I’ve been away for a while. First, my 5+ year old iMac crapped out on me. Turned out to be an inexpensive repair but I went ahead and sprung for a new 27″ anyway. It’s huge. I’ve also been out of town, so I’m just now getting a chance to update the blog again. There is much going on in the world of me and firearms and I know I owe you all a follow up on my previous post but for today, you get cupcakes. We all like cupcakes, so I’m sure you won’t mind.
I rarely share my cupcake recipes. I have a small side business, Groove Cakes. Custom-order music-themed cupcakes. So, sharing my recipes wouldn’t behoove me. But, my latest creation is one I’ve been wanting to work on for quite a while and it contains liquor. In keeping with my music theme, I have named this cupcake the Sinead O’Connor. It’s an Irish car bomb cupcake. Guinness chocolate cake, dipped in a whiskey chocolate ganache and topped with Bailey’s buttercream. I tried one recently at Shenanigan’s in Dahlonega at the suggestion of a friend. It was ok. The cake was pretty good but the frosting needed lots of help and it had no whiskey ganache. I’m picky about my cupcakes.
I do not have a liquor license and I’m not big on incurring unnecessary liability so I won’t be selling these through Groove Cakes. I considered developing it with extracts and flavors but it’s just not the same and I am not going to put out a cupcake that tastes like crap. It’s really a shame I can’t offer these because they turned out awesome. I love it when I get it right the very first time and don’t need to tweak the recipe. I based the cakes on a recipe for a Guinness chocolate cake with Guinness ganache that I have been making for years so I knew it wouldn’t disappoint.
Keep in mind while making this recipe that quality matters. If you use crap ingredients, you get crap cupcakes. No Hershey’s cocoa, ok? Promise?
Also keep in mind that the alcohol in these babies do not cook out, with the possible exception of the Guinness. The whiskey and the irish cream are fully leaded, so it’s an adult cupcake.
Sinead O’Connor Cupcakes (AKA Irish Car Bomb)
1 cup Guinness, not including the foam (you can spoon out the foam)
2 sticks unsalted, room temperature butter
3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder (high quality, please!)
1 tsp espresso powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 24 cupcake cups. You can actually get 28-29 from this recipe, but if you’re like me, you’ll end up eating that portion in raw batter.
Melt butter with Guinness in medium saucepan over medium heat. Once butter melts, add cocoa in 1/4 cup increments, whisking until combined and smooth. Add espresso powder. Set aside to cool.
Combine sour cream and eggs in stand mixer and combine until smooth and creamy. Combine sugar, flour, baking soda and salt in food processor (you can also sift it normally but I like the ease of the processor) and pulse until combined and no lumps remain.
Add cooled chocolate and Guinness mixture to egg and sour cream mixture. You want to make sure the mixture is cool or you’ll end up cooking your eggs prematurely unless you carefully temper them. Mix on low speed until all wet ingredients are combined. Gradually add in dry mixture on low speed until just combined. Do not overwork the batter or you’ll end up with overdeveloped gluten and your cake will be tough instead of light and airy.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 15-18 minutes. Start checking at 15 minutes. They are done with a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before topping with ganache, below.
Chocolate Whiskey Ganache:
6 oz 70% bittersweet chocolate, chopped (you can use chocolate chips but I’d prefer you use a really good quality)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons whiskey (Irish is preferred, such as Jameson’s, but you can get away with Maker’s Mark also. So long as it’s a good quality whiskey. I know, I really like the word “quality.”)
Combine chocolate and heavy cream in a microwavable glass bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. If too thick, add a little more warm cream. Stir in butter until melted. Add whiskey and stir to combine. Hold cupcake upside down and swirl the top in the ganache, covering entire top of cake. Repeat with all cupcakes. Set aside while preparing buttercream.
*Side note – you can core the cakes and pipe the ganache into the cupcakes instead but you’ll need to double the recipe and personally, I think it would be a little overwhelming. I’m as big of a chocolate addict as ever existed, but I recommend just topping with the ganache.
Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting:
2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
4-5 cups powdered sugar
7 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream
With wire whip attachment, whip butter on medium, then high until fluffy. This will probably take 3-5 minutes. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, making sure to turn mixer to slow or off when adding to avoid a powdered sugar bomb in your face, then work up to high speed to whip each time, ensuring a light and airy frosting. Stop at 4 cups. Add in the Bailey’s and mix in. You can mix in the last cup if you want the icing a little stiffer or sweeter. Frost cakes with piping bag and your favorite tip.
Store in an airtight container. And enjoy responsibly. Or irresponsibly. Whatever works for you.