Thursday, March 18, 2010

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Based on the popular American bar drink, I have many fond memories chugging (er, I mean drinking) Irish Car Bombs back in my college days. While I admit I am not a beer fan, the creamy taste of Bailey's, the shot of Jameson whiskey, and the deep flavor of Guinness beer put many a smiles on my and my friend's faces. It tasted like cold, creamy Irish coffee. When I started seeing the cupcake rendition of this drink, I was ecstatic! What could top a Guinness-chocolate cupcake filled with a Jameson-spiked ganache and topped with Bailey's buttercream frosting?

I have had these cupcakes bookmarked since last year, and I specifically requested we have a Snack Day at work for St. Patty's Day so I can make these this year. While the list of ingredients and directions seem lengthy, it is not difficult to make. In fact, I prepared the ganache and buttercream the day before, and baked and decorated the cupcakes day of. HOLY COW- these were awesome. The recipe was dead on- they came out perfectly moist and tender, and tasted just like the drink. A delicious combination with chocolate.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
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 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Whiskey Ganache Filling
8-oz bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli chips)
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
1-2 tsp Irish whiskey (optional)

Bailey's Frosting
3-4 cups confectioner's sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3-4 tablespoons Bailey's (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)

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)

Make the cupcakes
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners.
2. Bring the Guinness Stout and butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs and sour cream.
5. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine.
6. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed, just until combined.
7. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
8. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way.
9. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 16-17 minutes.
10. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Make the ganache filling
1. Chop the chocolate chips and transfer it to a heatproof bowl.
2. 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.)
3. Add the butter and whiskey, and stir until combined.

Fill the cupcakes
1. 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).
2. Meanwhile, using your 1-inch round cookie cutter 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.
3. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Make the frosting
1. 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.
2. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.
3. When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Bailey's (or milk) 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.
4. Ice and decorate the cupcakes.

Do ahead: You can bake the cupcakes a week or two in advance and store them, well wrapped, in the freezer. You can also fill them before you freeze them. They also keep filled — or filled and frosted — in the fridge for a day. (Longer, they will start to get stale.)

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Source: Originally found on Smitten Kitchen, As seen on Cook Like a Champion


mariahsmile said...

These cupcakes sound delicious! I may just have to make these someday!

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