(photo by chris rochelle @ CHOW)
Team Mustache had everyone smiling with their irresistible mini-mustache mini-cupcake toppers. Matching this feast for the eyes was a party in the mouth–teeny Guinness Gasm cakes boasting a rich combo of Guinness, chocolate, and Bailey’s that will surely bring out the boozy Irishman in you when you whip these up yourself!
(For the cupcakes)
1 cup Guinness
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sour cream
(For the filling…chances are, this will be more than you need. Please use this as an excuse to liberally taste-test, and/or overfill your cupcakes. It is entirely your call.)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons room-temperature, unsalted butter (I’m not micromanaging. This makes a difference.)
(For the frosting)
3 to 4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup room-temperature, unsalted butter
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream
Make the cupcakes:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut the butter into large chunks. Why? It will melt faster. Also: it’s fun. In a large-ish saucepan, over medium heat, bring the butter and Guinness to a simmer. Pause to reflect that you are melting butter and beer together, and just how awesome that is.
3. While the butter melts, in a larger-than-the-saucepan-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. The butter and Guinness should be simmering by now; remove them from the heat, add the cocoa and whisk together until smooth. Pause again to reflect, this time on the fact that you have added chocolate to this mixture. Allow this mixture to cool for a few minutes.
4. While you wait for the butter-Guinness-chocolate-dearlorditsmellsamazing mixture to cool, mix the eggs and sour cream with an electric beater until smooth. Pour in the butter-Guinness-chocolate mixture, and mix until just combined.
5. Pour this thick, chocolatey goodness into the previously-whisked flour–sugar-baking soda-salt bowl. You’ll probably want to break out your spatula at this point. And/or your finger. Stir until just combined.
6. Put paper liners in a mini cupcake tray. Trust me. You can oil/grease/spray all you want, but you will still leave chunks of cupcake behind when you remove them. I know this. Fill the cups 3/4 full of batter and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate the pan half way through for even baking.
And also if you’re a type-A perfectionist.
I often skip this step.
This amount of batter makes around 50 mini cupcakes.
7. After the cupcakes have cooled, poke a hole in the middle. I use my roommate’s chopsticks for this.* You could also use the end of a wooden spoon or even your finger. If you go with that approach, pray a little Pam on it beforehand. Also consider washing it.
*I wrap the chopstick in saran wrap and spray a little Pam on it. This keeps the cupcake in the cupcake, not stuck to the chopstick/spoonhandle/finger you’re
Now make the filling:
1. Put your bittersweet chocolate in a bowl. This is easy when you use bittersweet chocolate chips. If you’re using a bar of chocolate, chop it roughly. Or gently. Your call.
2. In a medium-sized (maybe even the same one that you used to melt the butter and Guinness previously, and are like me and do not have a dishwasher in your tiny Bay Area apartment) pan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer.
3. Pour the cream over the chocolate, add the butter and stir until smooth and combined. Refrigerate, stirring every 10 minutes, until it’s pourable but not too runny.
4. To fill the cupcakes, spoon the ganache into a frosting bag or (if you’re like me again) a plastic ziplock with the one corner cut off. Gently squeeze the ganache into the holes in the cupcakes.
5. Don’t eat them yet.
Now make the frosting:
1. Put your room temperature butter into a large-ish bowl. It’s about to get messy, and you’ll want room to add sugar and whip the snot out of it.
2. With an electric beater, whip the butter until it’s light and fluffy.
3. Slowly add 3 cups of the powdered sugar, a little bit at a time. This keeps the frosting from getting grainy, and also allows you to spend more time playing with your electric mixer. Both are very important.
4. Add 3-4 tablespoons of the Baileys, depending on the level of flavor you want.
5. Add more powdered sugar if a) the Baileys has made it too runny or b) you just really like playing with your electric mixer. Like me.
6. Frost those babies.*
7. Eat one. FINALLY.
Congratulations. You’ve basically baked an Irish car bomb.
*If desired, cut small mustaches out of paper, glue them to toothpicks and stick them in the cupcakes before presenting them to your friends, but only if you can convince your little sister and her friend to sit on your living room floor for an hour and do it for you.