Yesterday was a public holiday in Hong Kong. We had the day off for the dragon boat races. One of the major events was held in our town, Stanley. The crowds poured in, our sleepy town buzzed with life. It was a baking hot day. We went down to the beach and watched the races for a little while, but the burning sun was just too much for us. Melting, we headed back to the shade of the house with some friends for a picnic. Alongside fresh ciabatta bread, brie, chorizo, dorset ham, olives and hummus, I served up these, chocolate and Baileys cupcakes.
I’ve had this flavour combination on my mind for a while now, but these cupcakes have taken me a couple of tries to get right. I’m really happy with the way they have turned out now. Moist and tender chocolate cupcakes, spiked with a generous slug of creamy Baileys. The Baileys flavour really shines through against the chocolate. Booze and chocolate. What could be better?
They elicited happy ooohs from my friends who polished them off, fingers covered in chocolate.
These cupcakes are very easy to make. They use a simple sponge recipe, flavoured with lots of cocoa. I’ve used brown sugar to make them a little richer, and add even more moisture. The milk in the sponge is replaced with Baileys. An excellent substitution if you ask me!
The cakes are topped with a rich buttercream containing even more Baileys! I’ve marbled my buttercream, but if you wanted more chocolate, add in an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder and flavour all your buttercream with it.
Unfortunately I have yet to learn my lesson about the effects of the Hong Kong summer on buttercream. By the time these were served they were topped with a sticky, melty puddle of buttercream. You can see its already starting to melt in the photographs!
Chocolate and Baileys Cupcakes
for the cupcakes
115g light brown muscavado sugar
2 large eggs
115g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
30g cocoa power
100ml Baileys Irish Cream
for the buttercream
180g icing sugar
3 tablespoons Baileys
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Line a muffin tin with 10 cupcakes cases.
Cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is creamy and the sugar has paled.
Beat in the flour, baking powder and eggs.
Beat in the cocoa powder until well combined.
Mix through the baileys until the mixture is smooth. You should have a really smooth, creamy fairly liquid batter.
Spoon into the cupcake cases.
Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the cupcakes are risen, spring back to the touch, and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
To make the buttercream, beat the butter until soft and smooth.
Sift in the icing sugar.Gently stir together the icing sugar and Baileys until the buttercream is smooth.
Remove a few tablespoons of the mixture into a separate bowl. Sift in a tablespoon of cocoa powder. Add another splash of Baileys if the buttercream is too stiff.
To make the marbled piping, take the chocolate buttercream and put it into your piping bag. Squash the bag so the chocolate buttercream coats the inside of the piping bag. Open up the bag again and put the baileys buttercream into the bag, it should be inside the chocolate buttercream.
Pipe onto the cakes.