Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Starting off with a Bang: The Car Bomb Cupcake

I know St. Patty's day has come and gone, but we still have one precious day of March left to pretend to be Irish, and I couldn't wait a whole year to share my favorite recipe of all time: The Car Bomb Cupcake. Inspired by a very difficult and very time consuming recipe that turned everyone's favorite St. Patty's day drink into a cupcake, I decided to simplify and lighten for my own version of these amazingly festive treats. These cupcakes take all the best parts of a Car Bomb: Guinness Draught Stout, Jameson Irish Whiskey, and Bailey's Irish Cream, and make them into a dessert your friends won't soon forget (and I promise, there is not enough alcohol in them for your friends to forget).

1 box Pillsbury Super Moist Dark Chocolate Cake Mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 bottle (12-oz) Guinness Draught Stout

Preheat oven to 350˚. Combine cake mix, eggs, and pumpkin in a large bowl and slowly mix in beer. Mix well for 2 minutes on medium speed, being sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate beer into all the batter. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners and fill each to 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake for 18-22 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool while making the ganache.

Whiskey Ganache
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup milk
3 tbsp Irish whiskey*

In a double boiler bring the milk up to a simmer. Add chocolate chips and stir constantly with a wire whisk until the chocolate is smooth and melted. Remove from heat and stir in whiskey. Cool in the refrigerator for about one hour, checking every 10 minutes or so to make sure it hasn't set up too much.

Bailey's Frosting
16 oz (one container) Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Vanilla Frosting
4 tbsp Irish Cream

Chill frosting before using. With an electric mixer whip frosting well before slowly adding the Irish Cream. If frosting gets too loose add powdered sugar to thicken it back up.

Assembling your cupcakes
With a small spoon (if you have a grapefruit spoon use it!) remove a 3/4 inch section from the center of each cupcake. With a spoon, fill each hole with chocolate ganache. Allow a minute for the chocolate to settle and seep into the cupcakes, then go through a second time and fill them up to be flush with the top of the cupcake.
Using a piping bag if you have one (or a ziplock bag with one corner cut off if you don't), top each cupcake with a generous swirl of frosting.

* Don't try to get away with using whatever whiskey is in the house if you have any friends that know anything about whiskey. They'll call you out on it if it's not Irish whiskey.

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