Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey's Frosting

Oh yeah...chocolate has been calling my name lately. I mean, it's been SHOUTING my name, and all my assorted nicknames to boot. So, in respect to the powers-that-be in Chocolate World (I'm assuming Willy Wonka is king), here is a recipe for not only chocolate cupcakes, but GUINNESS cupcakes with Bailey's frosting. Oh, em, geeee, can anything get better than that?? Well, maybe actually drinking a pint of Black Gold (that's Guinness for those of you not in the know) whilst consuming such lovely confections. Yeah. Guinness is just about the only lager/stout/beer I've found that not only GOES with chocolate, but actually makes it taste even more delicious. many hours until work is over?

Chocolate Guinness and Irish Cream Cupcakes
Makes about 20-24

1 cup Guinness, foam removed
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream (not low fat)

For the ganache filling:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate 
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, diced
2 teaspoons Bailey's Irish cream

For the Bailey's buttercream:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar(sifted)
4 tablespoons Bailey's Irish cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large, separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.

With your mixer on low, slowly add in the Guinness. It will curdle, but will all come together when you add in the flour and sour cream.

Slowly add in a third of the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Mix in half of the sour cream. Repeat again by alternating between the dry ingredients and the sour cream, finishing with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.  DO NOT over mix.

Spoon the batter into the lined cupcake tins, about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes and allow to cool in their tins on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from their tins and cool completely on the racks.

To the make the ganache filling: Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream on medium-low until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can microwave for 20 seconds, stir, and check. You can continue this for 10 second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the butter and Irish cream and stir until combined.

Let the ganache cool until thick, but still soft enough to spoon into the cupcakes, about the consistency of pudding. Meanwhile, use a small teaspoon to scoop out the centers of the cooled cupcakes to about 2/3 of the way in depth.  Spoon the ganache into each cupcake and set aside until ready to frost.

To make the buttercream: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer or with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, for about 5 minutes. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. Slowly drizzle in the Irish cream and mix until the buttercream starts to come together and look thick. If it looks too thick, add a bit of milk or cream.

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