Three Bakers, Three Cupcakes, One Baileylicious Journey

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It’s been ten years since the cupcake craze officially began and it is still on an unstoppable rise.

With their jaunty swirl of at least three inches of buttercream towering daintly on a base of cake you can practically hold in your one hand, and with flavours and colours that include fuschia pink or baby blue, our love affair with cupcakes shows no signs of abating.

Just when we thought we had run out of ways to showcase our continued affection, we stumbled upon the jackpot. What if took our favourite liqueur – Baileys Original Irish Creme – and combined it with the bakery world’s nom du jour – cupcakes – and created a dessert challenge! Blow-mind? We thought so too.

And so we tasked 3 wildly talented bakers to create the most decadent amazing cupcakes using Baileys as the key ingredient. The bakers were over the moon, not only for the opportunity to jazz up their go-to cupcake recipe but also because Baileys delightful cocoa and vanilla flavours along with the warm comforting floral notes from the whiskey could elevate their sugary treats into something extraordinary.

While all their creations are not easily replicated (there is a reason we call them master bakers) we asked Charmaine, Lisa Marie and Michelle to take just one of the most Baileylicious elements of their recipes and share it with us. Get ready to finally be able to drink your Baileys and eat it too.

If simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, the Lisa Marie Stewart’s two-tiered Baileys cheesecake and ale concoction takes, well, the cake. Sweet with a touch of sour, Lisa nailed the thin nile between decadent and cloying. A twist on one of her bestsellers, Lisa added in a hint of Baileys for an even more crowd-pleasing iteration.

The dark, bitter ale in the stout cake base cut through the creamy, smooth cheesecake, while the small shard of chocolate atop the cupcake complemented the Irish Cream’s subtle (but oh-so-delicious) cocoa undernotes.

Inspired? Follow along below as she recreates her recipe; try to resist licking the bowl.

THE RECIPE

  • Cream Cheese, 8 oz
  • Brown sugar, 1/4 cup
  • White sugar, 1/2 cup
  • Flour, 2 tbsp
  • Vanilla essence, 1 tsp
  • Almond essence, 1 tsp
  • Egg, 1 whole
  • Baileys Irish Cream, 1/3 cup

Before beginning, make sure to bring all ingredients to room temperature. Then, whisk the cream cheese, sugars, and flour until fully mixed in and all lumps have broken down. Add the vanilla and almond essence and 1 egg and whisk again. Finally, add in your Baileys Irish Cream, and whisk to incorporate. Portion out into muffin tins affixed with cupcake liner and bake at 350 C for 10-12 minutes. Your cheesecake is done when the edges are slightly puffed and the centre is jiggly. Cool completely before serving.

A former Hilton pastry chef, Butterfly Patisserie’s Charmaine Bardo is a caketress in her own right today. A favourite of the bridal circuit, the bubbly Diego Martin baker surprised us with a multi-layered cupcake chock full of Baileylicious treats. First, there was her signature Baileys cake – moist, decadent, and chocolatey to the hilt. Then came a gooey Baileys truffle filling, a rich Baileys creme anglaise custard, a smattering of dark chocolate ganache, a Baileys buttercream, and finally, a Baileys macaroon.

And just when you thought you’d seen it all, Bardo dropped her exquisite chocolate work on us. Gone were the parchment cupcake liners, and in their place an edible chocolate lace cup pipped by hand. Heaven was here and we were all floored.

Constructing her cupcake at home isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re short on time, don’t worry, you can still whip up (or melt up) a batch of her decadent Baileys truffle filling to satiate your cravings. Boozy and chocolatey in just the right places, you’re going to want to put this irresistible mix on just about everything!.

THE RECIPE

  • Dark or Semisweet Chocolate, 1 part, grated
  • Heavy Cream, 2 parts
  • Baileys Irish Cream, 3 parts

A basic ganache gets turnt up a notch with a hint of Baileys.

First, portion out your ingredients in a ratio of 1:2:3 (chocolate, heavy cream, and Baileys, in that order). Next, heat up your heavy cream, but don’t bring it to a rolling boil. Pour the hot cream over your chocolate shavings and cover with a lid. Once the mixture has rested for 3-4 minutes, stir to incorporate. Cool to room temperature, add in your Baileys, and mix together. Store in an airtight container for up to a month…if it lasts that long.

If the name Michelle Sohan seems familiar, we don’t blame you. Owner and head baker at Bakery Treatz in Chaguanas, Sohan is a darling of T&T media (social and otherwise). Most recently, she made headlines when her giant handcrafted magnum opus was named the best tasting cake in the world at this year’s Cake Designer’s World Championship in Italy.

When we tasked Michelle with making a decadent Baileys-inspired cupcake, we had no idea what we were in for. And we definitely weren’t expecting the ten elements that she managed to pack into such a small piece of cake.

Her eggless chocolate cupcake enveloped an unusual mixture of sorrel orange gelee, a white chocolate Baileys mousse, whipped cream, and a sharp coffee ganache. Atop the cupcake, an edible Baileys miniature bottle constructed entirely of sugar, candied orange peel, a pipette of Baileys, a coconut-sesame brittle, and a handful of caramel crunch balls.

With that much going on in a small cupcake, we don’t blame Michelle for making hers a little lighter by going eggless. The secret? Vinegar. Sounds strange, but we bet you won’t be able to taste the difference.

THE RECIPE

  • All purpose flour, 2 1/2 cups, sifted
  • Sugar, 1/2 cup
  • Brown sugar, 1/2 cup
  • Cocoa powder, 1/4 cup, sifted
  • Baking soda, 1/2 tsp
  • Baking powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Melted chocolate,  1 1/2 cups
  • Spiced milk (milk boiled with bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon and star anise ), 3/4 cup
  • Vegetable oil, 1/2 cup
  • Coconut oil, 1/2 cup
  • Honey, 1/4 cup
  • Vinegar, 4 tbsp
  • Baileys, 1/4 cup
  • Grated chocolate, 1 cup

Sift and mix all dry ingredients – aside from the grated chocolate – together. Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer, add all wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Gently add in the dry ingredients, a little bit at a time. Once everything is incorporated, fold in the grated chocolate (do not overwork the mixture at this point). Portion into cupcake liners and bake at 275 for 20 minutes.

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