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Recipe

Chocolate Irish Cupcakes

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we headed to the Taza Test Kitchen, beer and whiskey in tow, for some experimenting. The outcome was a slightly boozy, molten-centered treat that the staff gobbled up almost as quickly as we placed them on the counter. In this recipe, we featured Taza two ways with Night Shift Brewing Taza Stout and our favorite baking chocolate, 70%. At first, we decided to color the icing green for the Irish holiday, but then selected a spring theme instead, highlighting the pastel colors of the season.

Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

1 cup Night Shift Brewing Taza Stout (or other stout)
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Cupcake Filling:

8 ounces 70% Taza Stone Ground Chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

Baileys Frosting:

3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperatue
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk)
Food coloring (if desired)
*Plastic bag for piping

To Prepare:

Cupcakes:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add beer and chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.

3. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Filling:

1. Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.

2. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped. Meanwhile, using your a small spoon, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. Put the ganache into a piping bag or Ziploc bag (tip snipped off) and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Frosting:

1. Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.

2. When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.

3. Ice and decorate the cupcakes.

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