is smooth. It will have a dense, chocolate, slightly bitter taste. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl, using an electric mixer or just a bit of dedication. I don't own an electric mixer, and frankly use this as a way to relieve stress :) But I'd imagine the mixer would make this process and frosting-making easier. Eh, it's kind of like a mini-workout ;)

Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and mix just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. 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 completely.

On to the best ganache I've ever had ... and I love ganache:

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. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. It should have a rich tang to it and the faint smell of Jameson. M'mm Jameson. :) Happy KT.

I used a small melon baller for this. You want to scoop out almost all the way down, maybe 3/4 of the way into the cupcake. Highly recommend saving these scraps for a little treat for the chef and drizzling with remaining ganache ... It provides a delightful mental health break while these cool ;)

Spoon the ganache into a piping bag / ziploc bag. Pipe the filling into the cupcakes. There should be enough to fill to the tops. My ganache was a little runny when I tried this due to the Jameson but it was manageable. I just popped into the freezer after that so this would set.

Almost done ... making the frosting:

Again, out of all the kitchen gadgets I have, an electric mixer isn't one. This is quite laborious without one, but hey, I had some time to kill ... and a bicep to tone. ;)

Whip the butter in a bowl with the mixer / brute strength, until it's light and fluffy. Mix in the sugar tablespoon by tablespoon, to help prevent a grainy texture or lumps. Once I had mixed in about a cup of the powdered sugar, I started to add little by little the Baileys ... it makes this mixing process, especially if by hand, MUCH easier. I probably used 2 cups of powdered sugar (original recipe calls for 3-4, but I didn't use it all.) I made mine a bit creamier by adding more Baileys ... play around with it. Should be a lightish brown color, with a noticeable Baileys taste and a frosting consistency.

I chose to put this in a bag, snip the corner and decorate the cupcakes as seen above. Not much frosting was needed, IMO, since these cupcakes are sweet enough as is ... just a little added pizazz. I sprinkled some shaved chocolate over the top, and watched as these got gobbled up. You know, after properly "Cheers!"-ing them, post the *other* Irish Car Bombs ... ;)

1 comment:

Ben said...

WOW! Those cupcakes look and sound amazing. I think I can "suspend" my diet temporarily to try some... Hehe

Nice blog :)