27 June 2010
Drink like you're Irish? How about a cupcake?
"An Irishman is the only man in the world who will step over the bodies of a dozen naked women to get to a bottle of stout." (Anonymous)
I got these off my friend's blog and had to try them for myself. To be able to fit into my clothes, however, I had to share. A lot. These are rich. These are VERY rich. Okay, if these were starring in a Hollywood film, they'd earn more than Daniel Radcliffe did last year. For those of you more inclined to watch NESN or SportsCenter: these are not quite as rich as Tiger Woods, (but they won't cheat on you with every bimbo who bats her eyes at them). I brought them to my friends' camp party where the adults enjoyed them no end and the teenagers' hands were slapped away vigorously. These also made an appearance or two at some late night cribbage games where they helped us all to feel like we won, even when we were outpegged.
Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes:
source: Smitten Kitten via Sweet Cheeks In the Kitchen
Yield: 20-24 cupcakes
I made these using Ghiardelli cocoa powder (I was all out of my KAF favourite, dark Dutch-process cocoa powder), Baker's bittersweet chocolate (I was all out of my preferred Lindt bars), Guinness stout (of course), Tullamore Dew whiskey (I used to date a man from Tullamore, County Offaly, who drank like he had a hollow leg: Adrian, this one's for you, you B.I.F.F.O.), and Bailey's Irish Cream. And I upped the amount of whiskey and Bailey's, because my grandmother's maiden name is Murphy and I felt my heritage justified it. I'm glad I did, because I barely tasted the whiskey as it was and I really think the richness of the frosting requires that kick to keep it from getting too sweet...
For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes:
1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
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
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (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). Note: I used a knife and cookie decorating plunger thingy I had acquired somewhere. I think the plastic bag might be less messy.
Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely. Note: I lightly spray/grease my liners or cups (I don't use liners with my silicone muffin pan) so I can release the cupcakes without a mess/crumbling. I'm very glad I did, because my cupcakes didn't rise a whole ton and I needed them to be intact to receive the ganache filling.
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. (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.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you're using it) and stir until combined.
Fill the cupcakes: 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). 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. Those are your "tasters". Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
Make the frosting: 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. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.
Ice and decorate the cupcakes.