Guinness and Baileys Cake Truffles

So to make my Guinness and Bailey’s cupcakes, I had to buy a 6-pack of Guinness and a decent sized bottle of Bailey’s. I couldn’t bear to let the rest of them just sit there, so I searched the interwebs for another Irish-themed treat I could make. I came across this recipe by See Brooke Cook and gave it a go. Just a word of warning though: this recipe made A TON of truffles. I used a cookie dough baller to make sure they were all evenly sized and I wound up with about 75 truffles. So I’d recommend using half of the recipe!

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups Guinness
  • 1 1/2 cups (345 grams) butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 3 cups icing sugar (sifted)

Extra stuff:

  • 3 cups dark chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (approx 175°C). Grease two round cake tins and line the bottom with baking paper and set aside.

2. Stir the butter and Guinness in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts, then whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. For an extra kick, you can add 1/2 tablespoon of espresso powder as well. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside to cool.

3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a separate large bowl, mix together the eggs and sour cream. Once combined, add the cooled beer mixture into the egg mixture, stirring constantly so as to avoid scrambling the eggs. Gradually add in the dry ingredients until just combined. The batter should be a fairly runny consistency.

4. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepped cake tins and bake for 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. Start by creaming the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl, add in the Bailey’s Irish Cream until smooth. Then gradually add in the icing sugar, and mix until everything is combined.

6. Once the cakes are cooled, crumble it into a large mixing bowl. You can do this by hand using a pair of forks. Line a few cookie sheets with wax paper or baking parchment and set aside. Add the frosting to the crumbled cake and mix together (the easiest way to do this is with your hands) until it reaches a thick dough-like consistency.

7. Using your hands, or a cookie dough baller, roll the dough into small balls and place on the lined cookie sheets. Place them in the freezer for about 15 minutes to set up, but don’t freeze! You can also place the dough balls in the fridge for a few hours instead.

8. Temper your chocolate by melting half of the chocolate chips over a double boiler (I use a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water) – be sure not to let the water boil, or the steam may drip into your chocolate and make it seize and it will be ruined! Once melted, add in the remaining chocolate chips and stir until smooth.

9. Using a fork, dip each of the chilled dough balls into the chocolate and coat completely. Lift them from the chocolate and allow the excess to drip off before replacing onto the cookie sheet.  Repeat until each of the cake truffles have been coated. Place the cookie sheets back into the fridge to allow the chocolate to set before serving.

When storing these truffles, I found it worked best to keep them in an airtight container in the fridge, otherwise if the room got too warm, they had a slight tendency to melt a bit and go soft. These are realllllyyyyy rich, so one or two makes a perfect treat!

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Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark is one of my favorite holiday treats. My dad used to make it, and there’s something about the crunchy, minty, chocolate-y taste that just makes it perfect for Christmas. It’s also a super simple way to make homemade gifts for family and friends. I don’t have an exact recipe for this, because I just eyeball it and do everything based on intuition, so here’s a step-by-step guide.

Ingredients

white chocolate
dark chocolate (I use dark instead of milk, because it doesn’t melt as easily in your hands, making it easier to handle)
peppermint extract
candy canes
red food coloring

Directions

1. Crush the candy canes into tiny pieces. The easiest way to do this is with a food processor; but if you don’t have one, just double bag the candy in some ziploc bags and press down on them with a rolling pin or hammer. Be sure to put a towel under and on top of the bags so you don’t dent your countertops!

2. Slowly melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler, with the water on a simmer. Be sure not to let any water or steam drip into the chocolate, because that ruins it! As the chocolate is melting, stir it with a spatula to help prevent it from burning and to help keep it smooth.

3. Line a baking tray with plastic wrap, then pour in the melted dark chocolate so it forms a thin layer. Then place the tray into the fridge to set up.

4. While the dark chocolate is in the fridge, melt the white chocolate in the same way. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the peppermint extract.

5. Remove the dark chocolate tray from the fridge, then pour the white chocolate on top. You may need to use a spatula to spread it evenly, just be careful that you don’t use too much pressure, as some of the dark chocolate may mix in (it melts a tiny bit because of the hot white chocolate).

6. After pouring in the white chocolate, use a toothpick to swirl the red food coloring through. Then sprinkle on the crushed candy cane pieces. Return the tray to the fridge to set up for at least an hour.

7. When the chocolate is all set, use the overhanging plastic wrap to slide the chocolate out of the tray. Then carefully press down onto the chocolate to break it into large chunks. Store these in an airtight container. You can store in the fridge, but be sure to let the bark sit out at room temperature for about ten or fifteen minutes to soften a bit so you don’t break your teeth!