Friday, March 15, 2013

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

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It's Friday! We made it through another week and to end things on a sweet note as well as finish off Irish fare just in time for St. Patrick's Day weekend, here are some Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes for eye candy! What's an Irish Car Bomb? Apparently this is a well known liquor shot comprised of Guinness stout beer, Irish whiskey and Irish cream liqueur. The combination is I an guess an explosion of flavors... and this cupcake definitely has all that! Chocolate stout cupcake is stuffed with  an Irish whiskey laced chocolate ganaché and topped with a Bailey's Irish Cream buttercream frosting. Bottoms up!...

These were fantastic. Omg, did I love these.. as did my friends and The Baron. It's luscious, chocolatey, not too sweet and just enough booze to keep you happy for a little Irish jig! To make these gluten free, Guinness needs to be omitted (it contains gluten) so use water instead. Then of course, use gluten free flour and follow the rest of the recipe.


Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen





Cupcakes
1 cup stout (such as Guinness or for GF version, use water)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour or {280grams GF flour blend + 1 teaspoon xanthan gum)
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
Ganache Filling
1 cup bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (such as Jameson)
Baileys Frosting
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperatue
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys or heavy cream

Make the cupcakes: 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. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake 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.
Make the filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until almost scalding and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.


Fill the cupcakes:
 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. Those are your “tasters”. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

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 cream) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin, beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.

Ice and decorate the cupcakes as desired. I topped it with a green chocolate melting dish as garnish.
Do ahead: You can bake the cupcakes a week or two in advance and store them, well wrapped, in the freezer. You can also fill them before you freeze them. They also keep filled — or filled and frosted — in the fridge for a day.


** *Gluten free flour blend:
This is the best combination for my personal uses and has never failed me. I purchased a majority of the ingredients at an Asian market (at less than $.99/lb) and the other ingredients marked were Bob Red Mill brand. Cornstarch was Argo brand.

300 grams superfine brown rice flour (Bob's Red Mill)
250 grams sweet rice flour (Asian market)
150 grams tapioca flour (Asian market)
100 grams sorghum flour (Bob's Red Mill)
100 grams potato starch (Asian market)
100 grams cornstarch (Argo brand)


Whisk together the above flours and store in an air tight container. To use, measure out 140 grams for every cup called for in your favorite baking recipe (NOT yeast bread recipes.) Add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum for every cup used in the recipe as well to help with texture and binding. Voila! You can bake gluten free with confidence!
 

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