Have you ever wondered what an Irish Car Bomb would taste like… baked??
Well, I actually had never wondered.. until I saw this recipe.. and then I DID wonder.. and then I baked them.. and yes, this is it. It all begins with a surprisingly light and tender cupcake: slightly chocolate-y, but not too sweet, thanks to the wonderfully deep flavor of the Guinness Stout. The decadent sweetness comes from a generous dollop of chocolate ganache (hello chocolate and cream!) hidden in the middle of the cupcake (surprise!). And to bring it to the “car bomb” level, the cupcake is topped with Baileys Irish Cream flavored frosting. All the benefits of the chocolate, coffee, and creamy vanilla flavors- without the hangover.
There was a good reason for baking up these cupcakes (besides the fact that it was finally Friday)- a fellow grad student in my lab was celebrating her 25th birthday. What better way to celebrate than with these extravagant cupcakes?
Btw, did you know there was such a thing as a frosting gun to help frost your cupcakes?! Obviously I do not own one, as you can see by my sad frosting technique. I had no idea until a friend had a small pre-birthday party cupcake-baking party (this seems to be a recurring theme.. cupcakes.. birthdays…), and one of the girls had her very own. What will they think of next?! An automatic sprinkle-ing doodad??
Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
from Smitten Kitchen
makes 20-24 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
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream (I substituted greek yogurt)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
1-2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional- I omitted this)
3-4 cups confections sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature)
3 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a regular muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs and sour cream with an electric mixer until blended. Add the stout-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture, and beat to just combine. Add the flour mixture and beat briefly until just combined.
- Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling each 2/3 or 3/4 full. Bake about 17-20 minutes, until a tester (toothpick) inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Cool cupcakes completely.
Filling the cupcakes:
- Make the filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until simmering. Pour the cream over the chocolate, let sit for one minute, then stir until smooth. Add the butter and whisk together until smooth.
- Let the ganache cool until thick, about 20 minutes. Using a 1 inch round cookie cutter or apple corer, cut the center out of the cooled cupcakes. (I didn’t have either, so I just used a small sharp paring knife.) Don’t cut through the bottom, just about 2/3 of the way. Put ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip (or a plastic bag with about 1/2 inch corner cut off) to fill the hole in each cupcake to the top.
- Whip the butter in a small bowl for several minutes, until very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, about 1/4-1/2 cup at a time. When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys and whip until combined. (3 tablespoons of Bailey’s was pretty strong.. next time I might restrain myself and only use 2..)
- Decorate the cupcakes using a piping bag, frosting gun, or butter knife.
The cupcakes can be well wrapped and frozen (either filled or unfilled) for a week or two. I filled mine and stored them in the fridge overnight. I also made the frosting and stored it covered in the fridge overnight… only to find that in the morning, the frosting was too hard to spread! I let it warm to room temperature and beat it with an electric mixer for a bit to get back to a spreadable consistency.