Today we're saying "Happy Birthday" to the greatest dandy of them all—Irish poet, playwright and novelist—the formidable Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde.
Wilde was known for his wit and a love of all things decadent. In honor of this chap's 159th birthday (I'd hate to see what the portrait in his attic looks like now!), here's a sinfully decadent and boozy cupcake recipe, full of chocolate, buttery pecans and, of course, Irish whiskey. As someone who once said, "I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best," then this is a birthday treat that delivers, and can entertain the likes of people like Lord Goring and Lady Bracknell.
Boozy chocolate cupcakes with pecan praline filling
Yield: Yield 30 cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperaturez
3/4 cup brewed coffee
1/2 cup Irish whiskey
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup whole milk
2 tsp vanilla
Pecan Praline Filling Ingredients
9 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
14 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
Whiskey Vanilla Frosting Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4-5 cups confectioners sugar
2 tbsp Irish whiskey
1 tbsp vanilla
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and position the racks toward the center. Line cupcake pans with papers.
2. For the cupcakes, combine flour, baking soda, salt and sugar, whisking to blend; set aside.
3. In a heavy-bottomed, medium pan, melt the butter on medium-high heat. Once melted, add the coffee and whisk together. Add the cocoa—gradually—whisking to combine. The mixture should come to a simmer, but not a boil. You want it to thicken.
4. Once thickened, cool the cocoa mixture for about 10-15 minutes.
5. In your stand mixer, whip together the eggs and milk. Add the vanilla.
6. Once the cocoa mixture has cooled, slowly add a little bit of the mixture to temper the eggs, whisking constantly. Add the remaining mixture, whisking to combine (this might best be done by taking the bowl off the stand mixer and whisking by hand, then putting it back on to the mixer for the dry ingredients).
7. Add the dry ingredients in 3-4 stages.
8. Add the whiskey, mixing well to combine.
9. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway full. Bake for about 20-22 minutes. When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 5 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.
10. For the pecan praline, combine everything but the pecans in a small pot and heat until syrupy. Mix in the pecans, stirring to combine. Take off the heat and cool to room temperature.
11. For the frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup of sugar, beating until combined. Add the whiskey and vanilla. Finally, add the remaining sugar gradually and whip until light and fluffy.
12. To assemble, core the cupcakes. Spoon the praline into each, then top with the whiskey vanilla buttercream. Finish with any leftover praline, and grab a copy of The Importance of Being Earnest.
Melissa Ward is a marketing magazine editor by day, baker, blogger, homebrewer, cooking enthusiast and bibliophile by nights and weekends. She's the baker behind Cupcake Friday Project, and when she's not baking, she's usually creating a crazy pizza for Pizza Night Fridays with her husband Ray. You can find Melissa on Twitter, but most likely she's in her kitchen. Baking. Maybe with Scotch.