Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I had wanted to make these Irish Car Bomb cupcakes I found on pinterest in honor of St. Patty's Day. But I did not have Guinness or whiskey on hand and couldn't talk myself into spending that kind of money on booze just to make cupcakes. But I did have a bottle of Bailey's that my mom gave me. So, keeping the Irish Car Bomb recipe in mind, I came up with my own St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes. As it turned out, these are definitely the best cupcakes I have ever made. They might even be the best cupcakes I've ever eaten.

The cake alone is a triple chocolate treat. It's made from a dark chocolate cake mix, chocolate milk, and Bailey's Irish Cream. Then you have the bitter-sweet chocolate ganache filling, and finally the cupcake is topped with Bailey's buttercream frosting, which makes me think Bailey's should be added to all frosting--maybe all desserts.

1 dark chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
1 cup chocolate milk

Ganache Filling:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoon butter

Bailey's Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons of Bailey's Irish Cream
5 drops green food coloring, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the cake for the cupcake, combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Divide batter between 24 cupcake molds. Bake for 19 to 23 minutes or until the cupcakes are baked. Allow to cool completely. Using 1/2 tablespoon, scoop out the middles of the cupcakes.

Ganache Filling:
Place the chocolate chips in a heat-proof medium bowl. In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil, then pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for a minute then stir with a plastic spatula to combine. Stir in butter. Freeze until the mixture becomes thick but not hard, 10 to 15 minutes. Pipe or spoon the ganache into the cupcakes.

Bailey's Buttercream Frosting:
With a whisk attachment, whip the butter in a large bowl on medium-high speed for about five minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the the sugar 1/2 cup at time until all of it is completely combined. Add vanilla extract, food coloring, and Bailey's and whip on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Frost the cupcakes.

I actually made two versions of these cupcakes. One had the chocolate ganache filling and the other had a mint-chocolate ganache (added mint extract to the ganache). Eric loves mint and mint just seemed St. Patty Day-like. Eric loved these cupcakes. I personally thought the mint took something away from the chocolate taste and the amazing Bailey's buttercream frosting.



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