March 16, 2013

Pin It Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

For a St. Patty's Day themed work potluck, I knew exactly what over the top, absurd dessert I wanted to try out: Irish car bomb cupcakes. Not only do these have all the components of an Irish car bomb (Guinness, Irish whisky and Bailey's) but the cupcakes are filled with ganache! I mean come on, how could I not make these?!

I ended up combining the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker (for the most part) with the assembly directions from Wonderful Joy Ahead's ganache filled cupcakes. The BEB recipe has you coring the cupcakes after they've baked and filling the cavities with ganache.  The WJA recipe has you chill and roll balls of ganache, and place them on top of the raw batter before baking.  The balls settle into the cupcake and it really does simplify the process. My end result (before frosting) was not the prettiest as my cupcakes ended up with sunken middles, but that was nothing gobs of Bailey's infused cream cheese frosting couldn't fix.

I started out by making the ganache so it would have some time to chill while I made the cupcakes.

The cupcakes started with a cup of Guinness and 1 cup of butter. 
The two were combined in a saucepan over medium heat until it simmered. I added in the coco powder and stirred until it was combined.  
While that was cooling I mixed together all the dry ingredients and then assembled the cupcake batter.
I recently purchased these awesome batter scoops from Sur La Tab. They come in a set of three sizes, for mini, regular and jumbo cupcakes/muffins. They are perfect for measuring out the exact amount of batter needed, and are handy for pouring too.
After I poured in the batter, I placed the ganache balls on top (per the WJA recipe) and baked the cupcakes at 350 for 17 minutes. 
Like I said, they weren't very pretty when they came out but I remedied that with festive green frosting and sprinkles. 
For the frosting I wanted two things. 1. I wanted it to taste delicious and 2. I wanted the cupcakes to look pretty.  In an attempt to accomplish goal #2, I decided to invest in a new decorating tip.
Most of my tips are small and great for decorating cakes, but this new jumbo tip should be perfect for topping cupcakes.
To accomplish goal #1, I used Joy the Baker's cream cheese frosting recipe, taken from her cookbook:

Ingredients
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of salt
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Variations:
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
1 tablespoon lemon juice plus 2 teaspoons lemon zest

I added in 6 tablespoons of Bailey's per the BEB recipe.

Directions 
Beat cream cheese for about a minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the butter. Beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed for 1 minute, until thoroughly combined. (If you are using any add-on's, do it at this point). Turn mixer on low and add the salt and powdered sugar, followed by the vanilla extract. Beat until almost incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Beat on medium speed until all the powdered sugar has disappeared and mixture is velvety soft. 

At this point I slowly added in 6 tablespoons of Bailey's. The Bailey's thinned out the frosting a bit so I added in ~2 tablespoons of additional powdered sugar.
I think in the end, a butter cream frosting would have looked fluffier and held the peaks the decorating tip created better, but the flavor is not my favorite   Plus the BEB butter cream recipe uses 4 sticks of butter and 5 cups of powdered sugar.  I just couldn't do it.
However, despite my mild disappointment in how they looked, these were delicious.  Super rich and decadent.  It's tough to actually eat the whole thing in one sitting, but I thought they were great, and my co-workers gave rave reviews as well.
Final verdict: I love the ganache filled cupcake! Definitely my new favorite way to make/devour cupcakes. I may try the BEB mode for inserting the ganache into the cupcake next time for a prettier finished product, or I could try the complete WJA recipe to see if her cupcake withholds the weight of the ganache better during baking.  I noticed her recipe calls for baking soda and vinegar which I know is used in red velvet cupcake recipes to make them light and fluffy. A good trick to try out next time.

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