My ode to St. Patrick’s Day comes by way of a cake ball. Yes, that’s right folks, think Irish Jameson Whiskey Ball, covered in a Baileys Cheesecake layer and encasing those two layers is a deliciously flavorful Chocolate Guinness Cake. Take that trifecta and dip it in some dark chocolate and you have a bite size bit of heavenliness.
I’ve created two versions of this recipe: The Purist and The Cheat.
What are “Cheats”? According to the eight-year-old of our house, “Cheats” are cheat codes, cheat sheets and cheat tricks to help gaming enthusiast beat the clock and advance quickly from level to level in any video game. Parlaying that into the adult world where time is a commodity, I have adopted that term.
Below is a table of the two versions and their assembled components. I’ve broken down the layers from the outside working in, mix and match as you need or just stay linear either way both recipes work well.
|The Purist||The Cheat|
|Guinness Bundt Cake||Box Chocolate Cake Mix w/ Guinness|
|Whiskey Ganache||Whiskey Ball|
|No bake cheesecake w/Baileys||No Bake Cheesecake w/ Baileys|
If you are having a difficult time deciding which one to choose, let me say both are deliciously good. The biggest difference is texture.
The denser cake crumb of The Purist coupled with the ganache makes for a nice smooth melting on the tongue, like a time release of sorts- unhurried and hitting all the sweet spots just right.
The light crumbly nature of The Cheat submits upon contact, leaving less time for savoring. But being that you won’t be doing a head-to-head tasting like I did, you can take comfort in making The Cheat. Your guests won’t be the wiser and you can still be the star of the moment.
A few notes:
1. This is the shiniest chocolate glaze ever and so easy to make.
2.Use good quality chocolate for the glaze and do not rush the melting of it. Chocolate requires patience for proper tempering.
3. The cheat version has a much stronger Guinness taste. If you don’t like the taste of Guinness reduce its portion and replace it with water as the box mix instructs.
4. Once completely assembled, freeze overnight for best chocolate dipping results.
5. To view the inside of the cake bomb and its layer go to my Facebook and click on the album titled Irish Cake Bombs-they look just as awesome on the inside.
6. Lastly, this is my favorite creation yet! It taste insanely good and has received the best reviews from my taste testing brigade.
Irish Cake Bomb
Chocolate Guiness Cake –The Purist:
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
1 cup brewed coffee
1 1/2 cup Guinness Extra Stout
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Chocolate Guiness Cake –The Cheat:
1. Use any chocolate cake mix and replace the water portion with Guinness Extra Stout Beer.
*I personally like Betty Crockers Chocolate Cake Mix the best.
2. Use a bundt pan versus a rectangular or square pan as the metal tubing in the middle helps for even baking.
No Bake Cheesecake with Baileys:
Use recipe from previous post. *Remember to change out the liqueur for Baileys.*
2 cups of finely ground chocolate wafers
1 cup confectioners sugar
1-1/2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup whiskey
Chocolate Whiskey Ganache:
Makes 6 cups
1.5 lbs of bittersweet chocolate (61% cacao)
3 cups heavy cream
16 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup of Whiskey
Makes 2 cups
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably Valrhona 61%), chopped
1 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Butter bundt pan well, then dust with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, knocking out excess.
2.Heat coffee, Guinness, butter, and remaining cup cocoa powder in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, whisking, until butter is melted. Remove from heat, then add sugar and whisk until dissolved, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool 5 minutes.
3.While chocolate mixture cools, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together eggs and vanilla in a small bowl, then whisk into cooled chocolate mixture until combined well. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined (batter will be thin and bubbly). Pour batter into bundt pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
4. Crumble cake into a pan to completely cool. Set aside.
Source: adapted from Gourmet | September 2005
Chocolate Whiskey Ganache:
1. In a food processor, process the chocolate until very fine.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat bring cream to a soft boil (look for small bubbles to form at the edge of saucepan).
3. With the motor on, pour the cream through the feed tube. Process for approximately 10 seconds or until smooth. Pulse in the butter. With the motor running add the Irish whiskey.
4. Press the ganache through a strainer and transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a #3 tip. Set aside an hour.
Source: adapted from Rosie Levy Beranbaum
1.Grind chocolate wafers coarsely in a food processor or blender, alternatively use a potato masher and your hands to crumble.
2.Transfer crumble to a bowl. Using your hands mix in the sugar, corn syrup, and whiskey thoroughly.
Place chocolate in a medium bowl. In a medium pan over medium heat, stir cream and corn syrup until just beginning to boil. Do not rush. Pour over chocolate; let stand a for 3 minutes, then gently mix until smooth. Do not vigorously or you will creat air bubbles. If glaze becomes too thick to use, heat over pan of simmering water, stirring constantly.
1.Using a ½ in. melon baller, fill it with the Baileys Cheesecake Mix and level off any excess.
2. Pipe a ¼ in. ball of ganache onto the level melon baller filled with Bailey Cheesecake mixture. If you are using whiskey balls, mold your balls by hand and place them on the center of the Baileys filled melon baller. Refer to picture for visual sample.
3. Using a small knife or icing spatula create a dome around either the ganache or whiskey ball.
4. Scoop out balled Baileys cheesescake and ganache or whisky ball and place in the Guinness cake crumb and gently roll until covered. Once covered, fill one hand with crumb then place crumbed ball at center. Scoop another handful onto the crumb ball and gently form a large outer cake ring rolling the ball in your hand.
5. Place balls in the freezer for at least two hours.
6. Once chocolate glaze is ready dip or pour chocolate on each ball. Set aside until chocolate hardens before serving