Sunday, April 26, 2009

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey's Buttercream Frosting

It was a beautiful weekend here in Los Angeles, and I hope this means that the sun is done playing hide and seek with us and is finally ready for its summer debut. You see, "seasons" is kind of a relative term here -- spring lasts about a minute and a half, teasing us with perfect 70 degree sunshiny days, pink tulips and the subtle, turn-and-you'll-miss-it smell of lilacs in bloom (by the way, the phrase "lilacs in bloom" might just be the most beautiful and romantic phrase in the world). And then, just as you're putting away the winter jackets (singular, in my case - don't hate me) and settling in to enjoy wearing cardigans again, out comes the heat in full force and you are suddenly compelled, by a force stronger than you can resist, to remodel the patio and drive to the beach to check in on the buff Malibu boys playing beach volleyball at all times of day and night. Oh, am I the only one who does that? ;)

One thing that always brings me into the summer mood is beer. During the winter, I enjoy "sophisticated" cocktails with names that get you approving glances from the bartenders and make me feel like I know the secret handshake, but when it's hot outside, I'm a beer and cupcakes kind of girl and I don't care who knows it.

When I was at my first college party and picked up a bottle of Guinness, I got very disapproving glances from some of the boys. As you can imagine, these were all immediately crossed off my "list" (I would explain "the list," but I think my mother reads this blog and I don't want to get in trouble!). Later, I found out that it's kind of an unwritten rule that girls drink Coronas and light beers while guys chug the more "manly" bitters and stouts. Oh. Really. Good thing I've never been one to follow the rules, especially the unwritten ones!

Since then, Guinness has been on my list of favorite beers. Many say it's an acquired taste, but Guinness and I were friends from the very first sip and our relationship has only grown over the years. So when I saw this recipe for Guinness cupcakes, I knew, I just knew that here was the next step in the evolution -- I had to make them. They sat in my mind for a month -- fermented, if you will -- until a friend's birthday finally tempted me to bring them out in their full glory.

People, these might just be -- no, these ARE -- the best cupcakes to ever have come out of my kitchen and possibly the best cupcakes I've ever tasted. Deb is a genius. I have a massive girl crush on her and on these cupcakes (I hope her husband will forgive me). WOW. The combination of moist, lightly sweet chocolate cake in which you can only taste the best parts of Guinness, a chocolaty ganache filling and a buttercream frosting made with Bailey's Irish Cream is indescribable, unforgettable. It's something you have to make for yourself, like right now, and share it with others immediately. These cupcakes have to go out into the world. In the immortal words of a Seinfeld episode, they are real and they are spectacular!

Chocolate Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes
via the Smitten Kitchen

*My only changes were omitting the whiskey in the ganache (I didn't have any on hand) and using 2 tbsp Bailey's and 2 tbsp heavy cream in the frosting. I used about 2 1/2 cups of confectioner's sugar in the frosting and it worked out very well. Please click over to the Smitten Kitchen for Deb's great hints and instructions!

Chocolate Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes
Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes

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.

Deb says that you can make these in advance: "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. (Longer, they will start to get stale.)"

45 comments:

nicole said...

I just had to roll my tongue back into my mouth...

A. said...

Oh, yes indeed, they were real. Best cupcakes ever! Do try them with a glass of milk.

Mermaid Sweets said...

Love the chocolate photo. These look great.

The Food Librarian said...

These look so beautiful! Love the way you piped the frosting too!

Jude said...

Great sub with using Bailey's. I wonder how this would taste with a shot of Jameson :)

bucatar maniac said...

it looks delicious!

Sara said...

These are just beautiful, I'm sure they were amazing. The weather's been great in the Bay Area too, I hope it stays that way!

kirsteniteleader said...

Glad to know there's another woman out there who appreciates a good stout! I never drank beer before I got married and my husband introduced me to the finer ones. Guinness is a fav of both of ours (and one of the only beers I can stand. The stouter, the better, is my palate's opinion).

