Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Saint Patrick's Day Irish Car Bomb Cocktail Cupcakes!

This recipe seems to be a staple in the food blogging world for St. Patty's Day treats. I knew I had seen it a few times before but quickly realized as soon as I searched that it was everywhere! And it seems like everyone has taken their turn riffing on Smitten Kitchen's . I actually printed the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker but as mentioned, she borrowed it from SK. Soooo here goes my own attempt!
First I have to make a statement about our holiday consumer culture and the way stores make a hot mess out of it. Yesterday was Monday, St. Patricks day is not till SATURDAY.... almost every place has already done away with their St. Patty's decor and accoutrement and have fully switched to Easter junk. Seriously?!?! The holiday is still 5 days away! So word to the wise if you want to get your hands on some cupcake papers and sprinkles- go today 'cause other wise chances are you are out of luck (pun intended). After checking 3 other stores I found my liners and sprinkles at Party City (thanks for the suggestion Alicia!)

After yet another eventful gathering spree I was ready to bake! The girls were coming over for our weekly Bachelor Drinking Game night (cause really who can stand that ridiculous show without some self medication... plus the way they repeat words in those two hours just makes it too easy!) I knew they would be a prime test audience so I got down to work! The cakes were baked as they were arriving the rest took place between sips of Coors light and running to the kitchen on commercial breaks.

Recipe Adapted From Brown Eyed Baker...Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Verbiage for the instructions has been borrowed from the Brown Eyed Baker so all the credit should go to her, Her directions were concise and easy to follow so I won't mess with a good thing! The only thing I did mess with were the measurements on the Ganache Filling and The Frosting as I only needed half the amount called for.

1 cup Guinness stout
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Whiskey Ganache Filling: (I halved this from the original as I had a ton leftover)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoons Irish whiskey

Baileys Frosting: (I halved this as well.... except for the Bailey's ;) )
1 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons (1/3 cup) Baileys Irish Cream

1. To Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.

3. To Make the Whiskey Ganache Filling: Finely 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, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped

4. To Fill the Cupcakes: Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter (or the bottom of a large decorating tip), cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down. Transfer the ganache to a piping back with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
5. To Make the Baileys Frosting: Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.
6. Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container.

There you have it! All in all this took me probably about an hour. The cake alone is to die for so moist and rich in flavor. In my distraction with the Bachelor on TV I halved everything in the frosting recipe except the booze... but you know what? It's delicious! It has a tiny kick so you know its the real deal and I kinda love it! So even if you don't plan to pound back the Irish Car Bomb cocktail's this "Irish Christmas" you can still enjoy the flavors!

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