Every time I see a recipe I like online I bookmark it and it goes into the long long list of online recipes I want to make. I once tried to put all of these recipes onto a word document and print it out, but it was over 125 pages long (way too much ink for my budget!). There's a problem with this method of doing things, however, and that is that I forget about them once they go into that folder.  But, every once in a while I come across a recipe that I bookmark, but then can't get out of my mind. I'll often go back to these recipes on occasion just to look at the ingredient list and make sure I'm stocked for whenever I want to make it. These cupcakes fall into that category.
I turned 20 Sunday, so I decided to make these to help celebrate my birthday. With all the alcohol in these they seem more appropriate for a 21st birthday, but why wait for that?  There are 3 possible additions of alcohol with these cupcakes: Bailey's in the frosting, Guinness in the cupcakes, and Irish whiskey in the ganache. Whoever created these must've been trying to clear out their liquor cabinet. I added all three, just to see how it tasted, but I liked the addition of Guinness to the cupcakes the best. The other two I could've gone without, though I'd recommend making these with at least the Bailey's for the first time around. The Guinness bakes out of the cupcakes but leaves them really rich and moist. My favorite thing was the chocolate filling in the middle of the cupcakes. I've never filled cupcakes before, but after seeing how easy it was and how amazing the results were, I think I'm hooked. I subbed out the buttercream recipe used on  Smitten Kitchen and instead made a few adjustments to the Magnolia Bakery buttercream recipe since I like that one so much. These are definitely a twist on the basic cupcakes and would be fun for any occasion.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen
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)
Bailey's Buttercream
Recipe adapted from Magnolia Bakery
2 sticks of butter,  soft
6-8 cups of confectioners sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Bailey's
2 tsp vanilla extract

Special equipment: 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer and a piping bag (though a plastic bag with the corner snipped off will also work)
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 simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) 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.
For the Buttercream : Cream  butter and 4 cups of sugar.
Add in the vanilla, baileys and milk. Beat 3-5 minutes. 
Add 1 cup of remaining confectioners sugar at a time, till you achieve required consistency and sweetness. 
 (I used a little over 6 cups)


tracieMoo said... @ March 17, 2010 at 8:24 PM

I've always wanted to make these.. I'm more convinced to do so now for my next cupcake making. It looks very pretty :)

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said... @ March 18, 2010 at 8:46 AM

This look so pretty!

Sarah said... @ March 26, 2010 at 12:48 AM

Thank you! They were delicious and a really different combination of flavors than most people are used to. You can't go wrong with a plain chocolate cupcake period, and putting this new spin on it (especially the ganache filling!) made them even better.

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