Saturday, March 16, 2013

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

The ultimate dessert for St. Patrick's Day?... Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes! The are incredibly luscious, rich, moist, and have a little kick. Not surprising, considering they have a bit of Guinness, Irish whiskey, and Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur. These might be a bit too much for the kiddos... so if you're expecting some youngsters at your St. Patty's Day gathering, whip up a kid-friendly cupcake without the liquor. But I promise you every adult is going to love these delicious treats.


Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
for the cupcakes...*
1 box chocolate cake mix 
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup Guinness stout beer
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey

*If you have a favorite chocolate cupcake recipe, you can use it and just replace the water or milk with Guinness. I chose the shortcut this time.

for the Whiskey Ganache Filling...
8 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (or about 1 1/3 cup chocolate chips)
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 generous teaspoons Irish whiskey

for the Bailey's Frosting...
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
4 to 7 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream *start with 4 tablespoons and only add more as needed to thin to a nice spreadable consistency

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a cupcake or muffin plan with paper liners.

Follow your favorite recipe for chocolate cupcakes using Guinness in place of the water or milk. Or... in a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the cake mix, eggs, Guinness and oil until smooth.  Fill each paper-lined cup about 2/3 full of batter. Bake for 18 minutes.

Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Then remove cupcakes from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the filling, place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until just simmering. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in the butter and whiskey until the ganache is smooth. Allow the ganache to cool and thicken until it is a good consistency for piping into the cupcakes. 

Meanwhile, use a toothpick to poke some holes in each cupcake. Brush the 2 tablespoons of whiskey generously on top of each cupcake, allowing it to soak in.

When the ganache has thickened, add it to a pastry bag fitted with a filling tip. Carefully press the tip into the center of each cupcake and squeeze a small amount of ganache in, continuing to squeeze gently as you remove the tip from the cupcakes. (If you don't have a pastry bag, you can simply cut away a small amount of the middle of each cupcake, spoon a little ganache into the center, and replace the small piece of cake.) 

To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand-held electric mixer) cream the butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and Bailey's and whip until light and fluffy. Add extra Bailey's a little at a time as needed if the frosting is too thick. Use a pastry bag or spatula to frost each cupcake.

I had a little extra ganache left, so I put it in a ziplock bag and drizzled some on top of each frosted cupcake. I also added a small sprinkle of coarse green sugar in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day.


recipe slightly adapted from

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