Sunday, August 2, 2015

Boozey Truffled Frappuccino Cupcakes

You will never drink more Baileys in your life until you have to move. True story.

Moving between countries means a lot of things. It means paperwork, lots of phone calls, trips too the post office, garbage bags (!), stresssss, selling stuff and sleeping on the floor.

The not so bad part about moving is eating all your food. This could be a bad thing depending on how you look at it (like being forced into weird food combinations - limes, cheese and ice cream anyone?).

I think it is exciting, and most importantly it is a chance to empty out the bar! I love Baileys, and my love for it was tested after having to drink two bottles in only a few days. I drank a lot of it. Plus I had a surplus of fresh cream and so I made several batches of ice cream. Let's just say my gastrointestinal strength was also tested.

Another obvious thing about moving is packing! Packing sucks. Plain and simple. There was a time when it used to excite me, but now all packing means to me is unpacking. Meh.

To make packing enjoyable, you need three things: booze, dessert and music. These cupcakes don't sing but they fulfill the first two criteria. Plus, they pack a coffee hit to keep you going and going.

These cupcakes are made much like a muffin with no mixer and few steps - we don't need any more stress when we're packing and paperworking so I've kept it quick and simple.

First you need to make the truffles because you'll probably just want to eat chocolate at this point. Chop extra for your convenience and sanity.

Cream is warmed to just before boiling and then chopped chocolate is added off the heat. Let it stand for a few minutes before stirring - this gives time for the hot cream to melt the chocolate evenly so that we end up with a shiny smooth emulsion after stirring. After 2 minutes, add the Baileys and then stir in a circular motion until smooth and glossy. There you have ganache! Let it chill in the fridge before scooping into balls which get baked right into the cupcake batter. They will bubble a bit and creat a well in the center.

Classic cream cheese frosting spiked with more Baileys is easy and delicious enough to add the frappe to our cupcakes and fill the truffle crater. If you don't want to share, I won't judge.


Boozey Truffled Frappuccino Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

For the truffle center:
185g dark chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup whipping cream
¼ tsp high quality instant coffee
1-2 tbsp Baileys Irish Cream

For the cupcakes:
1 ¼ cup (180g) all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2/3 cup (145g) packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 ½ tsp high quality instant coffee
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the frosting:
250g cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2-3/4 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp Baileys Irish Cream

Heat the cream and coffee in a small saucepan over medium low heat until it begins to boil. Immediately add finely chopped chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Add Baileys and then gently stir until smooth and glossy. It will take a minute or so before you’ll see it come together. Let it come to room temperature and then cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm.

Once the chocolate mixture is firm, scoop heaped teaspoons of the ganache and roll each portion into balls. Place on a baking tray and freeze until ready.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a muffin pan with paper liners.

Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Add brown sugar and blend it in until uniform and no lumps remain.

In a medium bowl, stir the instant coffee into the buttermilk until dissolved. Then whisk in egg and vanilla. Pour buttermilk mixture and melted butter into the bowl with dry ingredients and stir gently only until all of the dry ingredients are combined.

Divide batter evenly among lined muffin holes and then place one truffle in the center of each batter-filled cup. Do not press it down.

Bake until cakes are golden brown and chocolate ganache is bubbly, about 15-20 minutes.

Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely. 

To make frosting, beat softened cream cheese and butter until very smooth.  Beat in icing sugar and Baileys until smooth and creamy. Spread over cooled cupcakes and dust with cocoa powder.

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