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Irish Cupcakes

March 17, 2013

This recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen and has been on my “need to try” list for a few years. Don’t ask me why it took so long, but I decided that they needed to happen this Saint Patrick’s Day weekend. You get some Irish stout chocolate cupcakes plus Irish whiskey ganache filling, and THEN you top it off with an Irish cream frosting…..oh my! The alcohol in the stout will cook out when you bake your cupcakes, but whiskey and Irish cream do not. It should be noted that if serving these to people who don’t drink, you may want to leave out the whiskey and substitute milk for the Irish cream. But then again, maybe you want the cupcakes to be the star of the party?!

20130315 Irish Cupcakes 02

You will need:

  • 1 c stout beer (I used Guinness)
  • 1 1/2 c (3 sticks) + 2 T unsalted butter, room temperature and divided
  • 3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 c sour cream
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 2/3 c heavy cream
  • 1-2 t Irish whiskey (I used Jameson) – optional
  • 3-4 c powdered sugar
  • 3-4 T Irish cream or milk (I used Bailey’s)

20130315 Irish Cupcakes 01

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners.
  2. In a large, heavy saucepan, bring the stout and 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, regular sugar, baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt.
  5. In a separate large bowl, beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend.
  6. Add the stout-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and mix just to combine.
  7. Add the flour mixture and lightly stir to begin mixing. Then use a rubber spatula to fold the batter until completely combined.
  8. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full.
  9. Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes.
  10. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.
  11. Chop the bitttersweet chocolate and transfer it to a large, heatproof bowl.
  12. Heat the cream until simmering and pour over the chocolate bits. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth.
  13. If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains.
  14. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of butter and the whiskey (if using). Stir until combined and glossy. This is your ganache filling.
  15. Let the ganache cool until thick but soft enough to be piped. (The fridge will speed this along, but you must stir it every 10 minutes).
  16. Use a 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer to cut out the centers of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake (about 2/3 of the way)…be careful not to cut through the bottom!
  17. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out.
  18. Put the ganache in a piping bag or squeeze bottle (or you could always spoon the filling in). Fill the centers of the cupcakes with the ganache up to the top.
  19. Whip the remaining stick of butter with an electic mixer or by hand for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.
  20. When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Irish cream (or your milk) and whip it until combined.
  21. If this made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case), beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.
  22. Frost your cupcakes and decorate as you want!

Note: You can bake the cupcakes a week or two in advance and store them, well wrapped, in the freezer. You can also fill them before you freeze them. Once filled and frosted, they keep for a day in the fridge.

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