March 25, 2012
Wanting to get back in the kitchen to do some baking after a notable absence, I stumbled across this recipe shortly before St. Patrick’s Day: chocolate stout cupcakes with Irish whiskey filling. Huzzah! In other words, an Irish car bomb in cupcake form. For the uninitiated, an Irish car bomb drink is a nearly lethal concoction composed of stout beer, typically Guinness, Irish whiskey and Bailey’s Irish cream. The beer is poured in a glass and then a shot glass full of Bailey’s Irish cream topped with Irish whiskey is then dropped into the beer, after which, one proceeds to drink the entire drink at once. Come to find out, the irony of this drink, according to the always-accurate Wikipedia, is that it is virtually unheard of in Ireland and, if ordered, can be met with confusion or anger (car bombs are a sensitive subject there).
So, why then, would I decide to make cupcakes based on a drink typically unknown in Ireland to celebrate one of that country’s most hallowed holidays? Because the individual ingredients of an Irish car bomb are delightful in drink form and could only be elevated to near perfection as a cupcake, that’s why. And, the party I was attending was going to be mostly full of a bit older people, so I was rationalizing that many wouldn’t have ever heard of an Irish car bomb drink to begin with and wouldn’t know its insignificance in Irish culture, anyway. All they would know is they were eating an awesome homemade cupcake that sounded like it was right out of a St. Patrick’s Day celebration playbook, courtesy of their swell pal Rachel. That was my thinking anyway.
I found the recipe on the Serious Eats website. (Unpaid endorsement: If you enjoy Sugar Talk, baking, cooking and or reading in general, get yourself over to that website and subscribe to its weekly e-newsletter.) I followed the recipe more or less as written with the following exception: I used Murphy’s Stout instead of Guinness. Other notes of interest:
- The recipe indicates it will make 24 cupcakes, however, I filled the cupcake liners to nearly full and had enough batter only for 20 cupcakes. I made a second, half batch and reduced the fill level to about two-thirds and still only had 10 cupcakes. So, I think you would be hard pressed to get 24 cupcakes out of this recipe.
- The cooking time was exactly 20 minutes.
- Fair disclosure (to my readers, not the eaters): I used Scotch whiskey, not Irish whiskey. I think someone would need to have an incredibly sophisticated palate to know the difference. Let’s just put it this way, I didn’t get any complaints.
- The recipe indicates that you can/should double the frosting recipe if you prefer a lot of frosting on each cupcake. I doubled the frosting recipe and made a batch and a half (30 cupcakes total) and still had leftover frosting. You would need to put an almost unappealing amount of frosting on each cupcake if you were to double the recipe and use it just for 20-24 cupcakes. Don’t double the frosting recipe.
Care to take a look at how it went? Here you go:
Getting the cupcakes ready for the filling. Notice the perfectly cut out center area? Not the work of my steady hand, but yet another kitchen gadget for the gadget drawer: the cupcake corer, made specifically for the purpose of disemboweling cupcakes. I got mine at Williams-Sonoma for only five bucks so, really, I couldn’t resist.