Sunday, June 19, 2011

Filled Stout Cupcakes with Baileys Frosting

Vacation always ends before it should, don't you think? My vacation, and the hectic weeks that led up to it, left me sitting here this morning with the realization that it's been more than a month since I last posted. Oopsie. Hopefully this recipe will make it up to you. 

Three kinds of alcohol, chocolate, and more chocolate. You can make these cupcakes without the filling, but why would you ever want to do that? First, you get to eat the centers of all the cupcakes yourself if you fill them and it makes the cupcakes that much more tasty. Totally worth it.

Filled Stout Cupcakes with Baileys Frosting

-Makes approximately 2 dozen cupcakes

1 cup stout (Guinness works well)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)

3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) room temperature unsalted butter
3 to 5 tablespoons Baileys (or milk if you prefer)

* I used plastic ziploc bags to pipe the filling into the cupcakes, but you can use a pastry bag if you have one. Apple corers work great to carve out the cupcake centers, but you can also use a small round cookie cutter or melon baller.

-Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Remove saucepan from heat and let cool.

-Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Beat eggs and sour cream with a whisk in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and combine with a spatula. Add flour mixture and fold batter until combined. 

-Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. (I find an easy way to do this is to transfer the batter to a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup and pour the batter to distribute it between the cupcake pans.) Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating the pans if necessary, about 16-20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the tins after a few minutes and let cupcakes cool on a rack completely.

-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. (Zap the chocolate in the microwave for 20 seconds or so if it hasn't fully melted.) Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined.

-Let the ganache cool, stirring occasionally, until thick but still soft enough to be piped. If the chocolate is just melted and not to warm this will take about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but don't through the bottom,  ~2/3 of the way. Pipe the ganache into the cupcake centers.

-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. Slowly add the Baileys and whip until combined. If you want loads of frosting on each cupcake, you'll need to make a double batch of frosting.

Courtesy of Smitten Kitchen (chocolate whiskey and beer cupcakes)

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