Friday, September 9, 2011

Guinness & Baileys Chocolate Cupcakes

Guinness chocolate cupcake + Irish whiskey ganache + Baileys Irish Cream frosting = one delicious, boozy cupcake. This combo of alcohol usually comes as a drink but it is so much better as a cupcake! The Guinness isn't really noticeable but it makes the cake rich and moist. The Irish whiskey ganache tastes like a truffle with just a hint of whiskey. And the Baileys frosting is definitely the predominant flavor. It's pretty potent so these are for alcohol lovers only, which made these perfect to serve as a dessert for a casual get-together with some friends (who happen to love alcohol as much as we do).  :)

Guinness & Baileys Chocolate Cupcakes
Servings: 22-24 cupcakes

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup Guinness stout
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. Irish whiskey

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°. Line two cupcake pans with liners. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and add the Guinness. Bring to a simmer. Whisk in the cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat to cool. 

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sour cream together on medium speed until blended. Pour in the Guinness-chocolate mixture and beat until combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. 

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cook completely. 

To make the filling, in a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute and then stir until combined. Stir in the butter and whiskey. Let the filling cool at room temperature or in the refrigerator, stirring every 10 minutes, until a thick ganache forms. 

To fill the cupcakes, using a small pairing knife, cut a cone-shaped hole out of the center of the cupcake (see pictures here), going about 2/3 deep.  Fill each hole with the chilled filling (I used a pastry bag and tip for this, but a plastic bag with the corner trimmed will work too). 

To make the frosting, using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on med-high speed until light and fluffy. Mix in the confectioners' sugar on low speed. Add the Baileys and beat on med-high speed until a smooth frosting forms. Add additional sugar or Baileys to reach the desired consistency. Frost the cupcakes as desired (I used a 1M tip). 

Source: adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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