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Monday, December 9, 2013

Car bomb cupcakes

In October, I made two different cupcakes from the Robicelli's cupcake cookbook - a cannoli-themed one for the blog's second birthday and a chocolate-peanut butter-pretzel one for my friend N's birthday.  I drooled when I read the book; there were so many I wanted to make.  But I held back, since I didn't have anything to bake cupcakes for.  But I've been planning these cupcakes for a while, dating back to October when we were sitting over those chocolate-peanut butter-pretzel cupcakes and discussing a party we had planned for 2 months later.

This past weekend was the third annual party that some friends throw out on Long Island.  It's name has changed a little over the years, but the premise is always the same: wear a funny T-shirt and have a drink-making contest.  So it's only fitting that I make a drink-themed cupcake for the party!

These cupcakes have alcohol in each component: beer in the cupcake, Bailey's in the icing, and Irish whiskey in the ganache drizzle.  Pretty appropriate, no?

Car Bomb Cupcakes
From Robicelli's: A Love Story, with Cupcakes


3/4 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup Guinness Stout, heated to scalding  
2/3 cup buttermilk 
1/3 cup canola or grapeseed oil 
1 large whole egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp kosher salt 
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda 
Jameson Whiskey Ganache (I used a different brand of single malt Irish Whiskey, even though Jameson is THE whiskey used in the original car bomb drink):

1/2 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup Jameson whiskey

Bailey's Buttercream:

3 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup Bailey's
1/8 tsp guar gum (optional...I opted not.)


Make the cupcakes.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with baking cups.  The recipe said that it made 24 cupcakes, but I only got 22.

Place the cocoa powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and pour the hot Guinness over.
Mix on low speed until a thick paste forms and the mixture stops steaming, about 1 minute.
Combine the buttermilk, canola oil, egg, egg yolk and salt in a large measuring cup and mix with a fork, making sure the yolks are broken.
Increase the mixer speed to medium and slowly pour in the buttermilk mixture.
Stop the mixer and scrape the bottom of the bowl well.
Mix on medium speed for 1 minute more.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.
Stop the mixer and add the flour mixture to the batter.
Mix on low speed until just combined.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is mixed.

Scoop the batter into the baking cups, filling each two-thirds of the way.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.
The cupcakes are done when the centers spring back after being touched.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Make the Irish whiskey ganache.

Add the cream and salt to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Place the chocolate in a bowl and pour the hot cream over it.
Let stand for 2 minutes while the chocolate melts.
Add the whiskey and stir with a heat-proof spatula until completely smooth.
Mine was super duper thin, and I ended up adding a little bit of melted chocolate just to thicken it up a bit.

Make the Bailey's buttercream.

Put the butter (at room temperature), mascarpone, and Bailey's in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
Beat on high until fluffy.
Slowly add the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time.
Once all the sugar has been added, increase the speed to high and beat until fluffy.
Although the recipe didn't say it, if your icing is too thick, you can add a little cream at a time until it thins out just a little bit.
Add more Bailey's to taste.

* I found this recipe online later here, and they say to make the icing differently (same amounts of ingredients).  I am enclosing the online version below:

Add the butter and mascarpone to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Beat at high speed until light and fluffy.
Add the powdered sugar a quarter-cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the Bailey's and beat on high for another minute.
Taste, and add more Baileys 1 teaspoon at a time until boozy enough for you.
If the buttercream begins to separate from adding too much liquid, add the guar gum. *

Assemble the cupcakes:

Place 1 teaspoon of Irish whiskey ganache on top of each cupcake and spread with the back of a spoon to coat the top -- Oops, I totally didn't see this until I went to type up the article.  I only drizzled mine on top.  Oops!
Refrigerate for 15 minutes to harden

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the Bailey's buttercream and pipe onto each cupcake.
Drizzle with additional Single Malt Scotch Ganache.

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