Monday, March 3, 2014

Irish Cream Chocolate Cupcakes

March is definitely the month of all things Irish, and that includes many delicious food items, from a warm bowl of Irish oatmeal in the morning to a relaxing cup of coffee with a generous splash of Bailey's after dinner. If you really want to up the Irish-ness, you could enjoy one of these Bailey's cupcakes along with your Irish coffee. When I stopped by recently to enjoy the goodies on Sprinkle Bakes, I immediately knew these would make an appearance on our table well before St. Patrick's Day.
This chocolatey cupcake has a Bailey's ganache in the center and is topped with a Bailey's buttercream. Although the original recipe includes a hot fudge sauce on top that sounds wonderful, I omitted it for the sake of portable and easy eating. However, if I were serving these on a plate with a fork, I would most definitely drizzle that on top.

I highly recommend that you stop over at Sprinkle Bakes to see her beautiful desserts and a video  on her Irish cream hot fudge cupcakes, but be prepared to immediately want to get in the kitchen to make these. 

Bailey's Cupcake 
Sprinkle Bakes

1/2 cup Irish Cream liqueur, or two mini bottles (50 ml each)
3 tablespoons well-beaten egg 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup strongly brewed coffee

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with 6 large or 9 standard  muffin papers 

Place Irish Cream liqueur, egg, and vanilla in cup; beat together vigorously with a fork, set aside.

Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and liquid mixture; beat with an electric mixer on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened.  Add coffee and beat again until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula and beat well again.

Divide batter between muffin cups.  Bake for 25-27 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when pressed in the center. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Chocolate Ganache Filling

1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. heavy cream
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Irish Cream liqueur (about half a mini bottle)
Combine heavy cream and chocolate chips in a medium saucepan or a microwaveable bowl.  Heat on medium low until chips are melted and can be stirred smooth.  If using the microwave, heat at 30 second intervals until completely melted and mixture can be stirred smooth.  Add butter in pieces and stir until melted.  Add Irish cream.  Stir well.  Refrigerate until ganache is thickened but still fairly soft.
Cut a large divot out of each cupcake and fill with ganache. 

Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup plus two tablespoons Irish cream (about 1 1/2 mini bottles)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine butter and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl and mix on low speed with a hand mixer until just combined.  Gradually add in Irish cream.  Scrape down sides of bowl  and mix in vanilla.  Beat on high speed until light and fluffy.  Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip.  Pipe frosting over the surface of the cupcakes.

Irish Cream Hot Fudge Sauce

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup coffee
1/2 cup Irish cream (2 mini bottles)

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Whisk to incorporate.  Bring to a boil and let bubble one minute.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly before pouring into the empty Irish cream bottles.
Pour a scant 1/4 cup of hot fudge sauce in each empty Irish cream bottle. Turn them upright and press the bottle neck into the frosting and down to the chocolate ganache filling.  Sprinkle with cocoa powder and serve.
****2x recipe made 18 standard cupcakes, 1.5x ganache filled 18 cupcakes and frosting recipe was enough to frost all 18
Foodie Friday