Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Irish Carbomb Cupcakes

We have a friend whose birthday is on St. Patrick’s Day, and we celebrated with him on Saturday. I thought these would be a great addition to our party. They came out really great and were a big hit!
I followed SmittenKitchen’s recipe…thank you! For me this recipe made 28 cupcakes, and I added more Jameson and Bailey’s than was called for (adapted below). Otherwise, followed ingredients to a t -

1 cup Guinness Stout
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
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
3 teaspoons Jameson Irish whiskey

Baileys Frosting:
4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 tablespoons Baileys

Special equipment:
- 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer and a piping bag (though a plastic bag with the corner snipped off will also work). I did not have either, and improvised with a mini turkey-shaped cookie cutter. Since the frosting covers the hole, it doesn’t really need to be neat.
- Piping bag, modified ziploc, or syringe cake decorating set.

Make the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 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.
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. 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 on a rack.

Make the filling:
Melt chocolate; I used the microwave as per package instructions.
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.

Fill the cupcakes:
Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped/spooned (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes).
Meanwhile, using your cookie cutter, 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.
I used a fork to help get the center out. Those are your “tasters”.
The recipe indicated to put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top, but I just used a spoon to fill them and it was slightly messy but did the job!

Make the frosting:
Whip the butter in the bowl with an electric mixer for several minutes until it is very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.
When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.

Now the fun part - Ice and decorate the cupcakes:

I realized that my mother in law gave me a syringe decorating set similar to this one that I had never used, so I used this opportunity to test it out ... Hence the crazy cupcakes!

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