March 17, 2010

Ode To Fiona: Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, I'll be with you in a moment...

But first...

The Sweet Lovin' Man turned me on to the USA show 'Burn Notice.' It's fantastically fun, smart, popcorn television at it's best!

USA loves it's character shows (at least that's what they remind you every commercial break). But when it comes to 'Burn Notice' they really deliver. They're all so much more fun than I am!

Our cast of characters: Michael Westin is the spy that was burned by the CIA. (I just get burned by the oven). There's his 'trigger happy ex-girlfriend' Fiona. (FIONA RULES). Sam, his goofy sidekick with a navy seal background in special forces (he reminds me of my dad- I think it's the shirt). And of course, there's Mom. She smokes, she has large purses and asks in panic, 'What's going on, Michael?' just about as much as 24's Jack Bauer yells, 'We're running out of time!'


But Fiona?  She's my fave, played by Gabrielle Anwar. She's smart. She's sexy. And she wants her ex-spy boyfriend to commit, d*mn it! What woman doesn't!? Hmph!

"Should we shoot them?"

I love my Fiona.  I love strong women characters.  Yeah, that's it.  That's why I love her.  It has nothing to do with the fact that 'Fiona' is also...


AS IN...



You know who else is in it?


But I digress...

Since the season finale of 'Burn Notice' was last Thursday & I'll be crying like a baby til it returns (or at least until 'Royal Pains' comes back to dry my eyes and steal my fancy), I wanted to do something in honor of the show. Because it's St. Patrick's Day and my girl Fi used to make bombs with the IRA (HA!), I thought how perfect!!! I'll make some Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes.

Yes, I know that's not what a car bomb looks like.  
But I thought the whole 'bomb' thing... nevermind.


"Someone needs your help, Michael!"

For starters, they're made with, what I like to call-- dinner:

It's a chocolate Guinness cupcake, an Irish Whiskey ganache and a Bailey's Buttercream icing. DIVINE. SO MOIST.

Those are The Sweet Lovin Man's fingers.  
(He can't help it).

I made some for the SLM's mom. I decorated these ones extra special like!

They are SO RICH. I can almost eat just one.

I somehow manage... to eat 14.

"When eating a tray of Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, you always want to know where the nearest exit is. You never know when you're going to hurl."

So anyway, the recipe is below!  It looks daunting but it's really not too bad!  You can make the ganache way ahead of time!!  And WATCH 'BURN NOTICE!!!'  It's on break so you have lots of time to catch up through Netflix.  Do it, do it!!!   It's sooo much fun!!!  :)  :)  :)

Guns & yogurt,

I stole this recipe & adapted it from 'Smitten Kitchen.'
I'm totally not giving it back.

Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes

For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup stout Guinness
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Ganache Filling

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

Baileys Frosting
**Smitten Kitchen only uses one stick of butter but I think two is better tasting & better consistency!
1/2 bag of powdered sugar (3-4 cups)
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 to 6 tablespoons Baileys (to taste)

Make the cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. 
  • Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
  • Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. 
  • Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. 
  • Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. 
  • Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. 
  • Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. 
  • Bake for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Make the filling: 

  • Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. 
  • Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. 
  • Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) 
  • Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.

Fill the cupcakes:

**For this process, I just use a serrated knife to cut the middle holes out.  I make the ganache ahead of time and keep it in my fridge.  I leave it out for an hour or two before I use it-- or if I'm in a rush I'll put it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds & stir it until it's spreadable with a knife or small icing spatula.  Much easier than using a piping bag & tip-- but that's me!  :)

  • Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). 
  • Meanwhile, using a knife or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. 
  • Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Make the frosting:

  • Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. 
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. [This is a fantastic trick I picked up while working on the cupcakes article for Martha Stewart Living; the test kitchen chefs had found that when they added the sugar slowly, quick buttercream frostings got less grainy, and tended to require less sugar to thicken them up.]
  • When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.
  • Ice and decorate the cupcakes. [I used a star tip and made little "poofs" everywhere and sprinkled it with various colors of sanding sugar to keep it looking festive for New Years. I bet shaved dark and white chocolates would look gorgeous as well.]



Family of Food said...

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM, I may have to make these. Good thing it's 4 in the morning or else it would be done and lord knows I don't need two sticks of butter at 4 in the morning.

MandiCrocker said...

Candy, I can honestly say that this one? Is SO WORTH IT. I've made them three times in the past two weeks!!! (So you might want to buy 6 sticks of butter... just sayin') ;)

Sarah said...

I haven't thought about Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken in such a long time!! What a great movie! I look forward to making these cupcakes. I used the cake recipe for my cake decorating class this week.

MandiCrocker said...

Me either, Sarah! I made my guy put it on our netflix- ha!! :)

Trish said...

The cupcakes are lovely and while mine won't look quite like that, I'm going to surprise a few people and make them for St. Paddy's Day. Thanks for sharing!!!

MandiCrocker said...

Awesome, Trish!!! :) Let me know how it goes!!! And just an FYI... I find that using a dark cocoa powder (like Hershey's Special Dark) works best & adds more flavor!!