Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chocolate Irish Stout Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Buttercream

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  The sun is shining today, it is 70 degrees, the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming and I am going out to Fullsteam Brewery for happy hour tonight (I am excited to have a pint or two of the Working Man's Lunch [Moon Pie Dark Ale])!  Life doesn't get much better than a beautiful spring day with the promise of world class beer and good friends!  The only way I can think to top it off is to come home to a delicious, dense, not too sweet, boozy dessert and them tumble deliriously happy into bed!

So today I am making these cupcakesThey are really unique, the chocolate and the Irish stout were made for each other.  The cake is  rich and dense and very moist, glazed with a thin layer of ganache and topped with a VERY strong Irish whiskey buttercream.  I hope you try these, they are perfect any time of year, not just on March 17th!

Happy Birthday Erin Mary!

Chocolate Irish Stout Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Buttercream
makes 2 dozen

Chocolate Irish Stout Cake
1 cup Irish Stout (I used Guinness)
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 Tbsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup sour cream
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a medium sauce pan combine stout and butter and heat over medium high heat until mixture just comes to a boil.  Remove from heat and add cocoa powder.  Whisk to combine (mixture will thicken significantly and will look like chocolate pudding).  Allow to cool 15 minutes.

In a large bowl combine sugar, flour, baking soda and salt, whisk to combine and break up any clumps of flour.  In another large bowl combine eggs and sour cream and beat until well combined.  Add chocolate mixture and beat until smooth.  Add flour mixture and beat until just combined, DO NOT OVER BEAT.  With a rubber spatula fold mixture until smooth.

line a cupcake pan with paper liners.  Scoop a scant 1/4 cup batter into each cup (about 2/3 full).  Bake 20 minutes until a tester comes out clean.  Allow cupcakes to cool 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Dip the top of each cupcake in hot ganache and place on a baking sheet.  Place cupcakes in the refrigerator for an hour to set ganache.  Once ganache is set, pipe Irish whiskey buttercream on top of each cupcake.

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (8 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

Place cream in a medium sauce pan and heat over medium high het until cream just comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips, whisking until smooth.

Irish Whiskey Buttercream
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar plus 1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup water
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 Irish whiskey (I used Jameson)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg yolks and 1 Tbsp sugar until fluffy and light colored.

Mean while combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil, cook until soft-ball stage (238 F), about 10 minutes.  With mixer running on medium speed, pour the hot syrup directly into the eggs (not on the beaters).

Once all the syrup has been added increase mixer speed to high and beat continuously until egg mixture is room temperature (about 20 minutes).

Once the egg mixture is room temperature (IT MUST BE COOL), add the soft butter 1 tbsp at a time, continuously beating on high speed until all the butter has been added (this will look curdled until the last tbsp of butter is added, thenit will magically coalesce into a smooth butter cream!)

Add whiskey and beat until incorporated.


  1. Hi Greg!
    I love reading your posts! They crack me up, especially those mentioning what it's like growing up as the child of European immigrants (my parents are German). We're going to try your Beef Braised in Red Wine today. Anyway, I have a question about these cupcakes - when making the Irish Whiskey Buttercream, do you really beat the egg mixture on high for 20 minutes, or is this a typo?
    Thanks! Sandy

    1. Hi Sandy! I'm glad you are enjoying the blog and that you are trying the recipes... the beef is terrific. Yes although 20 minutes sounds excessive it can take that long to beat the egg yolks with the hot syrup. Basically you need to beat the yolks and the hot syrup until they are completely my hands that takes around 20 minutes. Times may vary depending on the temperature of your kitchen, the sixe of your bowls etc. The key is that the egg-sugar mix is room temp before you add the butter, or the buttercream will curdle and melt...disgusting. Good Luck!
      Mama Ozzy