Originally published on sweetspot.ca
I’m smitten with Smitten Kitchen. Every time I visit the site, there is something that begs to be made.
In honour of St. Paddy’s Day, I tried the chocolate whiskey and beer cupcakes. This little cupcake is packed with a chocolate Guinness cupcake, filled with an Irish whiskey ganache and then topped with Bailey’s Irish Cream frosting. An incredibly moist and rich cake with a frosting that’s sweet, but not over the top.
I did run into some problems with this recipe:
- There is such a thing as too much butter. When making the cupcakes, the batter separated resulting in an oozy layer of butter. I think I let the batter sit too long that caused the separation. Try having the eggs and sour cream already beaten to prevent this. Another solution is to use less butter, maybe 1/2–2/3rds the amount.
- My ganache turned grainy. This was an easy fix, I just beat the mixture with an electric mixer until it was smooth as silk.
Despite these issues, the cupcakes turned out so well that I’ll be making another go at this for next year. Don’t fear the booze that’s in this recipe. You can only taste the Irish Cream in the frosting (don’t like Irish Cream? Replace it with milk or cream instead).
Chocolate Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes (slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes
Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
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 (I used 70% cocoa)
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)
2 to 3 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
4 tablespoons Baileys
Special equipment: apple corer and a piping bag (I used a plastic bag with the tip cut off)
Make the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in a large bowl to blend (you will be adding the rest of the ingredients to this bowl).
- Bring stout and butter to simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat to combine. Add flour mixture and mix on slow until just combined. Filling muffin tins 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.
Make the ganache:
- Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl.
- Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let stand for one minute and then stir until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Cool slightly, but still soft enough to pipe.
Fill the cupcakes:
- Using the apple corer, cut the centres out of the cupcakes being careful not to hit the bottom.
- Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill until it reaches the top.
Make the frosting:
- Whip the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time until it looks thick enough to spread.
- Add Bailey’s. If the mixture thins out, add more powdered sugar until thick again.