27 January 2012

Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes w. Baileys Icing


While in Paris, I definitely indulged my sweet tooth -- nutella + banana crepes, chocolate mousse with lunch, hot chocolate from Angelina, & pain au chocolat.

All of which reminded me of my last homemade indulgence prior to my trip. John & I made these Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes with Baileys Icing using this original recipe from Smitten Kitchen, but leaving out a few of the ingredients. The end result was decadently sweet & very delicious. I'd love to incorporate the ganache into other desserts in the future since it was my favorite element. Here's the breakdown below if you'd like to try these for yourselves, your friends, &/or your family.

For the ganache:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate 
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter at room temperature

For the chocolate cupcakes:
1 cup (2 sticks) 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 large eggs

2/3 cup sour cream

For the Baileys icing:
3 to 4 cups confections sugar

1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature

3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys
Piping bag (or two plastic sandwich bags -- cut a small hole in one corner for a makeshift piping bag)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit before adding paper liners to your cupcake pan. Bring 1 cup butter to a simmer then add the cocoa powder by whisking it in until smooth. Once mixed well, cool the combination slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, & 3/4 teaspoon salt until blended. In a second large bowl, blend the sour cream & eggs using an electric blender. Add the flour mixture from the first bowl & beat the mixture for a few seconds on a low speed. Then, using a spatula, fold all of the ingredients until the batter is evenly mixed. Add the mixture to the cupcake pan by dividing the batter, so that each liner is about 3/4 full. Bake the cupcakes for about sixteen minutes & then allow them to cool completely.

While waiting for the cupcakes to cool, make the ganache fililng. Chop the chocolate & transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the heavy cream until it is simmering then pour it overtop of the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for a minute or so before stirring until smooth. Add butter and mix completely. Now you'll have to let the ganache cool completely; to speed the process, put the bowl in the refrigerator & stir the chocolate every ten minutes until it thickens & is cold. If you want to use an apple corer to remove the top half of the centers you may or you can use your thumb to indent the center of the cupcakes in order to make a hole for the filling.

Use a piping bag or plastic sandwich bag to pipe the ganache into the centers of the cupcakes. Be generous with each amount added to the centers since there should be plenty of ganache to go around for each.

Now it's time to make the icing to top it all off & finish these sweet treats. In the bowl of your electric mixer, whip the butter until it is very light & fluffy. Very slowly add the powdered sugar while the mixer continues to spin; a few tablespoons at a time, so that everything mixes well. As the frosting thickens & begins to look spreadable, add the Baileys slowly & whip until completely combined.

Using your clean piping bag or second plastic sandwich bag, pipe the icing on top of each cake in a cute little swirl as shown above in our photos. Enjoy one right away or store in an airtight container to nibble on them & share them with others over the next few days.

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