Friday, March 16, 2012

St Patricks cupcakes - The Irish Trifecta

Irish Trifecta Cupcake - theres so much alcohol in them, even the cupcake looks drunk!
With St Patricks day only a day away, I thought it was appropriate to find a cupcake recipe that would represent everything Irish that I love.. well.. not everything, but everything sweet yet alcoholic! I had been hearing whispers of a very bizzare mix of flavours, Guinness & Chocolate cupcakes, and I couldnt believe it was true. Eventually though, while scouting the ends of the Pinterest, I found the recipe! I think the name of it alone captured me, The Irish Car Bomb. Indeed, once you start reading the list of ingredients it becomes clear that this is definitley going to be an adults only type recipe. We begin with a Guinness & Chocolate cupcake, with an Irish Whiskey Ganache filling and a Baileys buttercream frosting. A trifecta of flavors that just work so intensely well together.

A little background on the name of the cupcake, the Irish Car Bomb is actually a drink that comes as a shot of Irish Whiskey and Baileys dropped into a 3/4 full pint of Guinness, which is then chugged down as fast as possible as not to let the Baileys curdle the beer. I havent tried one myself, however am very intrigued by it! 

Due to a lot of controversy over the name of these cupcakes on the original blogger who I adapted this recipe from, I have chosen to give the original names history and considerately create my own name for these cupcakes. My wish here is simply to provide a range of different recipes that I try out and not to offend anyone when doing this. So hence how I came up with naming them, the Irish Trifecta.

Now being the better part of Irish descent, I of course always have a good Irish Whiskey in the house, Bushmills (You can use however, Jameson's Irish Whiskey) - and who doesnt keep a giant bottle of Baileys Irish Cream in their fridge? The only item I didnt have was the Guinness. Sometimes I drink it, but generally only out at a bar - so I had to call in some assitance from my husband to pick a bottle up on his way home from work, especially to try this recipe out.

In the original recipe, it says the prep time in total was 40 mins, and cook time 18 mins. So I thought an hour would be plenty of time to get these baked, filled & frosted. However I can tell you right now, it took me closer to 2 hours in total, to allow for cooling time, setting time and piping time. It may have also had something to do with the fact that I had to have a glass or two of Baileys on the rocks while baking these cupcakes - who can resist after all?

The cupcake recipe I halved and followed almost to the very last detail. However, Im a very firm believer in vanilla, so always add a teaspoon to all of my cupcake recipes and to my frosting recipes. Like I tell people who ask me for my number one tip, vanilla is the salt of sweet foods. I also added more Whiskey to my ganache and think next time I do a Baileys frosting, I'll get an essence rather then actual Baileys. I didnt find the flavour strong enough without losing the consistency of the frosting.

Anyway, make of it what you will from the following photos and recipe. The recipe was adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.

Chocolate & Guinness cupcake mix ready to be baked

Cupcakes baked and ready to core for filling
Cored cupcakes ready for filling to be injected
I used Bushmills Irish Whiskey for the ganache. Note the smooth conistency

The filled cupcakes ready for icing
I used a disposable piping bag to inject the cupcakes
Baileys Buttercream frosting
Irish Trifecta cupcakes..

The inside of the delightful Irish Trifecta Cupcake

Irish Trifecta Cupcakes

Prep Time: 40 minutes | Bake Time: 18 minutes

Makes approx 12 cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:

1/2 cup Guinness stout
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ounces Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/3 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Whiskey Ganache Filling:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey (Bushmills or Jameson's)

For the Baileys Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream

To Make the Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place 12 cupcake papers in cupcake pan. Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add a teaspoon of vanilla, mix and 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 skewer or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.

To Make the Whiskey Ganache Filling:

Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream and chocolate in the micrwave on 50% heat for 30 seconds.Stir mixture until chocolate is completly melted and smooth. Add butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.

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, cut off the tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

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 vanilla and Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.

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 for up to 4 days.

Enjoy! :)

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