Sunday, December 25, 2011

Baileys Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

I think it's literally impossible to come up with a cupcake idea that hasn't already been tried.. (Actually, I think I have one, but I still have some more testing to do). I was thinking of winter related goodies and thought of hot chocolate. I've done so much peppermint, I didn't want to do it again. What else goes with hot chocolate besides marshmallows? Oh yea, Baileys. Turning lactose intolerant is such a tease. I used to be able to eat anything dairy! Now I must be careful. Luckily a little Baileys is doable :)
What do I need for baileys hot chocolate cupcakes? A deliciously rich chocolate cupcake. Check. Marshmallow frosting. Check, and even some toasted marshmallow on that one. Baileys chocolate ganache. Super delicious check.

I worked from a recipe from A Cozy Kitchen. I used her recipe for the chocolate cupcakes, except for my coffee, I brewed a Chocolate blend! I've officially fallen in love with buying coffees from Home Goods since they have awesome flavors and it's actually just about the same price as buying Folgers. Crazy, I know.

Next step is the Marshmallow frosting. Using a seven-minute frosting keeps it light and fluffy, although I may opt for a true marshmallow frosting next time by using some fluff. I used a different recipe since I knew I like to save the extras for cupcake pops. You can either use her recipe, use this one, or halve it! Having a stand mixer is a HUGE help with this one.

Marshmallow Frosting
4 large egg whites
1 3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes or until a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees F. Meanwhile, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a bowl until foamy. While beating the egg whites, slowly pour the sugar mixture into the egg whites for about 7 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla then continue beating until it reaches the desired consistency. About 2 more minutes or so.

Bailey's Chocolate Ganache
9 oz. good semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Bailey's Irish Cream

Place heavy cream and Bailey's in a saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Chop up the chocolate and place in a large, heatproof bowl. Just before the cream reaches a boil, remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Whisk together until all the chocolate is melted.

Unless you're planning to serve these immediately, place the ganache in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes until it's cool.

There are several options for this. You can use a Brulee torch to toast the marshmallow frosting, place the cupcakes in the oven under the boiler, or if you're like me and have a super weird oven that doesn't broil, place them in the toaster oven! (Or you can just be perfectly happy with non-toasted marshmallow frosting)
When all of the layers are cooled, pipe the frosting onto each cupcake.
Place under the broiler for about 2 minutes while WATCHING THEM CAREFULLY. Do NOT leave the cupcakes unattended. Remove and repeat until all cupcakes are nice and browned.
Once the frosting is cooled, take a spoonful of the ganache and drizzle it on top. They can get a little messy, but I wasn't complaining.
Don't have too many, or you'll get a little buzz. Just kidding, eat a whole bunch. Maybe even eat the ganache by the spoonful.

Enjoy :)

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