Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bailey's Caramel Crunch Cupcakes

A quick midweek recap from Southern California...

If you have to work on the weekend, an amazing view always helps!

The best part about traveling for work and my absolute favorite meeting location for morning runs is Laguna Beach.  

Sometimes Dove chocolate just has it right...

"It's OK to be fabulous and flawed!"...

"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."

Now, down to the cupcakes.  These were the test run for James wedding cupcakes.  A cupcake based off one of my favorite cakes of all time, at the restaurant where I was a waitress during college.  There is only one thing missing, and I blame a flat tire and hurricane Sandy on them not being 100% complete...they are only missing the toffee pieces.  

So, let me lay it out...these are devil's food cupcakes soaked with Bailey's, then topped with chocolate ganache and Bailey's buttercream frosting.  To truly finish these off, top them with toffee pieces for just a bit of caramel crunch flavor.  If you like Bailey's and Irish cream flavor definitely give these cupcakes a try.  The cake is super moist and the buttercream frosting is creamy and delicious!  Enjoy!

Warm cupcakes are soaked with Bailey's.

Ganache ready for the warm cupcakes.

All that's left to finish these off is the Bailey's buttercream and toffee pieces.

Bailey's Crunch Cupcakes:
*makes approximately 22-24 cupcakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature, yolks and whites separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
9 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup strong coffee, room temperature
1/4 cup Bailey's Liquor

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cupcake tins with a total 23 cupcake liners and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until well combined.  Add in vanilla and egg yolks, mix well until combined.  If the batter appears dry whisk in 1/4 cup of the coffee.

3.  In another large mixing bowl sift together cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

4. Combine milk and remaining coffee in a measuring cup.

5.  Add the flour and coffee mixtures to the sugar-butter mixture, alternating between flour and coffee, mixing between the addition of each.  Begin and end with flour.

6.  In a small mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form but are not dry.  Gently fold egg whites into cake batter, just until combined.

7.  Using a tablespoon or small cookie scoop, scoop two tablespoons or scoops into each cupcake liner.

8.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.  While cupcakes are baking prepare ganache.

Chocolate Ganache:

8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

1.  Using a double boiler, slowly melt the chocolate chips with the heavy cream.

2.  On slightly warm cupcakes using a butter knife or the back side of a spoon, spread a thin layer of ganache on top of each cupcake.  Let sit until mostly hardened.  While the ganache is setting, prepare the frosting.

Bailey's Buttercream Frosting

1 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons Bailey's Liquor
1/8 teaspoon salt

1.  In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy.  

2.  Then mix in one cup of powdered sugar and the salt until well combined.  Then mix in the Bailey's and remaining powered sugar.  The frosting will be thick.

3.  Using a butter knife or piping bag, frost the cupcakes and enjoy!

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