I happen to love things that are flavored with Irish Cream so with St. Patty's coming up this week I figured it was necessary to make SOMETHING flavored with Irish Cream. I have done a cheesecake already so my next natural instinct was to make either a cake or a cupcake. Obviously, I went with making cupcakes. While I am not really all about instant gratification - they are faster than a cake. Although more dangerous to have around the house because to eat a piece of cake, you have to really make a cut and dry decision to have a piece since it requires getting a plate and a fork and cutting a piece. Then of course do you cut a large piece and get it over with or behave yourself and get a small piece with the possibility of not being satisfied and wanting to have a second piece later and then having to make the decision as to whether or you should and going through the whole thing all over again. Of course there is always the question of ice cream with the cake as well - I mean it is chocolate cake after all and a rich one at that. Ice cream can become a necessary part of the equation very quickly. With a cupcake, there is not a lot of decision making. You want cake, you see it sitting there, you grab one and peel the wrapper off, there you go. Bam. Done. Danger zone. Oh well. I threw caution to the wind and went with the instant gratification of the cupcake.
FOR THE CUPCAKES
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup (1½ oz) Dutch-processed cocoa (honestly though I have made it with the hershey’s dark chocolate cocoa powder and they turned out fine)
- ¾ cup (3¾ oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup (5¼ oz) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ½ cup (4 oz) sour cream
FOR THE IRISH CREAM BUTTERCREAM
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, soft
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Irish Cream
TO MAKE THE CUPCAKES
- Preheat your oven to 350˚. Line a muffin pan with papers and set aside.
- Combine the butter, bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Remove from over the water and set aside and allow to cool a bit while you combine the other ingredients.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until fluffy.
- Add the chocolate mixture.
- Add about ⅓ of the flour mixture, then the sour cream and then the rest of the flour mixture.
- Divide the batter evenly into the muffin pan cups and bake about 18-20 minutes. Until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool about 10-15 in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
TO MAKE THE BUTTERCREAM
- Place the butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high for 7 minutes.
- Turn the mixer off and add in the powdered sugar, beat on low speed until the mixture comes together, about 4-5 minutes.
- Slowly add the cream until you have a nice creamy buttercream.
- You can add the Irish straight up if you like or you can simmer it a little in a saucepan to cook the alcohol out. It shouldn't affect the flavor either way. Then add in the irish cream.
- Place into a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes.
- If you like you can dust them with a little cocoa powder to make them look pretty and then you are ready to eat!