Whew! That's a long title. Good thing these are amazing cupcakes!
My youngest son turned 4 this week. 4! I swear I just birthed him a few months ago. I keep trying to convince my boys to stop growing up but they are really bad listeners and just keep growing anyway.
His birthday party is today. St. Patrick's Day. Since I believe in equally sugar-highs for adults and kids, I make "adult cupcakes" for my boys' birthday parties. The kids get their birthday-theme-related cupcakes and the parents get a little "thanks for bringing your kid to my kid's party" cupcake. Because it's St. Patrick's Day, I decided the best cupcake for today's shindig is a Guinness chocolate cupcake filled with chocolate ganache and topped with Bailey's Irish Cream buttercream.
I've never made ganache before so I searched the internet and found several highly recommended recipes and started tweaking them. My primary sources of inspiration were The Mess Pot and Red Shallot Kitchen.
One thing I learned about ganache-you can't rush it. Boiling the cream takes no time at all but waiting for it to cool is an exercise in patience, my friends. I used the refrigerator to help with the cooling process and that worked great. Just be sure to stir it every 10ish minutes until it's almost the thickness you're looking for. It will set up a little more after you remove it from the fridge.
You can download the recipe from my Scribd account here.
Guinness chocolate cupcakes with Bailey’s buttercream
Pre-heat oven to 350°
1 box chocolate cake mix (I prefer Pillsbury)
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup Guinness
3 tbs dutch-process cocoa powder
Heat Guinness in microwave for 3 ½ minutes, stirring after each minute. On low for one minute, beat cake mix, eggs, butter, Guinness, and cocoa powder. Increase speed to med-high and beat for one more minute or until batter is smooth. Do not overmix. Scoop into lined cupcake pan filling cups 2/3 full. Bake for 22-24 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before moving to cooking rack. Once completely cooled, use a cupcake corer (this one's mine and I LOVE it!), 1 inch round cookie cutter, or a small knife to cut the middle out of each cupcake.
Chocolate Ganache2/3 C HEAVY CREAM
8 OZ. SEMI-SWEET BAKING CHOCOLATE, CHOPPED INTO PIECES
2 TBS BUTTER, SOFTENED AND CUT INTO PIECES
OPTIONAL: 2-3 TSP BAILEY’S IRISH CREAM
Place chocolate pieces in heat proof bowl. Heat cream on stove top until boiling then pour over chocolate. Let sit for one minute then slowly stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. If needed, you can microwave cream and chocolate for 1-2 minutes to speed up the melting process. Add butter and Bailey’s and stir again slowly, until smooth. At this point, you need to let it cool until thickened. You can either leave it on the counter for approximately 3 hours, stirring occasionally or put in the fridge for about one hour, stirring every 10 minutes. Place heaping scoops of ganache in a piping bag, snip off the end, and fill cupcakes with ganache.
Bailey’s Buttercream1 C BUTTER, SOFTENED
1 ½ TSP VANILLA
5 C POWDERED SUGAR
6-7 TBS BAILEY’S IRISH CREAM
Cream butter and vanilla well. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating well between each cup. As the mixture gets stiffer, add small amounts of Bailey’s and continue mixing. You can add heavy cream if you’d like but I just stick with the Bailey’s.
If you make these, let me know what you think. I'm hoping everyone likes them this afternoon because I think they're heavenly. (And, I don't even like Guinness.)