Cooking with Courtney Crave: March 2011
Car Bomb Cupcakes
Ah March, you bring such wonderful things; my birthday, the ides, and St. Patrick’s Day. That’s right, a day where you can abuse/sexually harass (seriously, what do you think pinching is) people not wearing green and get wasted on green beer all in the name of a saint from country that chances are, you are not really from (apologies to those who are, everyone loves an Irish girl). These delicious adult beverage cupcakes should become part of your St. Patty’s day planning. They are a lot of work, but totally worth it.
*Fair vegans, I fear I’ve let you down this month. In an effort to save space I didn’t include the vegan options for baking these cupcakes. Please send a request to Pin Curl for the vegan friendly recipe and I will be sure to send it to you!
Cupcake Ingredients (makes 20-24 cupcakes)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
Ganache Filling Ingredients
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 3 to 4 cups confections sugar
- 3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer
- Cupcake cups and pan
- Piping bag (a plastic bag with the corner snipped off will also work)
Preheat oven to 350°F (176 ºC). Place cupcake cups in the cupcake pan. In a large saucepan over medium heat bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth and let it cool slightly. In a large bowl whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl with an electric mixer until blended. Add the stout-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat until combined. This can all be done by hand but with an electric mixer it’s much easier. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using a rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Fill the cupcake cups about 2/3 full with batter. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely. Time to make the frosting! Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys or milk and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar. Don’t frost the cupcakes yet, we still have to fill them with ganache. To make the filling, chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. If this hasn’t melted the chocolate, return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what’s left or pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds. Add the butter and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Feel free to snack on those. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip or a large ziplock bag with the corner cut off and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top. You’re so close! Now is the time to ice the cupcakes, then sit back and enjoy, either by taking small sips, er I mean, bites, or by stuffing the whole thing in your mouth like a shot.
If green beer or Guinness isn’t your thing on St. Patrick’s Day why not try an Irish Martini? It’s like a little pot of gold amongst the hordes of drunk, green, leprechauns.
- 2 ounces vodka
- ½ ounce dry vermouth
- ½ ounce Irish whiskey
- Lemon twist garnish
- Pour the Irish whiskey into a chilled cocktail or martini glass and swirl it around to coat the inside. Drain out the excess whiskey. Feel free to drain it right into a shot glass and consume, then continue on with the rest of this recipe. Pour the vodka and dry vermouth into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice and shake away. Strain this mixture into your cocktail or martini glass, garnish with a lemon twist, and enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day knowing that you aren’t consuming the liquid equivalent to a loaf of bread.