Friday 16 March 2012

"Irish Car Bomb" Cupcakes

I must say, I was very nervous to make these cupcakes. Terribly, terribly, nervous. I had an awful feeling that - well, that they just wouldn't taste good! Chocolate and Guiness? In a cupcake? I was afraid I wouldn't like them.

I don't think I've ever been so wrong.

Just look at how this amazing recipe by the incomparable Sweetapolita starts:

That, my friends, is 1 1/2 cups of butter melting luxuriously in a steaming pot of hot Guinness. Oh my.

I think I should share the fact that I am not a beer fan, really. The only beer I come close to drinking is Guinness stout, which I guess isn't even really a beer but you know what I mean. Even then, I could never drink more than a few mouthfuls.

All that said, I LOVE cooking with it! It is fantastic in stews, and as I learned today, cupcakes! Who knew?

Well... Sweetapolita knew, I guess. And Amanda at I am Baker where I first learned that such a thing could exist. And the other 1,000 people on the internet who did recipes like this. Oh well, it's new to me.

In any case, back to the butter melting in the Guinness!

Cocoa powder has now been invited to the party. Sift it right in there and whisk until silky smooth.

... Like this! Oh, it looks so silky and delicious! But, it's not yet. Do not try to taste it at this point, there is not yet any sugar in here, and cocoa powder without sugar is bitter as all get-out. I accidentally dripped some onto my wrist when I was pouring it into heat-proof containers to cool (I didn't have a single container big enough for all of it) and without thinking, I licked the hot liquid away.

The very definition of regret, my friends. Eyuck!

While the stout & cocoa mixture is cooling, whisk up all the dry ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Now, Sweetapolita's blog gives instructions for how to make this cake batter using a KitchenAid mixer. I can only dream, misty-eyed and longingly, of the day when one might grace my kitchen.

In the meantime, my Cuisinart hand mixer did a fine job of blitzing up the sour cream and eggs.

Once the eggs and sour cream are blended, add the cooled cocoa mixture in and mix on medium speed. It is, by the way, tantamount that you cool this stuff thoroughly before mixing it with the eggs, or you may end up with chocolate Guinness scrambled sour cream eggs. Uh, probably not tasty.

Once everything looks smooth, silky & homogeneous, you can start mixing in your dry ingredients bit by bit.

Like so. Be sure to scrape the sides down between additions to ensure a smooth batter.

Now I know I was just saying a couple of steps ago not to taste this stuff, but now that the sugar and all is in there, I had to try. Whenever I make a new type of cake I always taste a bit of the batter before I bake it, and this 100% passed the batter test!

(Legal/responsible blurb time: raw eggs are bad for you. Please don't eat raw batter with unpasteurized eggs in it. Besides, if you don't, it means more batter left for me!)

I wanted to keep the decorating simple on the cupcakes, so I just grabbed this cute cupcake cup & pick set from my local Bulk Barn. Cutest shamrocks ever!

I used my trusty 1-inch scoop and put 2 scoopfuls of batter into each standard cupcake liner. Then bake 'em at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes. I used the toothpick test to make sure they were done when they came out.

These turned out perfectly. Well, very nearly perfectly. I may have over-mixed them ever so slightly due to my lack of incredible KitchenAid stand mixer and guessing on the settings to use on my hand mixer, but oh well. Someday.

For the frosting, I must give credit to my friend Lindsay. I was originally going to do a whiskey frosting, until she put it into my head that a pure Bailey's Irish Cream frosting would go well. So, these consist of the following:

1/3 C of butter, salted (I know, they always say to use unsalted, but trust me on this one.)
3 C icing sugar
1 tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream liquer
2-3 tbsp milk

Just cream the butter with your hand mixer, then gradually add the icing sugar. Once you have little bitty chunks of butter all through the sugar, add your Bailey's, and the milk bit by bit, using your hand mixer set to medium to mix it the whole time. Add only enough milk for it to be of good spreading/piping consistency.

Top with adorable decoration of your choice.

So, is it any good? Well, a new friend at work took a bite, turned to me with wide eyes and breathed, "Oh my gosh, it's like I'm eating a cloud. What is happening?"

She then proceeded to savor every last bite. Everyone who was brave enough to try one enjoyed it thoroughly. I very, very highly recommend these. The sweet and light Bailey's frosting perfectly compliments the rich, deep flavor of the cupcake... you know what? I can't describe it better than that quote did. Just try it yourselves, folks. You will not be disappointed.

Happy St Patrick's Day, folks!

Until next time!

PS: I know that an Irish Car Bomb drink usually involves an Irish whiskey as well, but frankly, I didn't have any whiskey on hand, and I really don't much like the stuff, so I didn't want to buy any! If you are a whiskey fan, just add a teaspoon to your frosting before adding the milk. Either way, enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I finally got back to oven-land and made these for a Christmas shindig -- huge hit! They were delicious, thanks so much!