Being of Irish descent, I take no offense at the name which takes its name from the popular bar drink using whiskey, guinness and Jameson's. Whatever you call it, these are a phenomenal hit with everyone. The whiskey in the ganache isn't enough to worry about since the ganache is still hot when it is added (and it's so minimal), but if you want to make these non-alcoholic, you can leave it out. For a non-alcoholic frosting, use the Bailey's flavored coffee creamer. Original recipe came from smittenkitchen.com but I've tweaked a few things since we don't like overly sweet frosting.
1Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring guinness and butter to simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder, vanilla and sugar until mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
2Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt for about 30 seconds. Set aside.
3In separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream to blend.
4When guinness mixture is just warm to the touch, pour into the egg mixture and beat just until combined. Pour in flour mixture and beat on low speed until is is all incorporated.
5Divide batter into 24 liners (about 1/4 cup level). Bake about 17 minutes and then remove from oven and let cool in muffin cups. At this point, the toothpick doesn't come out 'quite' clean but it's not gooey either. These will finish baking in the muffin cups as they cool. Don't overbake!
6GANACHE: Make ganache while cupcakes are baking. Chop chocolate into small pieces; set aside. Heat cream and butter just until it comes to a low boil. Pour over chocolate and let sit for a couple minutes; then slowly stir until smooth. Stir in whiskey. Let cool completely.
7Fill cupcakes: After cupcakes are cool, remove them from the muffin tin. Cut a 1" round funnel shape out of the center of each cupcake. I use a donut hole cutter to mark an indent and then a sharp paring knife to cut out the funnel. Funnel should go down about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way into the cupcake but don't pierce through the bottom. When the ganache is cooled, fill the hole. Once all the cupcakes are filled, I'll take whatever is left over and kind of overpour the hole to allow the ganache to spread a bit over the top *but not run over the sides*.
8Frosting: Whisk/shake flour with 1/4 cup of the milk. Then carefully whisk in the remaining milk and the Bailey's (1/4 cup plus 2 tsp). This method should prevent lumps. Heat over medium heat until it thickens a bit. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
9In separate bowl, beat sugar and butter together until fluffy. Pour in the milk/flour mixture and beat for *about* 5 minutes, scraping down sides every little bit. The frosting is done when it loses its graininess and becomes airy and spreadable. This is important - keep beating until it loses the graininess of the sugar.
10Using a large piping tube, pipe frosting onto cupcakes. There's enough that I was able to do a generous swirl around the edge into the center. Then sprinkle with green 'sugar' or green sprinkles. I've even topped these with a green marschino cherry.
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