Irish Car Bombs

            Happy belated St. Patrick’s Day! Sorry today’s two posts are a little behind schedule, but I wanted to take the time to share two recipes I made for the holiday yesterday. This is my idea of an Irish Car Bomb. Based on the cocktail these consist of three parts: a pastry puff made with whiskey, a Bailey’s Irish cream filling, and all coated with a thick layer of Guinness infused dark chocolate ganache. It’s a mouth full to say the least! They are a little labor intensive. All three components can be made a day ahead of time and assembled the following day, which I would highly recommend.
With all the alcohol, sugar, and heavy whipping cream these morsels are on the rich side, and by rich side I mean the super-delicious awesome side! I’ve made these every year for four years now and I swear they get better every time.

IRISH CAR BOMBS

WHISKEY PASTRY PUFF: originally adapted from the Joy of Baking puff pastry recipe.
¼ cup water
¾ cup Irish Whiskey
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs
1 egg and a splash of milk, for egg wash


1.     In a medium saucepan bring the water, whiskey, and butter to a gentle boil.
2.     In a bowl combine the flour and salt.
3.     When the liquid reaches the boiling point remove the pan from the heat and add your flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon mix thoroughly until the dough peels away from the edges to form a ball in the center.
4.     Place the dough in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer or standing mixer for a couple minutes to release the steam and help the dough cool enough to add the eggs.
5.     Add eggs one at a time, slightly beaten. Each time you add an egg the dough will separate; when the dough comes back together, add the next egg.
6.     Preheat your oven to 400°.
7.     Using a small ice cream scoop (I used a 2 Tbsp sized) or a simple spoon drop dollops of the sticky dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper 1-2” apart. *Note that dough will double in size once baked. You can get up to 24 standard-sized puffs, or when using the 2 Tbsp sized scoop up to 45 bite-sized puffs.
8.     Brush tops of raw puffs generously with egg wash (1 egg plus a splash of milk beaten).
9.     Bake for 25 minutes.
10.  After 25 minutes turn the oven off and let the puffs hangout inside, with the door closed for another 10-15 minutes.
11. Let the puffs cool to room temperature, uncovered, on the cookie sheets once removed from the oven. You want them to dry out as much as possible. Store in an airtight container if you are not filling them the same day they are made.


BAILEY’S IRISH CREAM FILLING:

1, 5.1oz box of Jello Instant Pudding Mix
2 cups heavy cream
¾ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
¼ cup of milk

1.     Follow the directions on the box.
2.     Mix your heavy cream, Irish cream, and milk in a cup.
3.     In a bowl, pour liquid over powdered pudding mix.
4.     Whisk until the lumps disappear.
5.     Refrigerate for at least an hour. It’ll set in 5 minutes, but you want it as thick as possible for piping.

I have a couple of things to say about the filling. The recipe above is by far the easiest route. There are three alternatives if you plan on taking these somewhere in which raw alcohol is inappropriate (i.e. a workplace situation); 90% of the alcohol cooks out of the puffs and ganache leaving only the flavors behind. Notice that in the above recipe there is less than a quarter tsp of Bailey’s per serving in the finished bombs. Your alternate options include: simply substituting the heavy cream and raw Bailey’s with Bailey’s Irish cream flavored coffee creamer: or, you can use a cooked Jello pudding mix using the same ingredients listed above (note that it takes much longer to set): or, if you’re feeling really dedicated you can make custard from scratch, substituting 1/3 of your milk or cream with Bailey’s.

GUINNESS GANACHE:

6 oz dark chocolate (72% or higher)
2 oz milk chocolate
¾ cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup Guinness stout beer

1.     In a saucepan or double boiler heat the heavy cream on medium heat.
2.     Roughly chop the chocolate and add it to the warm cream.  Stir until the chocolate begins to melt.
3.     Add the butter. Stir the mixture constantly.
4.     When the butter has completely melted add the Guinness.
5.     Immediately remove the ganache from the heat. Stir well, then let it cool to room temp.


Last you’ll need to assemble. I used the teeniest round tip I had in my collection of piping tips. Often cream puffs will have a small opening or two created during its rise during the baking process. I recommend piping into these pre-made holes, otherwise if you make a new hole the filling will escape out another side.

1.     Fill the pastry.
2.     Refrigerate the filled puff pastry for 20 minutes.
3.     Reheat ganache for 5-15 seconds. You want the ganache to be the texture of Hershey’s syrup, to drip off a spoon in a streaming waterfall.
4.     Prepare to get your hands dirty. Roll the cooled/filled puff pastries in the ganache until the entire outside is covered in a thick, even layer. If the layer of chocolate is a little transparent, your ganache is too warm.
5.     Place the finished chocolate covered bomb directly onto your serving surface. If you try to transfer the finished product later you could peel the soft ganache off.
6.     Refrigerate your Irish Car Bombs until serving.
7.     Adding shamrock sprinkles is optional, but always awesome.

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