Chocolate Stout Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes {+ Giveaway}

You may know these cupcakes by another name - but since I personally found it kind of offensive, I'm sure someone out there reading was bound to be offended as well, so I changed the name.  Rather, I give you... Chocolate Stout Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes - it's a mouthful, but I'm pretty sure you won't mind once you take a bite of this boozed up creation!

I was always intrigued by baking recipes that used beer - not being much of a beer drinker, I wondered if the baked treats would actually taste like beer...and would it really taste good? But when I saw this recipe over at Annie's Eats - I knew I had to try it! Not because of the stout, but the Bailey's Irish Cream ganache filling and Bailey's buttercream frosting... oh. my. goodness.  

There are no words to describe the decadence of these cupcakes...(I just typed and deleted a sentence over and over) I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.  

But one more thing before you run over to your kitchen to whip up a batch of these cupcakes - did you notice the cute green dotted cupcake liners?  Did you get why I used green liners?  Yes, I'm weeks early again... for St. Patty's Day but there's a perfectly good reason.  You can win your own set of assorted green cupcake liners in today's giveaway from the Cupcake Social!  Please check it out below - if you win, you can bake your own Chocolate Stout Bailey's Irish Cream cupcakes for St. Patty's Day! 

[Recipe after the jump below, or Print HERE]

{Please visit The Cupcake Social}
Today's giveaway is sponsored by The Cupcake Social.  This past fall, I was looking for pretty damask cupcake liners to use for a sweet sixteen I was baking for.  I stumbled across The Cupcake Social on Etsy and it took everything in me not to buy up the entire shop! Bakers, you have been warned - this shop has everything you can think of to make your cupcakes pretty... and as the shop's tagline says, "...making cupcakes too cute to eat!"  

photos courtesy of The Cupcake Social
Win a pack of 70 assorted green cupcake liners (in 7 different styles) from The Cupcake Social

To enter, please do the following: 

1.) Leave a comment below answering the question: What is your favorite cupcake flavor? 

2.) Extra entries - You will receive an entry for each (please let me know in the comments if you have done this so I can count your entries):
  1. "Like" The Cupcake Social on Facebook

Enter by 12am EST, Wednesday, March 2nd - please don't forget to leave your email address or a link to your blog so I can contact you (anonymous entries w/o contact info will not be counted). Thanks! ONE winner* will be drawn using the Random Integer Generator and announced on this post, which will be updated next Wednesday, 3/2.  

:: UPDATE  3/2/11:: And the winner is... Stephanie from Okie Dokie Artichokie!!

* Sorry, this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents.  Thanks for understanding. 

Jen, the owner of The Cupcake Social has graciously offered a discount code just for sweets by sillianah readers!  Enter code: STPATTY for 15% off your purchase.  Valid until 3/31/11.

(Click "Read More" below for Chocolate Stout Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcake recipe)

Chocolate Stout & Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes
adapted from Annie’s Eats

Makes 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 cup stout (like Guinness - I used Trader Joe's "Stockyard" oatmeal stout*)
16 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the Bailey's ganache filling:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Bailey's Irish cream

For the Bailey's buttercream frosting: (*EDIT - if piping frosting, double recipe)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3-4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
4-8 tablespoons Bailey's Irish cream (milk/heavy cream can be substituted for less liqueur - I used 4 tbsp Bailey's and 3 tbsp heavy cream to balance out the sweetness) 

For cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium saucepan, combine the stout and butter over medium heat.  When butter has melted, whisk in cocoa powder until smooth.  Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sour cream to blend.  Slowly add the stout-butter-chocolate mixture and beat just until combined.  Mix in dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated.  Using rubber spatula, scrape down sides and bottom - fold batter until completely combined.

Fill cupcake liners with batter about 2/3 to 3/4 full.   Bake for about 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.   Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For ganache filling:
Pour the cream into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.  In the meantime, place chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  Once cream  is hot, pour over chocolate.  Let sit for one minute and then whisk until smooth.  If the chocolate is not completely melted, place bowl over a double boiler or microwave in short intervals (15-20 seconds).  Add butter and Bailey's and stir to combine.

Allow ganache to cool until thick enough for piping.  If pressed for time, refrigerate the ganache - stir every 10 minutes so that ganache cools evenly.  Meanwhile, use a small pairing knife to cut a hole in the center of each cupcake using the cone method. Once the ganache has cooled and thickened slightly, transfer to a piping bag with a wide tip and fill in each cupcake.

For frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment beat butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Gradually add the powdered sugar until incorporated.  Mix in the Bailey's/milk until smooth.  If necessary, add more powdered sugar until frosting has reached desired consistency for piping or spreading.  Pipe/frost and decorate as desired.

[Print Recipe]

*As I mentioned earlier in my post, I'm not much of a beer drinker so I've actually never tried a stout beer until baking these cupcakes - the original recipe calls for Guinness but since I usually shop at Trader Joe's I decided to look there for a stout beer and was able to find an oatmeal stout. The label on the "Stockyard" oatmeal stout mentions hints of coffee and chocolate... flavors that all go really well in a chocolate cupcake!  Plus, TJ's beer is cheaper so saving $ is always a good thing! =)