Monday, March 16, 2020

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Irish Cream Filling

Whew buddy, if there was ever a time you needed a chocolate cupcake, it's NOW. This past week has been crazy, both Lewis and I are working from home indefinitely which means that you'll definitely be seeing a lot more baked goods around here (hi, I'm Annie and I'm a stress baker). This is (hopefully) good news for you as I can deliver you all sorts of tasty content (if only I could literally deliver you food, I have SO many cupcakes at my house right now).

Anywho, I have been making these cupcakes around St. Patrick's Day for about a decade now and each year I aim to improve upon it. This year, I believe I have achieved greatness - not to toot my own horn or anything but... TOOT! I am not really a cake person but this recipe has converted me. Some of the alterations I made this year were using cake flour instead of AP (WOWZA - what a difference) and adding 1/2 a cup of Guinness with 1/2 a cup espresso which provided that depth of chocolatey flavor I had been striving for all these years.

Why use cake flour over AP?
The primary difference between cake flour and all-purpose (AP) flour is the protein content (which becomes gluten). The protein content of cake flour is about 8%, while the protein content of AP flour is slightly higher. Lower protein content equals a softer texter and finer crumb.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Irish Cream Filling

makes 24 cupcakes

Note: Use only 2 and 1/4 cup if using AP flour

2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened Hershey's Dark Chocolate cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled (I used espresso)
1/2 cup Guinness
3 large eggs
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add oil, coffee, Guinness, and eggs. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla.
3. Spoon the batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, for 16 to 18 minutes. Let them cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.
4. Spoon Irish Cream Filling (recipe included below) into a squeeze bottle with a long narrow tip. Insert the tip into the top of the cupcake and squeeze about 1 TBS of filling into the center of each cupcake.
5. Spread Irish cream frosting evenly over the cupcakes and garnish with chocolate-covered coffee beans, if desired.

Irish Cream Filling

1 pint of heavy cream
1-2 TBS of confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
100 ML of Bailey's Irish Cream (I just bought two of the tiny bottles)

In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, slowly beat the heavy cream, as the cream thickens, carefully add remaining ingredients ending with the Irish Cream. You can adjust the sweetness level by adding more sugar to taste. 

To make the frosting, I split this mixture in half and added some dark cocoa powder (about 1 TBS)

For Chocolate Drizzle

1/2 cup dark chocolate melting chips
1/4 cup Guinness
About 2 TBS of sugar (I added to taste)

On low heat, place chocolate chips in a double boiler pan - add beer and sugar when chips start to melt and stir often until desired texture and level of sweetness is achieved. I wanted mine to be more loose (keep in mind that the chocolate will set in the fridge). 

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