Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ok, I'm horrible... and some dessert goodness!

Ok not THAT horrible. But if you know me well at all you know that I am forgetful about some things... mainly mail. I forget to go to the post office every year at Christmas, and although some years I spend months making my Christmas cards, they always seem to end up in the same box I've been toting around with every move. The box marked "Forgotten Christmas Cards". I'm not kidding! I really have a box full of 13 years of Christmas cards I still need to mail out. Don't be surprised if one year you get a packet from us!

Well, apparently my forgetfulness has grown to include my blog. I seem to forget lately that I have a blog and so I forget to fill you in on the going ons of our family. Not that it's a big deal, I really don't think we've been all that exciting lately. And I really doubt ya'll want to figure out the way my brain works when I ramble, which is basically all I would have been doing the past couple weeks.

But anyway! Sorry I've been horrible and haven't blogged lately. I'll make up for that today! :)

The other day, Matt was surfing his Jeep forums and there was a post about these cupcakes that caught his attention. We aren't big alcohol drinkers, but every now and again, we like a good Irish Cream or Guinness. Well, Matt likes the Guinness, I'm not much of a beer drinker. Although, we actually found a lager I like made by Guinness called Harp. Yum! Anyhow, back to the cupcakes... they're called "Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes". And yes, they are made with Guinness!

At first I thought that there was no way I would try those. But Matt went looking for the recipe and asked me to try it. So this afternoon, I decided I might as well.

Oh My Goodness! Yum!

The beer has a little chocolate taste to it anyway, and the alcohol cooks out so you don't taste the beer in the cupcake. But the buttercream with a shot of Bailey's? WOW!!!!! Wonderful!!!!

Here's the recipe:

For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) 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

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

Baileys Frosting (see Recipe Notes)
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)

Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners.

Put the butter with the beer in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a mixer bowl, beat the eggas and the sour cream together. Add the beer/butter/cocoa mixture and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat briefly just to combine. Using a rubbet spatula, fold the batter until completely combined, making sure to incorporate little pockets of flour on the bottom so that the batter is of equal consistency everywhere.

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way if you want flatter cupcakes and 3/4 if you want domed. Bake for about 17 minutes, or until a toothpick or a slim knife inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely to room temperature.

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. 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. Using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. I went about half to 2/3 of the way down and used a small knife to help me extract the centers. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Make the frosting: In a large mixer bowl, whip the butter for several minutes until very light and fluffly. Slowly add the powdered sugar, letting it incorporate, utnil the butter becomes thicker and stiff (you will know when this happens). Slowly drizzle the Bailey's (or milk or cream or a combination thereof) and whip until combined. Ice and decorate the cupcakes.

And here are my cupcakes!

Right after coming out of the oven...

After I added the ganache filling (oh, instead of Irish Whisky, I used the same Irish Cream I used for the frosting... needless to say, the kids aren't having cupcakes today.:) hehe!)...

With the Bailey's Buttercream Frosting...

And finally, dusted with a little cocoa powder.... One or two got a lot of cocoa powder, but believe me, the sweet frosting can handle the bitter cocoa easily!

You don't taste the beer, truly! And if the baking wasn't enough to cook out the alcohol, then simmering the butter and beer together will definitely do the job! Give them a try ya'll! I'm telling you they are so worth it! Oh, and I found some make ahead information: You can freeze the cupcakes for about two weeks after baking, just wait to add the filling and frosting, or a week after filling... BUT once you bake, fill, and frost, you need to serve them in the first day or two. They start to go stale after that. Oh and keep them refrigerated!


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