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St. Patrick’s Day Treats!

17 Mar

Yesterday, I made some chocolate Guinness cupcakes with a Bailey’s Irish Creme buttercream. I followed the recipe pretty closely. The recipe recommended making them in a jumbo size, but I did them regular cupcake sized. I didn’t know which Guinness to buy, so I asked a nice girl who was buying some which would taste best in a chocolate cupcake. She said that she makes them every year and uses the Guinness Draught. This was good news for me because it was available in a 4-pack! I also used Bailey’s in place of the Guinness in the original recipe for the frosting. I added a bit of milk to make the frosting soft enough to pipe onto the cupcakes with my new star tip. The cakes were very tasty with a light Guinness flavor. The frosting was WAY too strong for me personally but everyone else said it was awesome.

I got the recipe for both from Leite’s Culinaria: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from The Butch Bakery Cookbook by David Arrick

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes:
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup dark stout, such as Guinness, poured and settled before you measure
2 large eggs
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Vanilla Bailey’s Buttercream:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted or whisked.
3 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Creme liquor
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt

Make the cupcakes
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and place a baking rack in the center of the oven. Line 24 regular sized cupcake pans with liners (Mine had a basket print on the outside! :D)
2. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cocoa powder, and stir until smooth. Then stir in the stout. Set the mixture and aside to cool for 10 minutes.
3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the eggs and the sour cream. Slowly add the cooled chocolate mixture, making sure to incorporate it well. Next, add the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt, and whisk until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.
4. Fill each prepared cup about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until the tops are just firm to the touch and a tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes. Leave the cupcakes in the pan on a rack to cool for 5 minutes or so, then transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack to cool completely before frosting, about 1 hour.

Make the buttercream
5. In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar, Bailey’s, vanilla, and salt to the bowl, and continue to beat until very smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add a little green food coloring if you would like at this point too!

Construct the cupcakes
6. Frost each cupcake in a way that you like. I used my new star tip and a piping bag. The original recipe recommends sprinkling each cupcake with a tablespoon of the crushed pretzels but I just used some green sugar crystals I had here. The cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days in an airtight container or frozen for up to 1 month. However, they were gone by the end of today. The rig crew sure did like them! 😀

Today (St. Patrick’s Day) I made some chocolate cupcakes with a mint chocolate ganache filling and mint buttercream. These I got from The Cupcake Bakeshop website by Chockylit. I love her basic chocolate cupcake recipe so instead of the one she paired with the mint chocolate ganache and mint buttercream, I used the one that I like so much. I like using Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa because it is less expensive than Valhrona. It is pretty amazing with Hershey’s so I am sure it would be amazing with the high quality chocolate. I found that when I added the milk directly from the refrigerator, the mix would look like it was breaking. I think the milk made the butter cold enough to partially solidify so I am going to try taking it out of the fridge when I start making everything to let it warm up a touch next time.

Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe by Chockylit (I doubled her base recipe)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
1 cup + 4 tablespoons sugar
1 large eggs, room temp
1/2 cup + 4 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup milk, not fridge cold
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
Beat butter until light in color. Add sugar and beat until it is fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the eggs and beat until everything is well combined.
Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small bowl and whisk to combine. (Whisking the mix aerates it so you don’t have to sift it together)
Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mix and beat to combine. Add half of the milk/vanilla and mix well. Continue alternating between the dry mix and the wet once more, finishing with the last portion of the dry mix.
Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 2/3’s full. Bake cupcakes for about 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

The Mint Chocolate Ganache and Mint Buttercream were from a completely different recipe. I adapted it a little by accident. I forgot to add the butter and the teaspoon of mint after I mixed it all up but it ended up working out anyway!

Mint Chocolate Ganache
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
(1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon chopped mint leaves)

Directions:
Chop the chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
Heat the cream and mint leaves in a small saucepan until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Pour the cream through a strainer, over the chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until the chocolate is completely melted. (If you add the butter and chopped mint from the original recipe, you add it here.)
Let the chocolate mixture cool then put it into the refrigerator to thicken for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Mint Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon all natural peppermint extract

Directions:
Whisk the butter until creamy, scrape bowl.
Add 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar, milk, and peppermint extract, and mix until combined. I tasted it after I added 1/8 tsp of the peppermint extract and ended up adding another 1/8 tsp. The consistency was perfect at this point but you can add more powdered sugar if it isn’t piping consistency for you. My frosting sort of looked like it was grainy to me but I think it was the fault of the milk being too cold again. I think it really makes a difference.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, you can fill them. I use an apple corer to take out the centers of each cupcake and snack on the middles while I am filling! I filled the cupcakes with one overfull teaspoon of the ganache and then piped on the frosting. (Tinted green for St. Patrick’s Day with a little food coloring while it was mixing.)

I topped mine with brown and green dark chocolate M&Ms 😀

This batch was the second time I used the star tip. I really love the way the frosting looks on these cupcakes! It is bakery worthy I think 😀

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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in The Bakery!

 

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