Soooo I'm going to HAVE to make these for him!! And by him, I mean both of us! Only I'm not going to tell him it has Guinness in it until he's consumed it and wondering why he liked it so much! o.~

kirsteniteleader said...

On another note... Funny how you mentioned the existence of people who don't drink. I'll cook with alcohol but me and my husband have given up drinking it. However! While I appreciate the substitution of milk for Bailey's, I'm thinking 4 tablespoons spread out over two dozen cupcakes is nothing to freak out about. =D I'll just have to dig up some other recipes to use the leftover Bailey's in! I love adventure!

ChichaJo said...

This sounds wonderful! Thanks so much for posting this recipe...I've bookmarked it!

RecipeGirl said...

These sound fantastic. I've been making a lot of cupcakes lately, but I have to say that I've never, ever stuffed a cupcake with anything! There's still time!

Ash said...

Very VERY cool! I have a friend you loves this cake!! I'm sure she'd like it even better cupcake style!!!

Irene said...

Nicole - that's how I felt when I first saw these on the Smitten Kitchen!

Mermaid Sweets - thank you, that one is my favorite out of the bunch!

Mary - thanks! I took a cue from Deb, since I don't usually make cupcakes and had no idea what to do with the frosting!

Jude - the original recipe adds whiskey to the ganache... for that extra shot of masculinity, like, fine, it's a cupcake, but it has BEER and WHISKEY! :)

Bucatar Maniac - thank you :)

Sara - aaand the weather here is crappy again... at least we had a nice weekend!

Kirsten - yeah, I was floored when I realized girls weren't supposed to drink Guinness. What? I don't think so. The Bailey's is veeery potent in the frosting - I actually half-and-halved it with cream, but I would just add one tbsp at a time and taste as you go. Deb @ Smitten Kitchen has a recipe for Boozy French Toast that uses Bailey's, and it looks phenomenal (as do all of her recipes).

Joey, you must. make. this. Seriously! I am almost never so adamant about it, but this recipe, it will make you a lot of friends! :)

Recipe Girl - neither have I, and while it's added work, I'm a big fan! I've been thinking of other ways to stuff cupcakes now, so if you have any ideas, let me know.

Ash - if your friend love the cake, she will ADORE the cupcakes. The addition of a Bailey's frosting kickes it up a notch (or twenty five)!

Happy cook said...

Wow that cupcake looks sinfully delicous.
I am sure bookmarking them.
Talking aabout guiness, i have to tell a funny story
When i had my daughter, I was breast feeding her and when she was 5 months we went to India so my MIL told me few days before we left to India tha tguiness is very good and if you drink it you will have lots of milk so in the plane baby won't go hungry and me the idiot who never drinks anything that time ( well now it chang'd i drink almost everything ) bought guiness and the day before we left i opened up the bottle and to the horror i didn't like the smell or the taste ( now ofcoucrse i do love guiness) so i just gulped in down in two strtch. You can imagine wha thappend i was drunk :-)
Well i have no idea if it gives more milk or if it is just a myth :-)

Irene said...

Hee hee, that's an awesome story! My Italian friend says that red wine gives you milk, but I think it's just an excuse to get drunk after labor. :)

Elra said...

Can't get over this delicious looking cakes. Can't help myself from salivating either..

sean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Juliana said...

Baileys frosting...just the idea make my mouth water...such a great looking cupcakes. Love the idea of how you fill them.

creampuff said...

Oh my gosh, wow, these look sooooooo good!!! So good!

Ramya Kiran said...

Wow, loved the cherries. Nicely decorated and a lovely presentation. A treat for chocolate lovers!

Helene said...

In the past few weeks I have been experimenting with different cupcakes recipes. Now this is the next one that I will try. Thanks for sharing.

AndreaQ said...

What a great idea to bake cupcakes with Guinness! We make rum, kahlua, and brandy cakes-why not beer too! I can't wait to try these!

Eileen said...

WOW... I've got to make these!

Peter M said...

What a novel use of Guinness beer! Love the blog name (you tart), the cupcakes and I'll be back!

