For Christmas, my friend Jessica, gave me the book Martha Stewart's Cupcakes. As a St. Patrick's Day treat, Martha combined the Baileys Irish Cream frosting with a brown sugar pound cake. I thought the pound cake was all wrong; it just didn't have the right consistency for a cupcake. It was so dry and hard. I think it would be delicious for a full-sized pound cake, but it was disappointing in cupcake form.
For round two, I combined my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe from the book Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans (can't believe it's on Amazon for $3.38 with free shipping!) with the frosting, and the result is a killer combo. I think the sour cream really makes this cupcake recipe work. It produces a delicately soft cake that is SO right.
Beware the smell of the frosting is a little intoxicating, but isn't that part of what St. Patrick's Day is all about?! If you try these cupcakes, I'd love to know what you think.
350˚ for 15-20 minutes
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sour cream
½ cup water
Melt chocolate in a double boiler, stir until smooth. Remove from water and set aside to cool slightly. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until smoothly blended and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, mix in the melted chocolate. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is blended into the batter. Add the vanilla and beat until the mixture looks creamy and the color has lightened slightly, about 1 minute. Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks remain. On low speed, add half of the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate it. Mix in the water. Mix in the remaining flour mixture until it is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.
Line muffin tins with paper liners and fill each with a generous amount of batter to about ⅛ inch below the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack. Makes 18.
(Source Cupcakes! book by Elinor Klivans)
Baileys Irish Cream Frosting
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream liqueur
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter until smooth. Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners’ sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 5 minutes total; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds (to aerate frosting).
Add Baileys and vanilla, and beat until combined and smooth.
Use immediately, or refrigerate up to 5 days in an airtight container; bring to room temperature and beat on low speed until smooth before using.
Makes enough for 24 cupcakes.
(Source Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes book)