Thursday, May 13, 2010

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

For the cupcakes

1 cup Guinness
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsps baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the filling…chances are, this will be more than you need. Please use this as an excuse to liberally taste-test, and/or overfill your cupcakes. It is entirely your call.

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 Tblsps room-temperature, unsalted butter

For the frosting

3 to 4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup room-temperature, unsalted butter
3 to 4 Tblsps Baileys Irish Cream

Make the cupcakes:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the butter into large chunks. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, bring the butter & Guinness to a simmer.

While the butter melts, in a larger-than-the-saucepan-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda & salt. The butter & Guinness should be simmering by now; remove them from the heat, add the cocoa & whisk together until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes.

While you wait for the butter-Guinness-chocolate mixture to cool, mix the eggs & sour cream with an electric beater until smooth. Pour in the butter-Guinness-chocolate mixture, & mix until just combined.

Pour this thick, chocolatey goodness into the previously-whisked flour–sugar-baking soda-salt bowl. You’ll probably want to break out your spatula at this point. Stir until just combined.

Put paper liners in a mini cupcake tray. Trust me. You can oil/grease/spray all you want, but you will still leave chunks of cupcake behind when you remove them. I know this. Fill the cups 3/4 full of batter & bake for 12 minutes. Rotate the pan half way through for even baking.

I often skip this step.

 After the cupcakes have cooled, poke a hole in the middle. I use my roommate’s chopsticks for this.* You could also use the end of a wooden spoon or even your finger. If you go with that approach, pray a little Pam on it beforehand. Also consider washing it.

*I wrap the chopstick in saran wrap and spray a little Pam on it. This keeps the cupcake in the cupcake, not stuck to the chopstick/spoonhandle/finger you’re using.

Now make the filling:

Put your bittersweet chocolate in a bowl. This is easy when you use bittersweet chocolate chips. If you’re using a bar of chocolate, chop it roughly.

In a medium-sized (maybe even the same one that you used to melt the butter and Guinness previously) pan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer.

Pour the cream over the chocolate, add the butter & stir until smooth & combined. Refrigerate, stirring every 10 minutes, until it’s pourable but not too runny.

To fill the cupcakes, spoon the ganache into a frosting bag or (if you’re like me again) a plastic ziplock with the one corner cut off. Gently squeeze the ganache into the holes in the cupcakes.

Don’t eat them yet.

Now make the frosting:

Put your room temperature butter into a large-ish bowl. It’s about to get messy, & you’ll want room to add sugar & whip the snot out of it.

With an electric beater, whip the butter until it’s light & fluffy.

Slowly add 3 cups of the powdered sugar, a little bit at a time. This keeps the frosting from getting grainy.

Add 3-4 tablespoons of the Baileys, depending on the level of flavor you want.

Add more powdered sugar if a) the Baileys has made it too runny or b) you just really like playing with your electric mixer. Like me.

Frost those babies.*

Eat one. FINALLY.

Congratulations. You’ve basically baked an Irish car bomb.

This amount of batter makes around 50 mini cupcakes.