I’ve been slacking something fierce, foodwise, lately. Partly thanks to my 9yo’s broken elbow (she’s fine but will be in a cast until the end of the year), partly thanks to the fact that I lose track of pretty much everything at this time of year. We’ve been eating a lot of quesadillas and leftovers, with the kids going through embarrassing amounts of boxed macaroni and cheese. I’ll get my cooking mojo back eventually.
But in the meantime, we have cupcakes. We’re going to a house concert by one of our favorite musicians, Jeremy Messersmith, and he’s had the brilliant (if rather intimidating) idea to make it a dinner party sort of thing where everybody brings potluck-type foods. Most of my favorite savory dishes don’t lend themselves to potlucks, so I elected to go with the cupcakes that have sort of become my signature potluck item. Turns out that the recipe was originally posted over at Smitten Kitchen in 2009 – I didn’t think I’d been making them that long, but I guess I have.
The idea of boozy cupcakes, as I tend to call them, is a lot of fun – there’s stout in the cupcakes themselves, then irish whiskey in the ganache that’s plopped into the center, then Bailey’s in the frosting. I love the flavors and textures of this, with the smooth rich bomb of whiskey-laced ganache in the middle of the cupcake. I generally don’t call them “Car Bomb Cupcakes” although that’s the drink they’re modeled on, because I’ve heard that the term can be offensive. “Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Whiskey Ganache Filling and Irish Cream Frosting” is too much of a mouthful, so I just say “Boozy Cupcakes” and everyone’s happy.
I make the recipe as written, except that I add extra cream and whiskey to the ganache and more Bailey’s to the frosting. And I scoop out the cupcake centers with a melon baller, because that cookie cutter thing she suggests just didn’t work for me. Oh, and the centers of the cupcakes are sunken every time I make them, no matter what I do. I think it’s something to do with the recipe but it’s just not enough of a problem for me to rewrite the thing – the centers get scooped out anyhow, so it doesn’t really matter if they’re sunken.
I ended up doubling the frosting today since I must have applied more per cupcake than usual, and they’re topped with edible ball bearings because I’m one of those people who makes random Doctor Who references now.