Recipe: Guinness Cupcakes

Note: this recipe contains alcohol, so this is a mom-happy-hour recipe, not a kids’ recipe.

Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup Guinness
2 sticks (1 cup) of butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Chocolate Whiskey Filling
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 to 2 teaspoons whiskey

Baileys Frosting
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys

Make the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup Guinness and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add Guinness-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. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Make the filling:
Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined.

Fill the cupcakes:
Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using an apple corer or a grapefruit spoon, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way and circle it around until it comes out with the cake part inside. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Save the crumbs and cake pieces. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top. Top the ganace with the cake pieces you cut out. This will make it easier for you to put the frosting on. (Optional: you can skip putting the crumbs back so the ganache is exposed and just frost the edges of the cupcake.)
Make the frosting:
Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.

Put the frosting into a piping bag or Ziploc bag with the corner cut off and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. This frosting is pretty strong and sweet, so don’t use too much. A swirl or shamrock on top should be plenty.

The best part about these things is that the ganache in the center is
warm and gooey when you first fill the cupcakes, but by the
next day it’s like a whiskey truffle in the center
of the cake.
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