Everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s Day! While I generally despise this holiday- huge crowds of rowdier/drunker than normal Massholes crammed into a bar with a $20 cover and a 30 minute wait for a beer- my friend encouraged me to be a little more optimistic. I managed to whip up some enthusiasm when one of the nurses I work with mentioned some St. Patty’s Day themed cupcakes she had found online. There were green velvet cupcakes, lucky charms cupcakes and….Irish Car Bomb cupcakes. What makes these cupcakes quite amazing isn’t just the multiple elements of chocolate- it’s that there is alcohol in all 3 components. You start with a chocolate cupcakes with Guinness (I used a version of Flour bakery’s chocolate cupcake), then fill with a Whiskey ganache and finally top with Bailey’s buttercream frosting. Although, unfortunately, not enough alcohol to give you a buzz, they were quite delicious! Kiss me, I’m (not really) Irish!
Irish Car Bomb Cupcake Recipe
Chocolate Guinness Cupcake (Adapted from Joanne Chang’s Flour bakery cookbook)
Yield: 12 standard size cupcakes
1 cup Guinness 2 oz (56 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (30 gram) Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (one stick/114 grams) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (80 gram) water
1/2 cup (120 gram) milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (140 grams) flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Line your muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Bring 1 cup of Guinness to a simmer in a small pot and allow to reduce down to a thick syrup. Set aside.
In a large heatproof bowl, combine chocolate and cocoa powder. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the sugar, butter, and water, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves (3 to 4 minutes). Pour the butter mixture over the chocolate and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly and whisk the milk, egg, extra yolk, and vanilla into the chocolate mixture until combined.
In a bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until blended. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Add reserved Guinness syrup. Let the batter sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour to thicken. Or, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling until at least 3/4 full. Bake for 30 minutes or until the tops spring back when pressed lightly with a fingertip and they pass a toothpick check. I usually start checking after 20-25 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Meanwhile…
Chocolate Whiskey Ganache (from browneyedbaker.com)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoons Irish whiskey
Heat cream on stove until it’s simmering. Pour over chopped chocolate and whisk together. Add butter and whiskey and stir until well combined. Cool until firmer but soft enough to pipe into cupcakes.
Baileys Frosting (from browneyedbaker.com)
1 cups unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream In a stand mixer (or using a handheld mixer), cream butter until light and fluffy.
Add powdered sugar and cream until well mixed. Add 2 Tbs Bailey’s Irish Cream and combine. May add additional 1-2 Tbs if needs thinner consistency (or you want more alcohol).
Cut top in center of cupcake with paring knife. Add a small splash of whiskey into the cut out cupcake to soak into the cake (this step is optional…I guess….). Pipe (or spoon) ganache into the holes. Spread/pipe frosting onto the cupcake. Enjoy!