Alright, so I need to catch up to my Food and Fiction Reading Challenges…but I haven’t really read a book lately that garnered any inspiration to cook good food. Alright, correction, I haven’t been inspired at the moment to cook good food. Besides the homemade tortilla pizza the other day, but that doesn’t count, ’cause that also wasn’t a Food and Fiction-y creation.
This one isn’t, either. But I’m going to post it anyway.
March came the return of my therapeutic baking, and this time I come bearing alcoholic gifts! For the past two years, I’ve actually made Guinness cupcakes with chocolate whiskey ganache and Bailey’s cream frosting. This year, I didn’t want to go all out. I mean, I already had an Irish Cream in the fridge, but I really didn’t want to have to work with another bottle of Guinness, because honestly, I hate drinking up the leftovers. Most beers and I do not often mix.
So this time, I decided I’d try to make cupcakes that threw vodka into the mix. And still make it a bit St. Patrick’s Day-themed.
Behold the White Russian Mini Cupcakes!
I actually wished I had green mini cupcake filters, but didn’t have the time to head to the store to grab some, so I made do with the ones I got. That said, I think they came out adorable! And the ganache has got to be the best one I’ve managed to do so far. Or maybe I’m just biased, because I am a vodka girl and not so much a whiskey one…
I got the recipe from Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, although in all honesty, it was a bitch to have to convert everything from the Euro-measurements to the American ones (blast our weird non-metric system sometimes!). Thankfully, most things are Google-able now so I didn’t have to look too far to figure out whether 135 grams of unsalted butter meant a stick or two.
For the Euro measurements, you might as well head over to Charlotte’s recipe, she’s got quite a lovely blog.
For the Americanized version, here were my approximate conversions:
White Russian Mini Cupcakes
- 2 oz. dark chocolate
- 1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 2 tsp vodka
- 1 medium egg
- 1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 50 ml Irish cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
White Russian Buttercream
- 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 2 cups confectionary sugar
- 2 Tbsp Irish cream
- ½ Tbsp vodka
Making the Ganache
- Place dark chocolate in a small saucepan and heat very gently until melted.
- Remove from the heat immediately and pour the chocolate into a bowl. Add the heavy cream and mix until combined.
- Add vodka and mix until combined.
- Leave to cool in the fridge until it ganache is at pudding consistency.
Making the Cake
- Pre-heat oven 350F.
- Using an electric mixer, whisk heavy cream cream to stiff peaks. Once stiff, add the vanilla extract and gradually add the Irish cream.
- In a separate bowl, whisk egg until just frothy.
- Add egg to the whipped cream and whisk for a couple of minutes.
- Gradually add the granulated sugar, whisk in each addition before adding more. Once all of the sugar is added whisk on a high speed for a couple of minutes.
- Sift the remaining dry ingredients into the cream mixture and carefully fold them together until thoroughly combined.
- Spoon the cake batter into the cupcakes cases.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Once baked, transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Making the Buttercream
- Beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add some of the confectionary sugar 1/2 cup at a time, making sure to mix thoroughly before the next. Combine Irish cream and vodka into the mix and add remaining confectionary sugar until you get desired buttercream consistency.
Construct the cupcakes
- Use a teaspoon to scoop out the center of each cupcake.
- Fill the center with ganache.
- Pipe the buttercream onto the top.
I used Molly’s Irish Cream and a splash of Grey Goose vodka, which was what I had in handy, and the cupcakes came out just as delicious! There were a few things I altered in the recipe, such as the amount of confectionery sugar I really used (around 1 1/2 cup as opposed to 2) and the order in which I did the recipe. To be honest, I tend to do the ganache first because I like my ganache to set for a bit before I pipe it into the cupcake.
Make note: this is, right now, my favorite ganache recipe, so I will definitely be doing it again!
(That said, it also helped that I purchased my dark chocolates from Jacques Torres, which made the ganache doubly amazing.)
Once the cupcakes were assembled, off they went! Honestly, I didn’t even leave any at home, the staff in school loved it, and I had to literally fend off any more takers to save the last one for myself.
Verdict: The frosting was a little too sweet for me, though the Irish cream flavor did show through. The best part was always going to be the ganache, because chocolate and vodka makes Mari happy.