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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Guinness and Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes

A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated my brother-in-law Justin's birthday. I volunteered to bring a dessert and he requested something with chocolate, berries, or butter. I managed to satisfy two of the three suggestions (chocolate & butter) and threw an additional ingredient that I knew he'd like into the mix: alcohol. There's no doubt about it, these cupcakes are decadent! They're putsy and tedious to make (thank you Grandma for your assistance!), but when I bit into a cupcake I knew the time they took were absolutely worth it. Don't worry about tasting the Guinness if you're not a beer fan. I'm not and didn't detect a beer flavor. The chocolate ganache filling was rich and a nice little surprise amidst the moist chocolate cake. I must say, however, that my favorite part of these was the Bailey's frosting. I plan to make it again sometime and sandwich it between cookies!

Thankfully Justin was also pleased with his birthday cupcakes and I happily sent him home with the remaining cupcakes. I have a new appreciation for cupcake shops---complicated cupcakes are an art! That being said, I've now purchased a fancy cupcake carrying case and I'm eager to master more cupcakes. I already have grand schemes for the next batch...

Guinness and Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes
recipe from Annie's Eats
*makes 24 cupcakes

For the 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 tsp baking soda
-3/4 tsp salt
-2 large eggs
-2/3 cup sour cream

For the Bailey's ganache filling-
-8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
-2/3 cup heavy cream
-2 tbsp room temperature butter
-2 tsp Bailey's Irish cream

For the Bailey's buttercream frosting-
-1 stick butter, room temperature
-3-4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
-4-8 tbsp Bailey's Irish cream

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Fill 2 cupcake tins (24 total) with paper liners. Heat Guinness and 2 sticks of butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Once butter is melted, whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs and sour cream until well combined. Add the Guinness-butter mixture and mix to combine. Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing on low until just combined.
3. Divide batter evenly among muffin tins (so each is 3/4 full). Bake for approximately 17 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from tins and cooling completely on a wire rack.
4. To make the ganache, heat cream in a small saucepan until simmering. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour simmering cream over it. Allow to sit for 1 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Stir in the butter and Bailey's until well combined.
5. Once the ganache has cooled (stir occasionally while cooling) and the cupcakes are cooled completely, cut out a small cone from the center of each cupcake using a paring knife. Set cone aside. Using a piping bag with a wide tip, pipe a bit of ganache into the center of each cupcake. Lightly press cone back into cupcake to cover ganache.
6. To make the frosting, beat butter in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until frosting is smooth. Add Bailey's and continue to beat until smooth. Add more powdered sugar or Bailey's, depending on preferred taste and texture.
7. Frost cupcakes as desired. Refrigerate finished cupcakes until serving.

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