Remember that time when I attempted alcohol & cupcakes? Yea, wasn't too successful. Well, being the person that I am, I attempted it again. And guess what? Yep, successful. And who do I owe my success to? No one other then the Smitten Kitchen queen herself, Deb.
Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes. THREE different kinds of alcohol! I went from failing at alcohol & cupcakes to stuffing alcohol into each and every part of the cupcake! Let's start with the chocolate stout cake. When it comes to chocolate cake, I love it dense. Give me a dense, thick-as-hell chocolate cake over a fluffy-airy one any day. This cake was dense, rich with just a hint of the stout. Definitely delicious.
Next, onto the chocolate ganache. I've always had a problem with it. For some odd reason, it never comes out right. No matter what recipe I try, it just never seems to thicken up. This ganache was perfect. Thickened just enough to handle with a spoon but not too much so that when you bit into the cupcake, ganache would spill out. I think next time though, I would nix the alcohol from the ganache, as the cupcake was a bit too alcohol-y for my taste. BUT if you are a self-proclaimed alcohol/ Bailey's lover then go ahead and add some more!
Lastly, the Bailey's buttercream... how could you go wrong? Butter, sugar and Bailey's. I think they call that the Trifecta, if I'm not mistaken. Yummm is all I can say about this one. I actually loved the alcohol in this, so perfect with the stout cake. Overall, I think the cupcake was delicious but still a little too sweet for my taste as I did use a traditional buttercream rather than my preferred Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I think the perfect accompaniment to the stout cake might be a Bailey's cream cheese frosting... YUM must try that next time!
Guinness and Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes
Yields: 24 cupcakes
Original recipe can be found here.
For the Guinness chocolate cupcakes:
1 cup stout beer/ Guinness
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
For the Bailey's ganache filling:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsn. butter, room temperature
2 tsp. Irish whiskey OR Bailey's Irish cream
For the Bailey's buttercream frosting:
8 tbsn. unsalted butter, room temperature
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 - 8 tbsn. Bailey's Irish cream
(I also used some half&half to thin the frosting out w/o adding more alcohol)
Use the cone method to remove a little hole:
Then fill with ganache, and pop those extra cake pieces in your mouth and enjoy!
To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake tin with liners and set aside. Combine stout and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend. Add stout mixture and beat to combine. Mix in dry ingredients on low until incorporated. Divide batter among cupcake liner about 2/3 full and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.
To make the ganache, place chocolate in heatproof bowl. Heat cream in saucepan until simmering, then pour over chocolate, let sit for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Add butter and Bailey's and stir until combined. Set aside until cool and thick enough to be piped (you can use the refrigerator to speed the process but stir every 10 minutes to ensure even cooling). Meanwhile, cut a portion from the center of the cupcake using the cone method and once the ganache is of the right consistency, pipe the ganache into the centers.
To make the frosting, place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium high until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar until incorporated. Mix in Bailey's until smooth. Add more if necessary until frosting has reached a good consistency for piping or spreading. Frost the cupcakes as desired and enjoy!
** Decorate with excess chocolate ganache