First of all, I’m not a fan of this recipe’s name, ok? Just so we’re clear, it’s a bit offensive and yet there seems to be no PC substitute. But I can’t not share this with you; these cupcakes are far too tasty (and impressive) to keep a shameful secret just because of a terrible title.
(For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a car bomb is a drink which consists of a shot of Bailey’s mixed with Irish whiskey dropped into a half glass of stout beer. And chug. Oh, and never EVER order this in Ireland, mmkay? Ok.)
This is direct from Smitten Kitchen, and has been in my bookmark folder for ages. I made them for a party a few weeks ago, and fair warning, they were so sweet that no one ate more than one, so do as I say and not as I do and don’t double this recipe unless you really do have more than 40 people showing up to take advantage of your mad baking skills. The following proportions should make around 20 cupcakes.
Car Bomb Cupcakes
For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sour cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)
3 to 4 cups confectioners sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperatue
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (I used only a tablespoon or so since I don’t really care for the taste and couldn’t even tell it had been added – but if you like, you could substitute milk instead)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake cups with liners (or grease well). Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Put aside to cool while you do this next part.
Stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl to blend. In yet another bowl (make it a large one) beat eggs and sour cream with an electric mixer (or very vigorously by hand). Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and stir just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed (or slow that wrist down) until completely combined. Now fill your cupcake cups about 3/4 of the way. Bake about 17 minutes, or until you can bring a toothpick out of the center without a glop of batter attached.
While the cupcakes are cooling, chop the chocolate and then stir it into the 2/3 cup heavy cream over medium heat (haven’t you already washed your medium saucepan from before?). Stir constantly until it’s all melted and smooth. Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.
Let the ganache cool for about 10 minutes. While that’s happening, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. I used a grapefruit spoon, Smitten Kitchen suggests an apple corer/potato peeler. Don’t cut through the bottom of the cupcake, though! Just get the middle out. Now pour the ganache into a plastic zip-top baggy (or use a piping bag if you have one) and cut a teeny hole in one corner. Use that to fill the holes in each cupcake.
Now for the frosting. Whip the butter with an electric mixer until it is very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, which apparently makes it less grainy and thickens better than dumping a cup at once. When it looks about the right consistency, drop in the Bailey’s or milk and keep beating until it’s combined. You can always add a little more sugar if this thinned out the frosting, but you should be all right. If your ganache has firmed up enough that it won’t instantly mix with your pristine white frosting, then frost away. Enjoy!