Elisa’s “From Scratch” Baking Experiment: Car Bomb Cupcake

Who doesn’t love St. Patrick’s day? Wearing green, drinking beer, eating cupcakes? St. Patrick’s Day happens to be one of my favorite holidays, so in honor of it, this month I decided to create a Car Bomb cupcake. As I said in my previous post, all of the cupcakes I bake from scratch will include a filling, and this cupcake is no exception.

First I had to find a Guinness cake recipe; trusty Foodnetwork.com comes through again with this Chocolate Stout Cupcake recipe. Then came the icing – of course this had to be a Bailey’s liquor icing, and after searching a bit I settled on this Bailey’s Buttercream recipe. In my experience, Jameson Irish Whiskey is sometimes the ingredient that people forget is in a traditional car bomb, thus, I found my filling! But wait, how do I fill a cupcake with a liquor liquid? Jelly of course! While searching for a recipe, I stumbled upon this site and found everything I needed to know about making jelly! I decided I’d try it out (and figured if all else failed, I could make a Jameson ganache filling instead).

After gathering my ingredients, which included a $9.99 box of 24 packs of gelatin powder – ouch! – I was ready to bake!

The cake recipe was very tricky and seemed in the wrong order to me. I had to melt the stick of butter (what?!), add it to the stout, then mix in the eggs… only later did the dry ingredients come into play, and even then the batter seemed very runny. I followed it religiously though, as time and again, following the recipe has served me well. However, being so flustered, I completely forgot to take a picture of the batter! (Photo FAIL.)

While the cupcakes were baking I worked on the “Jameson Jelly.” Following the gelatin directions carefully, I realized that I would have to fill the cupcakes the next day because the jelly would need time to set. Urgh. I should really have read ahead and figured out the best order in which to do things. I did, however, figure out how to keep the alcohol in the jelly, which was exciting for me because I believe you lose some of the flavor when you boil out the alcohol. (The trick is to use the Jameson as the “cold” factor in the recipe, then use something else as the hot element. I cut the recipe in half, using only 2 packets of gelatin, 1/2 cup of cold Jameson and 1.5 cups of boiling water.) None of this was very exciting or pretty, so I decided to skip taking pictures of brown liquid in a bowl, thus no photo.

Even though I wouldn’t be able to ice the cupcakes, I decided to go ahead and make the icing that night as well. Easy and simple, this icing might be the best icing I have ever tasted! I licked the beater clean and even snuck a spoonful before I put it all in a ziplock bag, and put the cupcakes into tupperware, to wait for assembly the next day.

Sure enough the Jameson jelly set up… but was much more like Jell-o than Jell-y, but tasted perfectly like Jameson. Hum… I paused for a moment, thinking, “Well, this is where I am going to fail this cupcake test.” But then again, why couldn’t I just fill the cupcakes with bits of the Jameson Jell-o? It dawned on me: I was adding a Jell-o Shot to my car bomb cupcake! Ha!

After filling and icing the cupcakes I used my fancy icing knife/tool that Stacy gave me to flatten out the icing to make it look more like beer foam. Then I mixed up some of the leftover icing and green food coloring to create some St. Patty’s day themed decorations. This might be the failure of this cupcake. While I have a fantastic ability to draw just about anything (thank you creative ability), icing does not act like a pencil or even a paint brush. They weren’t all total disasters, but none of them were very pretty either. It just goes to show I need more practice, and maybe even a decorating class! (Stacy has been talking about going to one, and I now I am really set on joining her!)

Then was the taste test. WOW. I was afraid the jelly would cause a weird texture issue, but non of my co-workers or myself minded it! Each flavor stands out on their own and works together to create the perfect Car Bomb Jell-y filled cupcake! Another baking success! (I’m starting to feel as though I am on a roll!) And I think the cupcakes were so good that no one minded the bad piping job either! 🙂

Happy St. Patrick’s day everyone! I hope you all have the pleasure of toasting to the day and perhaps having a car bomb of your own!

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Elisa (Baltimore, MD)