Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tipsy Irish Cupcakes

I'm a complete teetotaller.

Actually, I lied. I'm not completely. I am known to have an occasional mixer or alcopop if I'm out for a girls night, hen night, or wedding.

Problem is, I nurse it all night that the alcohol pretty much evaporates before I hit the bottom of the glass. Other than that, I'm a total tea girl. Iced, hot, or chai. In fact, you buy me a venti nonfat Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks and I am all yours.

However, if cupcakes were alcohol, there wouldn't be time for a cup of tea.

I would be drunk. ALL. THE. TIME.

Mark my words.

Recipe adapted and slightly modified from Smitten Kitchen

1 cup Guinness Stout Beer - or any stout beer will do
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
cup buttermilk - original recipe calls for the use sour cream. I just prefer buttermilk.

Whiskey Ganache Filling:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate - I used semi-sweet chocolate chips
cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon butter, room temperature
3 teaspoons Irish whiskey

Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting:
4½ cups confections sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
6-8 tablespoons Irish Cream Liqueur - like Bailey's

Cocoa powder for dusting - optional

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners. 

Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt to blend. Beat in eggs and buttermilk. Add stout-chocolate mixture to mixture and beat just to combine.

Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them about ¾ of the way.

Bake for 17-19 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean. Mine took 18 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Add chocolate (or chips if using), to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until it comes to a good simmer and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined.

Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped into cupcakes.

Using the back of a large decorating tip or apple corer, cut the centers out of cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for about's of the way. Put ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.


Whip the butter in the bowl with a hand or stand mixer for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar in ½ cup increments, alternating with the Bailey's by 2 Tablespoons each time. Mix until everything has been completely incorporated. 

Pipe or spread onto cupcakes. 

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Happy Baking!

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