Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Nothing says happy birthday like boozy cupcakes! Well, boozy chocolate cupcakes that is. These fabulous cupcakes were made for a very special person's birthday - the captain! But these cupcakes have more of a story to them then just being boozy delicious. These cupcakes were for a BIG birthday surprise. BIG BIG BIG. If I could say BIG 34 times, I would, but you might get a little mad at me.

The captain has been so supportive over the past six months of GMAT studying and grad school applications (I'm pretty sure he wanted to pull his hair out as much as I wanted to pull out mine!), so I wanted to do something extra special for him. He totally deserved it and I just can't thank him enough for being there for me. Awwww. It definitely wasn't easy and I was pretty much a crazy lady during the past six months - I'll just leave it at that. So, what better thing to do for him than throw him a surprise birthday celebration! I started planning this celebration right after the holidays to ensure that everyone could come and so that I could also get this on his calendar. Sneakily of course. Knowing him he would have planned to be out of town that weekend! I hated having to fib to him, but a girl has to do what a girl has to do. It was all out of love though, so that makes it okay. Or so I hope. The captain thought that he and I would be going on a double date with my co-worker and her hubby. Little did he know that 25 of his friends would be there too! You should have seen the look on his face - it was priceless! I thought that the surprise had been blown by one of his friends just a few days before the event (when the captain asked me about what I had planned I freaked out. Like majorly freaked out!), but luckily I was able to convince him there was nothing going on because everyone was out of town for the holiday weekend. He bought it. Phew! The party was a success, everyone had a great time and I think the birthday boy was very happy. At least I'm pretty sure he was based on the smile on his face and the Guinness in his hand. Success!

Since no birthday party is complete with out a sweet treat and the celebration was held at a local Irish pub, I thought it would be perfect to make these Irish car bomb cupcakes - Guinness chocolate cupcake filled with a Jameson ganache and topped with a Baileys Irish Cream butter cream. I think my entire mouth just filled up with saliva. Did yours? The captain loves chocolate and loves Guinness, so I new this would be just perfect for him. The perfect cupcakes for the best boyfriend a girl could ask for! These cupcakes are named after the very popular Irish Car bomb drink - a shot of Baileys and Jameson dropped in Guinness. Once it's has been dropped, you have to drink it fast. It sounds gross, but trust me, it's really good. Just drink it quick or it will curdle. Ya, that's gross, but just don't let that happen. Okay? Not to worry though, these cupcakes won't curdle. Promise. Boozy woozy promise.

These cupcakes have just the right hint of Baileys in the frosting, the cupcake itself is light and chocolaty with just the right hint of malty goodness from the Guinness and then the surprising center is ooberly chocolaty with that Irish whiskey kick. This cupcake is not for the faint of the heart. It's loaded with flavor and totally delicious. Whether it's that special someones birthday or you just want to do some boozy baking, these cupcakes are for you.  Everyone gobbled them up and the birthday boy gave these cupcakes two thumbs up. Perhaps I should have swooped another one from the platter to save for him. Oops. That just means I may have to make these again soon. Especially since I now have a whole bottle of Jameson sitting around. Just don't drink too much whiskey while you are making them. And no, I did not do that. I am just telling you to be careful. You don't believe me do you?

boozy line up

there is Guinness in there, I swear!

scooping station

scoopy scoopy

Bailey's marry go round

cupcakes ready for filling

this is how fancy I get when I fill my cupcakes

cupcakes filled (sorry, there were a little messy)

frosted and topped with grated chocolate!

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes (slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker and Smitten Kitchen) Makes 24 cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:
1 cup Guinness stout
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the Whiskey Ganache Filling:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

For the Baileys Frosting:
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
6-10 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream (based on your liking)


1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes aren't just for St. Patty's Day anymore!


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