Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Guest Blog: The Priestess's Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

The name of the cocktail that inspired these is so very not-PC. But whatev. There's nothing about The Priestess that is politically correct. Which is why I love her. Enjoy her and her recipe that incorporates three of my favorite kinds of booze (although I'm partial to Bushmills. Stop throwing things!).

A few years back, my theatre company, Impact Theatre (http://impacttheatre.com/), had a kickass Technical Director, Alain Jourdenais. He was fantastic, and we adored him. It was on an Impact Theatre annual season planning retreat that he introduced everyone to the Irish Car Bomb. This was so far back he had to tell the bartender in the Reno Hilton how to make them. Alain eventually left Impact to go to CalArts for lighting design. In October 2007, days before our first Full Houses Poker Tournament Benefit, we got the tragic news that Alain had died as a result of a car accident. He was 26. These are the cupcakes I created in his honor. I brought them to the benefit and they were a huge hit. They've been in my repertoire ever since.

They're labor-intensive, but pretty awesome.

Alain's Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes *click here for printable version*

First, make Guinness Cupcakes:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Guinness Extra Stout, room temperature
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Preheat your oven to 350.
2. Beat butter on high until creamy, about 30 seconds. I recommend a Kitchen Aid for the mixing involved in this entire recipe, but I use a hand mixer. I learned how to bake using vintage cookbooks, my wits, and my mom's kitchen when I was 12. She didn't own a Kitchen Aid and I wasn't allowed to use the hand mixer. Therefore, I mixed everything with a wooden spoon or a fork. Now I can't bake anything unless I know how it feels, and a hand mixer is, in and of itself, a bit of a compromise. People who can successfully use a Kitchen Aid and know what's going on with their dough by the look of it mystify and amaze me. If you're one of those, mazel tov. For me, I have to feel it, and I'm stuck with the pain-in-the-assery of the hand mixer for this recipe.

3. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, maybe 2 or 3 minutes.
4. Add eggs one at a time, beat to incorporate between each.
5. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a separate bowl.
6. Pour Guinness and cream together into a large cup or spouted pyrex measuring cup. DO NOT DRINK. I know it's hard. You can drink the rest of the bottle, though.

7. Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
8. Add about one third the Guinness/cream mixture and beat until combined. Don't be half-assed about the beating or add too much at a time or your mixture will look all curdled and weird.

9. Repeat above, alternating flour and Guinness and ending with the flour mixture.
10. Fill your cupcake papers 3/4 full.
11. Bake for approximately 24 minutes. Start checking them at 22 to see where you oven lands with this. I'd say anywhere from 22 - 25 is likely.
12. Let your cupcakes cool completely.

Now, make your Jameson's Pastry Cream:

1 and 1/4 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 c cornstarch (scant)
3 and 1/2 TB Jameson's Irish Whiskey

1. Mix sugar and egg yolks together with a wooden spoon in a pyrex or stainless steel bowl.
2. Sift the flour and cornstarch into the egg mixture and mix until it's smooth and pasty.
3. Heat the milk over medium in a saucepan until it boils. When it foams up, remove it from the heat and add it really slowly to the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
4. Once it's all whisked together, put it all into the saucepan and cook over medium, whisking constantly, until it magically turns into pastry cream. This takes about 30 seconds and is heralded by the arrival of a thick, creamy texture.
5. Remove from heat, let cool for a bit, and whisk in the Jameson's.

Now Fill Your Cupcakes!

Use the cone method to fill your Guinness cupcakes with the pastry cream:

1. Take a completely cooled cupcake and cut a cone-shaped wedge out of the center.
2. Fill the hole with your pastry cream.

3. Cut the bottom off of the cupcake cone and replace the top like a little hat.
4. Repeat until all cupcakes are filled. Your husband, roommates, or assorted neighborhood hobos will eat the cupcake scraps. TRUST.

Finally, make your Bailey's Frosting. It's so simple, even a child could do it. Make Mommy some boozy frosting! Awesome.

Bailey's Frosting:

1 cup (2 sticks) of butter
2 boxes (2 lbs) powdered sugar
1/2 - 3/4 cup Bailey's Irish Cream

1. Melt the butter in a large bowl in the microwave.
2. Add the powdered sugar and 1/2 cup of the Bailey's and mix on medium high to high until incorporated.
3. Add more Bailey's in 1 TB increments until the desired consistency is reached.
4. Frost your cupcakes! A generous amount of frosting is both friendly and perfect for hiding the filling surgery you did earlier.

You'll want to eat these cupcakes the day you make them. Luckily, so will everyone else!

Have a great St. Patrick's Day, everyone, and raise a glass to Alain while you're at it.

Next up: Spring is in the air and I'm ready for something fresh tasting. I've seen the episode where he makes it and apparently I've tried the recipe myself, but I have no memory of it: I'm making Alton Brown's Lemon Meringue Pie.

1 comment:

pinky said...

From one guest blogger to another, I like the photos taken from above...a la Julia Child!