Thursday, April 18, 2013

Boozy Cupcakes

The last Easter dessert I made were these decadent boozy cupcakes: chocolate stout cake, whiskey ganache and Irish cream frosting. I'm not much of a drinker but thought they would be the perfect treat for our older nieces and nephews. We still give them Easter baskets but they've outgrown the traditional candy baskets and thought these were a bit more age-appropriate.

The cupcakes are called Irish Car Bomb cupcakes. Before anyone gets up in arms over the name, here is where the name comes from:
  1. The “Irish” reference is used to describe the contents of the cocktail (IRISH whiskey, Bailey’s IRISH creme, Guinness IRISH stout) as well as differentiate between similar recipes ( California Car Bomb, Cherry Bomb, etc).
  2. A “side car”, (also known as a “chaser”) is the actual term referring to a beverage accompanying a shot of liquor, usually non alcoholic or beer, to make the liquor less offensive in the throat, and to reduce the strength of the taste in the mouth.
  3. The “bomb” is a quite accurate description of the effect created by taking the shot glass of liquor and dropping it quickly into a pint glass full of the “car”, thus creating a fizzing explosion type which time you immediately consume the cocktail as quickly as you can. The term also alerts the consumer that drinking the amount of alcohol in this cocktail so quickly gets you “bombed".
These were tasty treats. I could definitely taste the alcohol but my more alcohol tolerant neighbor said she couldn't taste it at all. Regardless, they were fun to make and would make a great treat next St. Patty's Day.
Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes


For the Cupcakes:
1 c. Guinness stout
1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ c. Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1½ t. baking soda
¾ t. salt
2 eggs
2/3 c. sour cream

For the Whiskey Ganache Filling:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2/3 c. heavy cream
2 T. butter, room temperature
2 t. Irish whiskey

For the Baileys Frosting:
2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
5 c. powdered sugar
6 T. Bailey's Irish Cream


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.

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.

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 (I used Bushmills) and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.

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.

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.

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.

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