My hubby is not big on being publicized. He doesn't mind me being in the limelight but wants no part of it himself, and I am not supposed to post pictures of him on FaceBook or on this blog (though, occasionally, naughtily, I do) or talk about his bidness. So I'm not going to tell you what special occasion prompted me to BAKE A CAKE for him. You'll just have to figure it out on your own, if you care that much.
Anyway, point is, the other day a beautiful and talented friend of mine posted a recipe she found for some amazing but offensively named cupcakes.
There's quite a row in the comments section of BEB over the name of the cupcakes. The name come from a drink, which involves layering shots of Irish whiskey, Bailey's Irish Cream, and Guiness (sounds delicious), but I agree that it's at the very least tacky and at the most insensitive and rude to name a drink or food after terrorist acts that have killed and maimed and ruined lives. Not cute, not clever, not appropriate. I'd be pretty offended if someone offered me a Flaming World Trade Center, no matter how delicious it was. In fact, that person might even get it back in his or her face. My friend who turned me on to this recipe agreed, and being handy with names, decided that henceforth she would refer to the recipe as Hiccup-cakes.
Well, I can't leave a good recipe alone, and I didn't have any Guinness on hand. This is a Shiner Bock household. Also, my hubby doesn't like his sweets to be very sweet. And he has this unreasonable prejudice against cupcakes.
Something had to be done.
So, I present you with my version of Brown-Eyed Baker's version of Smitten Kitchen's version of
Irish Hiccup Cakes
1 cup Shiner Bock
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I prefer Scharffen Berger)
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
2/3 cup fat free Greek yogurt
For the Whiskey Ganache Filling:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (the darker the better)
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (or good ol' American bourbon --- I used Old Forester)
For the Baileys Frosting*
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2.5 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream
*To be quite honest, I'd leave this off if I make it again. It's just too sweet and the ganache by itself is plenty.What I'd do instead is make a little bit of whipped cream flavored with Bailey's to serve on the side, or else get some Bailey's ice cream. Or Dulce de Leche.
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour an 8 inch round cake pan.
Bring the Shiner and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine.
Beat the eggs and yogurt on medium speed until combined, then slowly pour in the cooled Shiner-chocolate mixture, beating just enough to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides. Be careful not to overbeat --- you just want to combine it. Also be careful not to overfill your cake pan --- you only want it to be about half full. If you think it might bubble over, put a cookie sheet underneath it.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool slightly on a rack and then turn out onto the serving plate.
To Make the Whiskey Ganache Filling: Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the almond milk until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.
When the cake is completely cool, take the handle end of a wooden spoon and poke holes at even intervals over the top of the cake (not too close to the edges). If you want to be all fancy you can pipe the ganache into the holes; I just dropped it in with a spoon.
To Make the Baileys Frosting: Whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.
Use an offset spatula to spread the icing over the cake. Drizzle leftover ganache in whatever manner seems attractive to you.
NOTE: Again, next time I make this --- and there will be a next time, as it is DELICIOUS --- I will forego the icing altogether and stick with the ganache. Also, in interests of full disclosure. I halved the above recipe and made a sort of mini-cake, because we try not to keep too many sweets around the house. I also used unsweetened chocolate in the ganache and had to add sugar to sweeten and bulk it up, but I didn't keep track of how much, so it's better to stick to the original.
RESULTS: the cake could stand alone with out any accoutrements. It's dark, moist, and delicious. It was a hit!