Friday, March 21, 2014

A Happy St. Pat's to You!

On Saint Patrick's Day 2010, I made my first batch of Irish Car Bomb cupcakes.  These cupcakes have become a tradition in our family as I have made them every year on Saint Patrick's Day.  Now that we have kids, I make a kid friendly version in addition to the adult version.  In the four years I have been making these cupcakes I have made them my own by tweaking the recipe.

These cupcakes have ALWAYS been a hit with kids (see instructions for kid’s version) and adults at all of our Saint Patrick’s Day parties.  These cupcakes have been shipped to friends, they are so popular!!!

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 20 to 24 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 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
1 small package chocolate pudding

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. 

Put the butter with the beer in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and chocolate pudding mix. In a mixer bowl, beat the eggs and the sour cream together. Add the beer/butter/cocoa mixture and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat briefly just to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined, making sure to incorporate little pockets of flour on the bottom so that the batter is of equal consistency everywhere.

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way if you want flatter cupcakes and 3/4 if you want domed. Bake for about 17 minutes, or until a toothpick or a slim knife inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely to room temperature. 

Ganache Filling
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)*

Make the filling: 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 (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.  Do not allow the ganache to cool too long or it will become a solid, making it hard to fill the cupcakes.

*I split the filling into two bowls, one for the kid’s cupcakes and one with the adult cupcakes.  I add the whiskey to the filling for the adult cupcakes.

Baileys Frosting (see Recipe Notes)
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)*

*I make the frosting up to the point of adding the Bailey’s to the mix and split the frosting into two bowls; one bowl for the kid’s cupcakes and another for the adult cupcakes.  I add the Bailey’s to the adult cupcakes.

In a large mixer bowl, whip the butter for several minutes until very light and fluffly. Slowly add the powdered sugar, letting it incorporate, utnil the butter becomes thicker and stiff (you will know when this happens). Slowly drizzle the Bailey's (or milk or cream or a combination thereof) and whip until combined. Ice and decorate the cupcakes. 

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