In honour of St. Patrick’s Day (but mainly my family’s weekly American Idol get-together, which gives me an excuse to bake) I decided to do a variation of a very creative recipe I saw on a blog called BrownEyedBaker. She made an Irish Car Bomb Cupcake which included Guinness and Irish Whiskey. My version is a scoche less boozy but will surely gain respect from leprechauns with sweet teeth ;)
For this recipe I used a chocolate box cake because I already had it in the cabinet. In fact I had everything I needed already which always makes me very happy.
The cake mix called for 1 1/4 cups of water, plus oil and eggs. I swapped the water for the same amount of cold coffee. This isn’t all that noticeable in the final cupcake but it adds a richness to what can sometimes be a flat flavour in box cakes.
I also added 1/2 a cup of mini chocolate chips which made the cake more chocolatey and who doesn’t like that? (You’re a ding-dong if you’re thinking either 1- “chocolatey isn’t a word” or 2- “I don’t like when cupcakes are more chocolatey”)
These cupcakes are filled with an amazing chocolate ganache that is ridiculously easy. Seriously, if you’re all “I can’t make that,” I would genuinely ridicule you.
All you have to do is pour 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (the very same that we’ve already added to our cupcakes) into a pyrex measuring cup. Gently simmer 2/3 cup heavy cream + 2 teaspoons of Bailey’s Irish cream on the stove or in the microwave. Don’t boil it or you will make the cream lumpy.
Now about the Bailey’s… you simply MUST use Bailey’s brand. I was once cheap and bought an off brand and I sorely regretted it. Bailey’s is the only Irish Cream that tastes good. Moral of the story: Don’t be cheap. P.S. Try drinking Bailey’s from a shoe… I hear its amazing.
Once your cream is hot, pour it over the chocolate and add 2 tbsp of butter. Stir for a few minutes until its all melted and mixed in, then let it cool until it thickens enough to pipe into your cupcakes. You don’t want it to be too liquidy or too hot. (I cheated and popped it in the fridge for a few minutes to cool it down and get it to a nice consistency.)
Here’s a simple trick for filling your piping bag. Fold the bag over a glass, and just pour your ganache right in.
The glass is also a nice place to rest your piping bag so all your ganache stays toward the tip.
Cut out little holes in your cupcakes using a long piping tip as a punch. If you blow gently through the other side the cake will pop out of the tip. Trust me, you’ll get annoyed trying to get that cake out of there afterward. These get thrown away anyway (or if you have an Adam, they will get eaten up!)
Now pump your cupcakes full of ganache!
For the buttercream I followed the Sprinkles recipe (which is my go-to buttercream recipe) but I doctored it up a little bit. I doubled it for 24 cupcakes and instead of milk I dissolved one individual sized packet of Nescafé instant coffee into 2 teaspoons of Bailey’s Irish Cream + 2 teaspoons of vanilla (okay maybe I was a little heavy handed on the Bailey’s ;)) and whipped it into my frosting. This not only gave my frosting the delicious irish coffee kick I was going for, but it also ended up being the exact shade of creamy beige I wanted. Feel free to up the instant coffee amount if you want a stronger coffee flavour. It would taste great with more coffee, but I didn’t want to make it too strong for my guests. I would have used Starbucks Via, but its really PRICEY! It is tasty, but not for $10+ for 12 packets. I remember having Nescafé in Paris and being surprised at how delicious it was (imagine going all the way to france to find a good cup of instant coffee!), plus its only $1.50 for a box of 8.
I learned this nifty trick on pinterest for filling a piping bag with buttercream.
I’ve been wanting to try it, and it actually really works!
Start by blopping some frosting on a sheet of plastic wrap.
Then roll the plastic wrap around the frosting and twist up the ends.
Slide the whole thing into your piping bag and feed through the tip (with the coupler on but without the piping tip yet).
When you’re done you can just pull out the empty plastic wrap and toss it. So easy!
DISCLAIMER: Like many things on the internet, this looked extremely easy but I somehow found a way to muck it up the first time. Fear not.
If you’ve tried this and failed…
<– This fatty is an example of how NOT to do it.
I found out that you can’t use too much frosting or it won’t fit into your bag properly. I also learned that when you roll it up be sure to do this lengthwise. You’ll need a nice long piece of twisted plastic wrap to feed through the coupler. This may have been obvious to you, but it was not to me, and when I started squeezing buttercream was shooting out of both ends.
Now for the piping. This part really was just as easy as it looks. I used a Wilton Star tip. I didn’t bother to consider which number it was, so I’m sorry to say I don’t know which one you should use. Maybe just use your heart, or common sense. Its the one that looks like it would be about the size of the one I used in this picture.
Start in the center of the cupcake, and pipe right over your ganache. Starting from the inside make a neat little swirl. Make the center swirl about an inch and a half in diameter.
And here is the final product…
Double bonus, I got to use my sweet new Dollar Store cupcake stand :)