Nico said...

mmmmm sounds good, I'll try it, thanks

Anali said...

Those cupcakes are so beautiful!! And I love your little cupcake hole maker thingy there. I need to get one! I made some cupcakes that I wanted to put filling in and I wasn't sure how to do it. I see that this is how you do it!

Treehouse Chef said...

Wow! This looks foodtastic!

Jodi said...

those look so good! yum

Elyse said...

Summer and beer definitely go hand in hand. So glad you stood up and drank your Guinness with the boys!! You show 'em. These cupcakes look fantastic. I can only imagine how nicely the Guinness and chocolate pair. DEEELISH!

Stacey said...

This looks beyond beautiful! These would not last ten minutes in my home! :)

Anonymous said...

try them, not with a glass of milk, but with a white russian! delish

Irene said...

Heck yeah! Btw, my nickname in college was "White Russian" - I know, very original. :)

Emmett Sleepy do Boogie Honeycut said...

made these last night! Drizzled ganache over the top instead of shaved chocolate. a real show stopper and delicious!

eestroff3 said...

I made these cupcakes for my boyfriend's 21st birthday, and people could NOT stop raving about them! I had to hide quite a few so that our guests would leave some for us. The beer brings out a richness in these cupcakes without having the distinct "beer" flavor. They were a hit, thanks so much for the recipe!

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Keisha - Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Dreams said...

Yeeeeaaaahhhh.....I just made these, and I thought my chocolate java cupcakes were DA BOMB - they've now come in second to these....SO FRIGGIN' GOOD!!!! Loved it - I'm sharing with friends on Wednesday and I'll be posting a link to this recipe on my blog.

Camila said...

Stumbled upon this in search of a festive St. Patty's recipe. Stout + cupcakes? DONE and DONE. Thanks for such a great recipe and very easy to follow instructions. Came out perfectly and the shaver on the chocolate produced the most fantastic curls of chocolate. My coworkers think I should quit and open a bakery. I tried to explain I'm just good at GOOGLE-ing and following instructions...but I thank you!!

Irene said...

I know what you mean! When I made this from Smitten Kitchen's recipe, I felt the accolades were undeserved because of how easy these are to make. But hey, we're judged on the end result, right? And the end result here is YUM, so I'll take it where I can get it! :)

The Red Queen said...

I made this and it is everything I've ever dreamed of and more.

I'm a very new blogger and published my results and the recipe in my blog.
(hope that's ok, this is the first recipe that I've taken from another blog and I want to make sure that's fine)
Thanks!

http://redqueencakes.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Just made these for my husband's birthday. These are the best cupcakes I have ever made! He is a huge fan of Guinness (as am I), so I am sure these will become a staple in our house.

Hylic said...

yummmm, thanks!!!!

Anonymous said...

Just made these this morning for a St Patricks Day party tonight- they are awesome! Since we are having more of a "nibbles"-type party, I actually made mini-cupcakes. This recipe made exactly 48 minis and 12 regular sized (saving them for us!) I used a tiny spoon to dig out the mini-cupcake middles, then filled them with the same spoon. I piped on the frosting. The best part? 1/2 a Guiness left over to sip on while frosting...

Melissa said...

I made these for St. Paddy's Day and the reception from work was overwhelming. My sister-in-law is Irish from Long Island and very discerning about such things. Let's just say her compliments were blush inducing! I agree with other posts here it is hard to take accolades when it isn't my recipe, I just followed instructions. Ok, well, with a few tweaks of my own. Thank you for having a love of food and baking and passing along and sharing.

Irene said...

I can't take any of the credit either, was also just following instructions! Deb's the real cooling genius.

Amanda said...

I made these last year for the Annual Shenanigans party a friend throws on St. Patrick's Day. This is an all day party and it was my first time going.Lots of music making, singing, great food, and celebrating our Irishness. People hunted me down to tell me how amazing they were! My heart smiled each time. Needless to say, I absolutely had to make them again this year. They just came out of the oven and smell amazing! I no longer drink either. If you haven't tried these yet, what are you waiting for?!