I don’t remember why I first tried this recipe. I was probably trying to impress my then boyfriend (now my husband Dr B) by finding good ways of incorporating beer into baking. While these are perfect for St Patrick’s Day they are really good at any time of year. We did over 120 of these for a friends wedding which was a great flavour choice. They have the lovely dark flavour from the Guinness and have a surprise of whiskey ganache in the centre. Finish that off with creamy Bailey’s buttercream and you have some very tasty cupcakes!
The four leaf clover garnishes are made from royal icing and need a few days to harden so if you are planning on making these for next week I would probably make them on Thursday or Friday so they can harden well.
These cupcakes were always popular for bad weeks at uni, who doesn’t like to eat a treat laced with so many good beverages. I am thinking that the flavour combination might also be great in doughnut form….. watch this space 😛
St Patrick’s Day Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 24-28 Cupcakes
Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup reduced Guinness (start with 1 1/2 cups and boil down)
225 g butter
1 cup cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sour cream
170 g dark chocolate (chopped)
2/3 cup cream
20 g butter
2 tablespoons whiskey
175 g butter (softened)
3-3 1/2 cups icing sugar
4 tablespoons Bailey’s
1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Line 2 12 hole cupcake trays with paper liners. Reduce the Guinness down to 1 cup (this gives the cupcakes a richer darker flavour). Add the butter and cocoa and stir to combine. (This mixture may split, don’t worry the cupcakes turn out fine!) Allow to cool.
2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, vanilla and sour cream. Slowly whisk the Guinness Chocolate mixture into the egg, sour cream and vanilla.
3. Pour the combined chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to combine making sure no lumps remain. Fill the cupcake papers 2/3 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool.
4. To make the ganache place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and then heat the cream till just simmering. Pour over the chocolate and allow to sit for 1 minute. Add the butter (cut into small cubes) and stir sill no lumps remain. Stir in the whiskey. Allow to cool.
5. Once the cupcakes are cool use and apple corer or sharp knife to cut holes in the centre, fill with the cooled ganache. (You can stop at this step and wrap and freeze the cupcakes, they will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months).
6. To make the frosting beat the butter till light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the Bailey’s and beat well. If the frosting is too soft add more icing sugar. If it’s too stiff at more Bailey’s, milk or cream. Pipe onto the tops of the cooled cupcakes.
The cupcakes will keep for 3-4 days at room temperature.
Four Leaf Clover Garnish
Recipe adapted from I am Baker
1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 tsp golden syrup or corn syrup
1-2 drops lemon juice
small amount of food colouring
plus more milk to get desired consistency
1. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the milk, syrup and lemon juice. Stir well. It will still be very stiff.
2. Add a little more milk (1/2 tsp at a time) until it is thick but will be able to be piped.
3. Transfer to a piping bag or cover with glad wrap so it doesn’t dry out.
I printed out four leaf clover pictures and then covered the page with non stick baking paper. Pipe the clover shapes and make a good stem for them so they will stick well into the cupcakes. Leave to dry in a cool dry place for several days. These can be stored in an airtight container for several months.