I really love Saint Patrick's Day. I have so many memories of celebrating it as a kid. I remember all of these movies about leprechauns that I would watch with my family (and I faintly recall being terrified of this one movie that involved a leprechaun and a banshee).
Every Saint Patrick's Eve, my brother and I would construct leprechaun traps in our kitchen. We would prop up bowls and pots and pans with wooden spoons and spatulas, in the hopes of catching a leprechaun. We would lure the leprechaun in with a bits of food and if we caught him, he would grant us a wish, but if we didn't, leprechauns are nice so they'd always leave us chocolate coins. When I moved into my dorm last year, I was shocked to learn that my roommate, Caitlin, also followed this tradition with her family. Needless to say, the two of us still build leprechaun traps.
Every Saint Patrick's Day morning, my brother's, dad's and my milk/soy milk would turn green when it was poured "because we had Irish blood in us", while my mom's would remain white. Our eggs and toast also turned bright green.
This year, I wanted to try and make cupcakes involving classic Irish beverages--Guinness and Bailey's Irish Cream. I was so excited when I came across this recipe from one of my favorite blogs. The Guinness in the cupcakes should bake out, but the Bailey's in the Ganache and Buttercream are fresh. If want to leave out the Bailey's, I would just replace it with milk or cream in the Buttercream Frosting.
Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Chocolate Ganache and Bailey's Buttercream Frosting.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 12 cupcakes
For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes:
1/2 Cup Guinness
1/2 Cup unsalted butter
3/8 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Cup all purpose flour
1 Cup sugar
3/4 Teaspoon baking soda
3/8 Teaspoon salt
1 Large egg
1/3 Cup Greek Yogurt (yogurt or sour cream would work as well)
For the Irish Whiskey Ganache Filling:
4 Ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/3 Cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2-1 Tablespoon Irish whiskey (optional)
For the Bailey's Frosting:
2 Cups confections sugar (approximately)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 Tablespoons Bailey's (homemade is best!)
A few drops of food coloring if desired. (I struggled with this because I don't normally like using food coloring and the color of the frosting was already a really nice cream color, but I finally gave in. Hey, it's Saint Patrick's day!)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 cupcake cup with liners. Melt the butter at medium on the stove and add in the Guinness. Bring to a simmer. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Take off the heat and let cool, slightly.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl. In a large bowl, blend the eggs and sour cream together with an electric mixer. Add the chocolate mixture and beat to combine. Using a spatula, fold in the flour mixture to form a batter. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full with the matter. Bake approximately 17 minutes, until a tester can be inserted and come out clean. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.
Chop the chocolate and place it in a glass or ceramic bowl. Heat the cream to a simmer, on medium-low, and then pour over the chocolate. Let sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. Add the butter and the Irish Whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until it thickens. This process can be sped up in the fridge.
If you have a biskmarck piping attachment, you can fill the cupcakes with the ganache with that. If not, cut out a small, 1//2 inch round whole, halfway down into the cupcake and fill it with the ganache with a piping bag and a wide tip.
Whip the butter for the frosting until fluffy. Blend in the Bailey's and food coloring and then slowly add the powdered sugar until it is thick enough. Ice the cupcakes however you please.
These are so tasty! I love the way that Guinness and chocolate go together so well. The chocolate ganache is very tasty, but if you're rushed for time, this is the part that I'd leave out. It adds something, but it's not necessary and the cupcake would still be delicious without it. The Bailey's Buttercream Frosting was outstanding! Mmm, it was so smooth and had a hint of Irish Whiskey without being too overbearing. Happy Saint Patrick's Day!