Thursday, March 7, 2013

St. Patrick's Day- Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes!

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes!! These boozy cupcakes are the BOMB! Get it?! Yeah, I went there. 

BrownEyed Baker posted a really delicious recipe for Irish Car Bomb cupcakes but naturally with me being a very picky and experimental baker, I adapted it to my own liking (more liqueur and chocolate). I still used her idea of a Guinness Chocolate cake, Irish Whiskey chocolate ganache filling, and Bailey’s buttercream but changed a few things here and there. I don’t really like dark chocolate and if you use unsweet chocolate for the ganache it will taste very, VERY strongly of dark chocolate. Mostly because it is dark chocolate… and whiskey greatly enhances the chocolate flavor. Yayyyy whiskey!!!

If you have any doubts about this recipe please reconsider. This was absolutely in the top three of my customer fave’s list. That’s a pretty tough list to get into as a cake/cupcake because I make so many different flavors, fillings, and icings to mix and match. I can’t say I’m surprised though, I mean COME ON, it’s booz and chocolate.

Let me just cut to the chase and give you the recipe. Sound good? Bueno.

For the Guinness Chocolate Cake (makes about 30):

 2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Guinness Draught  (let it get some air in the measuring cup before mixing)

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour or line cupcake pans with paper liners.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk and oil; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Slowly stir in Guinness (batter will be thin). Use a spatula to clean around the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl to ensure that none of the ingredients are settled at the bottom or stuck to the side. Slowly mix again until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

**Note: Usually I add vanilla to everything, seriously, everything I bake has some semblance of vanilla in it, be it vanilla bean, Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract, Mexican vanilla, etc. If you add vanilla to this recipe it will take away from the strong Guinness flavor in this cake. How do I know? I did it! My loyal taste testers agreed, it’s much better without vanilla.

Irish Whiskey Chocolate Ganache Filling:

 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
·         2/3 heavy cream
·         2 tbsp butter, room temperature
·         4-6 tsp Irish Whiskey, preferably Jameson (taste it before you add more than 4tsp!)
Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Let it sit for one minute and slowly stir it until combined. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool in the fridge until thick but still soft enough to be piped.

Bailey’s Buttercream Icing
·         2 sticks of butter, room temperature
·         4-6 cups powdered sugar
·         2 tsp vanilla extract
·         3 tbsp Baileys

Cream butter in stand mixer. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, and mix on low speed until combined. Add Bailey’s and vanilla extract and combine. Slowly add the rest of the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time. You want to add just enough of the sugar to make the icing firm enough to hold it’s shape, but not so hard that it’s difficult to pipe.

This whole process may seem difficult to a beginner baker or bakestress. Just slow down, read everything before you start and have your ingredients out and as ready to use as possible.


Core the cooled cupcakes. I use a paring knife to cut out a cone shape in the center of the cupcake. Some people use cupcake corers, Brown Eyed Baker uses an icing tip, whatever works best for you. Once I have my decadent little cupcake cone cut out, I cut the top of it off to place over the filling in the cupcake before icing.  You can use a pastry bag and tip to fill the cupcakes or a freezer bag (they’re more sturdy) by cutting a small amount of the corner off. Once you’ve filled the cupcakes with the cooled ganache, put the little cone hat over the filling and start piping the buttercream icing. 

You can add stripes of food coloring to your icing by using a toothpick with coloring on it to stripe the sides of your piping bag before filling the bag with your icing. It’s a pretty cool trick!

For a super awesome tutorial, please check out Brown Eyed Baker’s page for Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Practice makes perfect!

I made a practice wedding cake with an ocean theme to it. The flavor is orange cream cake, with strawberry blood orange filling, vanilla buttercream, and white chocolate seashells. I made the filling at home with fruit from a local produce stand. Yummm!!

It's beautimous and tasty!

It took me about three days to make it and decorate it (I was also busy being lazy), but the cake was definitely worth my time. It was so delicious! I was originally just going to leave the cake without the bubbles and white chocolate seashells but it looked soooo boring, so I woke up with bubbles on my brain and transferred them to the cake. Yayyyy brain bubbles!

This was the first time I'd ever stacked a cake. I got a lot of great tips from looking online at YouTube videos and other blogs, especially this site. Definitely use some gardening shears (the things that cut small branches in half) for the wooden dowels. My scissors were pathetic; they were so bad it's not even worth explaining. I had to use my butchers knife to cut the dowels, which severely dulled the blade. Not cool..

Once I got the dowels in it was pretty easy to assemble. Make sure the icing is dry though, otherwise it'll stick to the cake you're trying to line up and you'll mess up the icing by moving it around. If the icing is dry, the cake you're stacking on top should just slide a little until you get it in place. Another tip I have: Don't decorate the bottom until you've stacked everything. You'll want to go ahead and decorate some of the hard stuff because it's easier to do on a rotating cake stand than on a tall, stand-still cake. Once you've assembled you can decorate the bottom. If you try to add decoration to the bottom before stacking it WILL come off on some parts.

Now let me tell you something you may or may not know. If you're a baker, you have probably figured this out. If not, pay attention:

Food coloring can altar the color of things that come out of your body.

Let me just give you an example. Say, you made a batch of Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip cookies and you used pretty much THE WHOLE ENTIRE BOTTLE of food coloring to color the cookies because you wanted a really bright vibrant red. At some point, you're going to come out of the bathroom and think, OMG I'M GOING TO DIE. My poop is red! I have cancer, I have hemorrhoids, I have AIDS! When in reality, you have red poop because there was so much food coloring in the cookies you had (because you ate a lot of cookies).

Not saying that ever happened to me... just giving an example.

As it turns out, teal altars the colors of things as well. It actually makes poop green. Now if only I could find something to make it white, we could have some Christmas poop.

JUST KIDDING! I'm not that vulgar. tteeehheee.

Ahem, *awkward pause before topic change* I'll be practicing with more wedding cake ideas as the weeks progress. I have so many ideas that it's difficult to just stop thinking and pick one. If any of you would like to give me some ideas, feel free to comment or send me a message. If I pick your idea for the cake, I'll make the cake with your ideas and post your name with the finished product photos!

Also, I'm trying to find ways to add a recipe widget or something to the blog so it's easier to share my goodies with you all. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!