Sunday, 11 December 2011

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

My roommate Liz turned 21 last week. We had all of our friends over for a big dinner party to celebrate. When I came across this recipe I decided it was the perfect dessert to make for a 21st birthday party.
I only recently discovered what exactly an irish car bomb is. When my friend Yvonne first described it to me I thought it sounded horrible. Doing an irish car bomb entails dropping a shot glass filled with Jameson and Bailey's into a glass of guinness, then chugging the whole thing down before the Bailey's curdles. Sounds awful, tastes delicious. The experience is actually a lot like chugging a glass of chocolate milk.
I began baking these cupcakes early in the morning. Really really early. I went to the grocery store at 7:30 AM. The lady who rang me up gave me a very weird look as she scanned the Guiness. I suppose not many people buy Guinness at 7:30 AM. Especially not girls who, for all intents and purposes, appear to be 14 years old.
My apartment has literally never smelled as good as it did while I was baking these cupcakes. By 9 AM our kitchen and living room were filled with a rich, chocolatey smell. AMAZING.

Our friends loved the cupcakes. They were rich, flavourful, almost sinfully delicious. And considering the fact that they involved three different types of alcohol, they were perfect for a 21st birthday party. I'm not usually a fan of chocolate cupcakes. I am a vanilla cupcake girl all the way. These changed my mind about chocolate cupcakes.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
recipe from the amazing blog smitten kitchen

Yielded about 27 cupcakes

Ingredients for Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes:
1 cup Guinness
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

Ingredients for Ganache Filling:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temp
2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

Ingredients for Bailey's Frosting:
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp
4 tablespoons Bailey's

First you make the cupcakes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring one cup Guinness and 1 cup butter to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Let cool while you mix the other ingredients.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until blended. Beat eggs and sour cream together in another bowl until blended.
Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat until combined. Add flour mixture and beat again. Then, using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until it is well combined. Fill the cupcake liners until about 3/4 full.
Bake cupcakes for about 17 minutes, turning the pan about halfway through.
Cool the cupcakes completely before continuing.

The ganache comes next.
Break the chocolate into tiny pieces and put it in a heat proof bowl.
Heat the cream until simmering and then pour it over the chocolate. This should melt the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, and then stir until the texture is completely smooth. Then, add the butter and whiskey and stir until completely combined.
Put this mixture in the refrigerator and stir every ten minutes or so. Take the ganache out when it is thick but still soft enough to be piped.
While the ganache is cooling, use either a 1-inch cookie cutter or an apple corer to cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You should go about 2/3 of the way down the cupcakes. I used an apple corer, and if you twist after putting it in the cupcake, the center of the cupcake will come out when you pull the corer out. If this doesn't work, use a small spoon to get the center out. Put the ganache into a piping bag ( I used a big plastic baggy that I cut the tip off of) with a wide tip and then fill each of the cupcakes to the top.

Then, make the frosting.
Whip the butter for several minutes until it is light and fluffy. I used an electric hand mixer. Add the powdered sugar a few tablespoons at a time.
Once the frosting is thick, pour in the Bailey's and whip until combined.
Ice and decorate the cupcakes.
It topped them with sparkling sugar confetti! Very festive!