However, needless to say, I consider my Irish heritage very seriously and loved hearing stories about how my ancestors came to America. Stories, that I know most of us Americans can relate to. These cupcakes combine two products associated with the Irish--Bailey's Irish Cream and Guinness Stout. I first made this chocolate cake last year when I discovered the recipe at King Arthur Flour. The cake has a can of Guinness in it and makes the most wonderful deep chocolate cake I'd ever had. It easily makes a 3-layer cake and the recipe includes the directions for a bittersweet chocolate ganache, although I made my favorite chocolate buttercream from the Buche de Noel cupcakes back in December. I actually iced the cupcakes two ways: with the chocolate buttercream and a Bailey's Irish Cream buttercream shamrock and with a large swirl of the Bailey's buttercream with chocolate shavings on top.
The recipe easily makes 36 cupcakes and, I discovered yesterday, you can purchase just one can of Guinness, in case you're not a fan, to make the cake. Eighteen years ago, on our trip to Ireland, we tried it in in pub and it is definitely an acquired taste, but I love cooking with it.
Chocolate Stout Cake
1- 14.9 oz. can of Guinness Stout
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups Double Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch processed cocoa
4 cups granulated sugar
4 cups flour
1 T baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350F-degrees. Line muffin pans with cupcake papers.
Measure the Guinness Stout and add water to equal 2 cups of liquid.
Place in a medium sauce pan. Cut butter into one-tablespoon pieces and place in the pan with the stout. Heat on medium until the butter melts. Whisk in the cocoa and set aside.
In the KitchenAid, using a paddle attachment, or a large bowl and hand mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream. Add the Stout mixture and beat on medium to combine.
In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients--flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients, all at once and beat just until combined. Pour or scoop the batter into the paper-liners three-quarters high.
Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes--be careful not to overcook. The cupcakes should just spring back when lightly touched.
Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove to a rack and prepare the frosting.
Click on the link for the buttercream I used on the cupcakes with the shamrock. I used #808tip to swirl the chocolate buttercream, then used about a cup of the Bailey's Irish Cream buttercream, tinted green and piped with a #21 tip.
Bailey's Irish Cream Buttercream:
4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
6 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cups meringue powder (optional, but makes the icing fluffy)
1/2 cup Bailey's Irish Cream*
1/3 to 1/2 cup heavy cream
*If you want to make these cupcakes "kid-friendly" use Irish Cream flavor and increase the amount of heavy cream to almost 1 cup.
Cream the butter, half the sugar, and the meringue powder, if using. Add the Bailey's and beat on low to combine.
Add the rest of the sugar and heavy cream to create a fluffy buttercream.
Use a #808 tip to pipe a swirl on top of the cooled cupcakes and top with the bittersweet shards.
I created the shards of chocolate by melting about 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, then, pour the melted chocolate on a sheet of parchment paper and spread thinly with an off-set spatula. Roll up the parchment paper and refrigerate until hardened. When you unroll, the chocolate breaks into nice shards for garnishing. Enjoy!
Saint Patrick became the patron saint in Ireland in the 17th century. It is said that he used a shamrock to symbolize the trinity. When Kelly and Erin went to Ireland to visit some family friends, they brought me back a shamrock. I still have this shamrock taped behind to one of the most recognized Irish Blessings~