These didn’t start out as St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes. They started out as “make these for a friend who is freakishly obsessed with car bombs”-cupcakes. But since her visit in town coincided with the week before St. Patrick’s Day, I decided they’d be perfect to pull some double-duty.
I•rish Car Bomb
n. (pl. -bombs)
A beer cocktail similar to a boilermaker made with Irish stout, Irish Cream, and Irish whiskey. A shot glass with a mix of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Jameson Irish whiskey is dropped into a three-quarters full pint of Guinness before drinking.
So what’s Irish about these beauties? Well, the cake is baked with Guinness Stout beer, there’s Jameson Irish Whiskey in the chocolate ganache center and the frosting is flavored with (a lot) of Bailey’s Irish Cream. Oh, and that’s John F. Kennedy’s profile on the chocolate coins. Did I plan that? No. They just happened to be the only chocolate coins I could find in the Metro Atlanta area, so it was a happy little coincidence.
You could make yours without half-dollar chocolate coins—or without any of the liquor if you need to. They’re just as tasty when you substitute some ingredients out for the Jameson and Bailey’s (but leave the Guinness in—it mostly bakes out anyways).
Either way, they’re festive, funny and really, really rich. And not just ’cause of the gold coins. These things are heavy. Everyone at the party will only need one.
- 1 cup Guinness (or another stout beer)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons Jameson Irish whiskey (If you'd like to skip this, just leave it out)
- 6 cups confections sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
- 6 to 8 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur (You can substitute the same amount of milk or heavy cream here)
- 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. Take it off the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Mine looked kind of congealed here, but since I'm stubbornpersistent, I hammered on. The final product came out great.
- Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in another large bowl to blend.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream in yet another large bowl to blend (You might also want to bribe somebody to do the dishes for you with the promise of cupcakes). Then, add the cooled stout-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Finally, add the flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Finish it off by using a rubber spatula to fold the batter until it's completely combined.
- Divide the batter among your cupcake liners, filling them roughly three-quarters of the way.
- Bake the cake at 350°F until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.
- Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl.
- Heat the cream in a saucepan until simmering and then pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this hasn't sufficiently melted your chocolate, you can melt it in a double boiler or with around 20 seconds in the microwave.)
- Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.
- Let the ganache cool on the counter until it's thick but still soft enough to be piped.
- Meanwhile, using a 1-inch round cookie cutter or a cupcake corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes.
- Put the cooled ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
- Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar. The slower, the better. But if you're impatient like me, try to slow it down to at least 1 cup at a time.
- Once the frosting looks thick (mine resembled Play-doh more than frosting), drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.
- Ice and decorate the cupcakes. I used a Wilton 1M star tip here, then topped 'em with gold sugar and a chocolate coin.