Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Green Velvet Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Long time no see (again).

Life has been insanely busy for me, and that doesn't leave me a lot of time to even ponder what I could post on here.  But since it's currently Spring Break for me and I happen to have found a little extra time on my hands because of it, I thought I would let y'all know what I've been up to.

I baked cupcakes.

Green Velvet Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes by Flufferwuffer
Kick-ass, St.-Patty's-Day-themed cupcakes.

And they're really green.

I didn't bake them specifically for St. Patrick's Day, though.  I baked them for a good friend's birthday.  You see, his birthday was March 11, and he's got a thing for the color green.

Now I could have just made Green Velvet Cupcakes and called it good.  But I had also been dying to make Irish Car Bomb cupcakes, and with St. Patty's day close enough that I could get away with it, I combined the two.

This was my first attempt at making my own recipe, because I was discovering it's impossible to find a velvet cupcake recipe that is also made with Guinness.  I guess there isn't really a market for that, or something.

I haven't had red velvet, blue velvet, or velvet anything very much in my life, so I'm not sure if the texture turned out comparable to true velvet cupcakes, but all I know is that out of the 20 cupcakes my recipe made, they vanished pretty quickly (with some of my friends eating 3 or 4...) and I now have multiple people begging me to make them again.

All the pictures in this post are from a "test" cupcake, one that wasn't as big as the rest because it only had half of the batter.  I wanted to take more pictures, but the rest were literally gobbled up long before I could.

Considering I've never formulated a recipe before, I'm pretty proud of that.

However, I know that the following recipe isn't perfect, and I'll probably do some tweaking to it the next time I make it.

But, without further ado, whip up these babies for your St. Patrick's Day bash this weekend:


Green Velvet Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
Boozy, green deliciousness.

Cupcake Ingredients (makes 20-24):
  • 1 cup Guinness (or other stout)
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 3 T cocoa powder
  • 2 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 T vinegar
  • 3 oz green food coloring
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
Ganache Ingredients (adapted from Quick Feet, Good Eats)
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 T butter
  • 3 T whiskey (optional) (you can also use less if you don't want a strong alcohol taste in the filling)
Cream Cheese Buttercream
  • 2 sticks butter (1 cup)
  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 4-5 cups confections sugar
  • 7 T Irish cream (more or less, to taste) (I used Merry's, but Bailey's is also a good option)

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a saucepan, bring the butter and Guinness to a simmer until the butter melts.  Stir frequently.  Add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
    • Optional: drink the rest of that Guinness while baking. Don't waste the rest of that bottle/can! 
  3. Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, sugar) in a bowl.
  4. Combine wet ingredients (eggs, vinegar, buttermilk) in a large bowl, using an electric mixer if available.  Add the Guinness mixture and stir to combine.  Add the flour mixture,  mixing on slow speed.  Add the green food coloring and watch the magic happen as you stir.
  5. Put cupcake liners in muffin tins and divide batter up between them, filling them 3/4 full. Reduce oven heat to 325. Bake cupcakes for about 25 minutes.
Ganache Directions:
  1. Chop up chocolate (alternatively, you can use chocolate chips.  I used half and half) and place in a medium, heat-safe bowl.
  2. In a saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer.
  3. Pour the cream over the chocolate.  Let the mixture melt for a minute or two and then stir to combine.  If it doesn't get smooth after stirring, pop into the microwave for a few seconds at a time to help it melt.
  4. Add the butter and whiskey and stir to combine.  Set aside and wait for the mixture to thicken to a pudding-like texture (I think it took roughly 30 minutes for mine?).  You can put it in the fridge to speed the process along, but make sure to stir it every once in a while.

Cream Cheese Buttercream

  1. With an electric mixer, mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add confectioner's sugar a 1/2 cup at a time until it has a stiff but fluffy texture.  Add the Irish cream and mix it in.
This caption does not do the photo justice.

Pipe Ganache Into the Cupcakes...
  1. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, cut out a cone in the center of each cupcake.  I did this with a knife, but I guess you can use an apple corer or something similar.  Make sure you don't cut the cupcakes all the way to the bottom.  You want to shoot for about 2/3 to the bottom, although I was nervous about screwing up so mine were a little shallow.
  2. Using a piping bag or spoon, get the ganache in those holes.  Make sure that your ganache has thickened enough.  As mentioned earlier, it should be pudding-like.  Refer to the picture above to see how these babies look with ganache in them.
Then the Buttercream...
  1. Using a piping bag, pipe the cream cheese buttercream on top of your cupcakes.
  2. DONE! Now eat your pretties!
 For my cupcakes, I ran into a couple snags.  #1, my electric mixer broke while I was mixing the buttercream.  Like, completely shorted out.  So my buttercream didn't end up as thick as I would have liked, and since I had never used a piping bag for frosting before they didn't turn out as pretty as I wanted either.  But, all in good time!

**NOTE**  As mentioned earlier, I've never formulated a recipe before.  I know this one needs work!  One friend commented to me that at first he thought the cupcakes were rather bland, but the sweet from the ganache and frosting balanced that well.  Even so, I will probably tweak the recipe the next few times I make them to try and get them just right. You can try adding more sugar or more cocoa, but I can't guarantee they'll turn out!

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