Tag Archives: chocolate

Spirited St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes

11 Mar

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Shamrocks, leprechauns and pots of gold are popping up everywhere, which can only mean one thing – the Luck o’ the Irish is upon us once again! St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and the social media sites are starting to get their green on. One popular St. Patrick’s Day post that is absolutely everywhere is Brown Eyed Baker’s Guinness, Whiskey and Irish Cream Cupcakes – and rightfully so! These cupcakes are simply amazing. I’ve been making them myself every St. Patrick’s Day for a few years now, and they are perfect. But it is their 3 key ingredients, a trinity of potent potables, if you will, that led me to believe it was time to include them in the b.u.i. line-up.

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First, we start with the cupcake itself, a luscious chocolate cake spiked with a generous measure of what the Irish like to call “the black stuff.” In fact, the recipe calls for combining a cup of the Guinness with a cup of butter on the stove top, which smells so fabulous, you’ll be tempted to test a sip or two right then and there.

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After baking, the cupcakes are filled with a dollop of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey-infused chocolate ganache – chocolate, cream, butter and whiskey – what else can I say?

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Lastly, the confection is topped with the lightest, fluffiest, silkiest buttercream frosting enhanced with a hefty shot of that iconic ’70s after-dinner drink, Bailey’s Irish Cream.

The end result is a cupcake so blessed with Irish spirit, St. Patrick himself would declare it a miracle.

Slainte!

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Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

Thanks to Brown eyed Baker for this wonderful recipe!

1 cup Guinness Stout

1 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2/3 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill cupcake tins with 24 liners. Combine Guinness and butter in a heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer,  beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, beating briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined.

Divide the batter among the prepared cupcake tins. Bake for approximately 17 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a rack.

Jameson’s Chocolate Ganache

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate

2/3 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

2 teaspoons Jameson’s Irish Whiskey

Finely chop the chocolate and transfer to a heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until simmering and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.

When ready, cut out the centers of the cooled cupcakes (I use a melon-baller, which takes out the perfect portion.) Transfer the ganache to a piping bag with a wide tip and fill each of the holes to the top with ganache.

Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (the original recipe calls for 2 cups, but I found this amount to be enough)

5 cups powdered sugar

pinch of salt

6 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream (or any other brand you may have in your cupboard)

Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar and the pinch of salt until combined. Add the Bailey’s, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 – 3 minutes. Frost and decorate as desired.

Enjoy!

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Autumn’s Gift – Pumpkin Ales

13 Oct

Autumn is the time of year that gently nudges us away from our sweet sangria and minty mojitos and has us rummaging through our junk drawers searching for the bottle opener so we can crack open that ice cold bottle of brew. For me, the reason is simple: Fall = football (New England Patriots football) and football = beer. Last year, I fell in love with pumpkin ales, specifically Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale. We’ve got the Dogfish Head brewery in our own back yard and so the Punkin’ Ale was easy to come by. Sam Adams and Blue Moon put out pretty good harvest ales too. But the season is short lived and the pumpkins and harvest ales are with us for only a few short weeks before, tragically, they are gone.

This year, my sister Laura and I attended a pumpkin ale tasting. I know, pure heaven, right? The pumpkin ale scene has exploded in the last year and there were plenty of varieties to sample. The Dogfish Head Pumkin’ Ale was holding its own until about halfway through, and then we tasted it – pure nectar from the gods: Southern Tier’s Imperial Pumking. This one pumpkin ale stands heads and shoulders above all the others. It is simply delicious. So delicious in fact, that I began hoarding it. I’ve told my friends and now they are hoarding it. My favorite bartender at my favorite craft brewpub is hoarding 5 kegs of it. (We threatened mutiny and he finally tapped one – but don’t tell anybody.) It’s that good.

One questioned remained: what to do with the previously hoarded bottles of Dogfish Head? (I can’t help it, the season is really, really short). I did a little research and found the following recipe, courtesy of My Baking Addiction. A nice, spiced chocolate cupcake, goes well with pumpkin ale – Southern Tier’s Pumking, of course. Use the Dogfish Head in the recipe.

Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes

Makes about 24 cupcakes

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

1 (12 ounce) bottle Pumpkin Ale
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the pumpkin ale, milk, oil, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add in sour cream, mix until fully incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda.
Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. (Batter will be thin.)
Evenly divide the batter into the prepared muffin tins.
Bake for 25 minutes, until risen and set in the middle, but still soft and tender. Remove pan to wire rack. Cool completely before turning out of the tins.

Ingredients for the Buttercream Frosting:

4 sticks I salted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 pounds confectioner’s sugar
6 tablespoons pumpkin ale

Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
Slowly begin adding the confectioner’s sugar, mixing well after each addition.
Once all the sugar has been mixed in, add the pumpkin ale and mix until light and fluffy. Beat on high speed for about two minutes. If frosting is too thick, add a little more pumpkin ale, a teaspoon at a time, until you reach desired consistency.
Pipe frosting onto cupcakes, decorate with sprinkles, if desired.

Notes:

I made half the frosting recipe, and was able to cover all but two of the cupcakes. But if you’re using a large tip to frost, go with the full recipe.

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