Bottoms Up! Irish Cream Hot Fudge Cupcakes

Source: SprinkleBakes original recipes

Yield: 6 muffin-sized cupcakes

Prep: 1 hour 15 minutes, plus chilling time for ganache

[click for printable recipe]


The cake portion of this cupcake reminds me a little of a brownie, but they’re not as dense.  They bake up with a crackled top, but inside they’re fluffy with a deep chocolate flavor.  You won’t use a whole egg since this is a small batch recipe, so you’ll need to measure out a portion. To do so, lightly beat a whole egg in a small cup then pour the egg into the measuring spoon.


Cakes
1/2 cup Irish Cream liqueur, or two mini bottles (50 ml each)
3 tablespoons well-beaten egg     
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup strongly brewed coffee

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with 6 large muffin papers.  
  2. Place Irish Cream liqueur, egg, and vanilla in cup; beat together vigorously with a fork, set aside.
  3. Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and liquid mixture; beat with an electric mixer on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened.  Add coffee and beat again until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula and beat well again.
  4. Divide batter between muffin cups.  Bake for 25-27 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when pressed in the center. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Chocolate ganache filling

1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. heavy cream

1 cup milk chocolate chips

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons Irish Cream liqueur (about half a mini bottle)

  1. Combine heavy cream and chocolate chips in a medium saucepan or a microwaveable bowl.  Heat on medium low until chips are melted and can be stirred smooth.  If using the microwave, heat at 30 second intervals until completely melted and mixture can be stirred smooth.  Add butter in pieces and stir until melted.  Add Irish cream.  Stir well.  Refrigerate until ganache is thickened but still fairly soft (see video). 
  2. Cut a large divot out of each cupcake and fill with ganache.  Discard cake piece or save them for breakfast tomorrow (smile).

Irish cream frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup plus two tablespoons Irish cream (about 1 1/2 mini bottles)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. Combine butter and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl and mix on low speed with a hand mixer until just combined.  Gradually add in Irish cream.  Scrape down sides of bowl  and mix in vanilla.  Beat on high speed until light and fluffy.  Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip.  Pipe frosting over the surface of the cupcakes.

Irish cream hot fudge sauce

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup coffee

1/2 cup Irish cream (2 mini bottles)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat.  Whisk to incorporate.  Bring to a boil and let bubble one minute.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly before pouring into the empty Irish cream bottles.

Assembly

  1. Pour a scant 1/4 cup of hot fudge sauce in each empty Irish cream bottle.  Turn them upright and press the bottle neck into the frosting and down to the chocolate ganache filling.  Sprinkle with cocoa powder and serve.


There's a few things to remember when making these.

  • Be sure to measure the Irish Cream in the bottles to the amounts specified in the recipe. If you come up a little short of 1/2 cup, top it off with a little milk or cream.
  • When you remove the bottle cap, there's an aluminum ring that stays attached to the bottle neck. That piece should be removed, and can be easily snipped off with a pair of work scissors (I wouldn't use your best cloth-cutting scissors for this).
  • The sauce can be made in advance and then warmed on the stove-top or in a 4 cup measure with a spout in the microwave just before serving. The hot sauce shouldn't be screaming hot, so don't heat it for too long.
  • The sauce should not be re-heated in the bottles in the microwave.  This will cause the sauce to bubble over. Also, there's foil on the label (hellooo sparks!) and that's a possible fire hazard in the microwave.
  • As stated before, you can serve these with wooden picks in case the sauce has cooled.  We had no problems without - just a squeeze and a shake is required when the sauce is still warm. 
  • Serve these on a plate with an extra napkin. They can be a little messy, but there's nothing wrong with licking frosting and ganache from your fingers. Modest guests will want a napkin.
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