A Reason to Celebrate, and Why You Must Follow Instructions While Baking

Last week, Aussie got his private pilot’s license!

Yup, that’s him FLYING A PLANE! And yup, that little reflection in his glasses is me RIDING IN A PLANE… a plane so tiny that can only fit two not-too-fat people! Fun!

Aussie worked his butt off to get this license, so I was a nervous wreck the day he was taking his test (plus, I was not feeling well… again!).

Nervous + sick + knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that we would have a reason to celebrate = baking time. (Yes, nervous and confident seem to incongruous, but trust me, they aren’t!)

Alas, nervous + sick + knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that we would have a reason to celebrate = me inevitably screwing it up.

Observe.

This is what Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes look like when you follow directions:

Fantastic, right? Unfortunately, this is what they look like when you don’t:

Oof. How embarrassing!

Let’s review. Following directions:

Being a smarty-pants and thinking you know best:

Have we learned our lesson? Good.

Now, for the cupcakes.

These cupcakes were bloody FANTASTIC. I mean, holy cow, wow! Chocolate cupcakes made with Guinness, filled with a chocolate ganache made with Jameson, topped with a buttercream made with Bailey’s? My god.

All it takes is three easy steps:

Step one. Bake cupcakes. Drink leftover Guinness. Carve out little holes in the cupcakes. Eat your samples.

Step 2. Make ganache. Have a sip of whiskey. Fill holes with ganache. Eat leftover whiskified ganache.

Step 3. Make buttercream. Have a sip of Bailey’s. Frost cupcakes. FOLLOW DIRECTIONS.

THANK YOU Smitten Kitchen for this recipe. Holy man, it was good. And beautiful. THANK YOU to my friend Ruth (aka Homemade Diva) for leading me to this recipe. You are my two new favorite people!

Without further ado, here’s the recipe. Try not to sample so much booze and batter than you are too drunk to follow the directions!

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, modified a bit from Smitten Kitchen!

So. Apparently calling them “Irish Car Bomb” cupcakes is insensitive. So be it. Guinness + Jameson + Bailey’s = Car Bombs. That’s just the way it is. Some notes: I halved the recipe to make 12 cupcakes (because, well, if Aussie and I eat too many cupcakes, we won’t fit in that tiny plane anymore!), but had to made two half batches of frosting to cover all the cupcakes (hence the perfect and not-so-perfect sets). I’ve included the amounts I used below. Granted, I messed up some of the measurements, but they still turned out just fine!

FOR THE CUPCAKES:

1/2 c Guinness

1 stick unsalted butter

1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder (messed up measurement #1 — oops!)

1 c all purpose flour

1 c sugar

1 tsp baking soda (I think… I messed this up too!)

3/8 tsp salt

1Β large egg

1/3 c sour cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cupcake pan with liners.

Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. I wasn’t able to get this to mix completely — the liquid separated out a bit. No worries — it all comes together when you add the dry stuff. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend (use an electric mixer if you can). 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.

Put batter in cupcake pans, filling each up about 3/4 of the way full. Bake about 17 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Rotate if needed (I need!). Cool cupcakes completely.

Once cool, use a 1″ cookie cutter (or an apple corer, or a knife) to cut out a section of the middle of the cupcake, going about 2/3 of the way down. DO NOT DISCARD THESE LITTLE BITS. Eat them instead! YUM!

FOR THE GANACHE FILLING:

4 oz dark chocolate (I used Sirius 70% cocoa Pure Icelandic Chocolate… I love that stuff!)

1/3 c heavy whipping cream

1 tbs butter, room temperature

1 tsp Jameson Irish Whiskey

Break up chocolate and put into a bowl. Heat the cream until simmering, then pour over the chocolate. Let sit for one minute, then stir until smooth. Add the butter and Jameson, and stir to combine.

Let the ganache cool until it’s at a pipeable consistency. If you do this in the fridge (I did), stir every 10 minutes. Use a piping bag with a large hole in the tip to fill the holes in each cupcake all the way to the top!

FOR THE FROSTING:

3 to 4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted (do it, it makes life easier!)

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature (ROOM TEMPERATURE! PAY ATTENTION!!)

4 tbs Baileys Irish Cream

Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes (SEVERAL MINUTES — got that?!? Don’t cheat!!) so that it gets light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar a few tablespoons at a time (SK says this keeps it from getting grainy, so I listen).

NOW! The butter does not like this much sugar. It really, really doesn’t. Mine went past frosting thickness into little brick thickness. Not good. So, I started to alternate adding Bailey’s and sugar until all the Bailey’s was used up, then added just enough sugar to get the right consistency. It worked out just fine the first time, when I followed instructions!

Frost the cupcakes! I used a large closed star tip, but you could do whatever you want. I like a classy kind of look, so I topped them with some shaved dark chocolate. I felt like a pro.

Make them and then tell me how much you love them, ok?

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5 thoughts on “A Reason to Celebrate, and Why You Must Follow Instructions While Baking

  1. Mary Ann says:

    OH. MY.GOD.

    wanting this now please πŸ™‚

  2. Matt says:

    Why you didn’t look drunk when I got home! πŸ™‚

    You must be holding your booze better πŸ˜‰

    Oh and that’s why I’m stepping up to a bigger plane, so we can gorge on CUPCAKES! πŸ™‚

    • Jenni says:

      Oh, I wasn’t. I messed up because I was being a smarty pants. It was just a warning. πŸ™‚

      Better get a 777 or something, then. πŸ˜‰

  3. […] didn’t completely ignore St. Patrick’s Day. I wore green and baked Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes (yes, racially insensitive, I know) for various […]

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