february-2009-004I’ve really been hyping my first use of the KitchenAid stand mixer you ladies got me. And let me tell you: our initial run together was an earth-shattering success.

My friends, I present to you Smitten Kitchen’s Car Bomb Cupcakes. I was so excited that I took an annoyingly large number of pictures, so you’ll have to bear with me.

First, let me just point out that any recipe that begins like this is sure to be grade-A awesome (and I didn’t even have the whiskey in this shot):


I followed Deb’s instructions very closely because I was terrified that I would royally eff up my first KitchenAid experience. So I don’t have a ton to add. Just pictures and obsessive drooling. In fact, I feel bad re-printing the ingredients because I didn’t really alter anything. Just head to her website if you feel like making these.


I made these during Chicago’s freak warm weather this week – so I got to cool the cupcakes by the open window! Trust me, it was exciting. You don’t even know. My whole condo smelled even MORE cupcakey than I ever dreamed possible.



Unlike Deb, I do not own (nor could I find) a one-inch round cookie cutter. So I pulled out my grapefruit spoon, and it worked pretty darn well. Maybe the holes I dug weren’t as uniform, but in the end, that didn’t matter. I went even deeper into each cupcake than she did – I could almost see the cupcake wrapper through the bottom on some of them.



Once I dug out the middles of the cupcakes, I made the ganache. The most satisfying part of making the ganache was chopping the chocolate. It was so crunchy!


I (obviously) took Deb’s optional suggestion of adding a teaspoon of whiskey to the filling. It ended up tasting like a dream (and that’s saying a lot, since I don’t like chocolate). I could just taste the whiskey at the end, and it made my throat the teeniest bit warm.


Earlier in the week, I stopped into Crate & Barrel, aka my personal Nirvana, to update our registry. I knew I would be making these cupcakes, so you can imagine my excitement when I found these little squirt bottles with different piping attachments. I picked up two different-shaped nozzles; one for the ganache and one for the icing. This picture’s colors are off (annoying) so it’s not that pretty, but you get the idea.


Here’s a prettier picture of the ganache (I KNOW, I’M ROLLING MY EYES AT MYSELF TOO). One thing to note: I ended up having to make a second batch of the ganache because the first round only filled half my cupcakes. I don’t know if this is because I made the holes too big or what. But they turned out perfectly and I would do it the exact same way the next time.


After that, I hand-washed Salma’s bowl and whipped up the buttercream frosting. I don’t think I ended up using more than three cups of powdered sugar, although I wasn’t really measuring. Also, I accidentally put the Bailey’s Irish Cream in before I added the sugar (instead of after the frosting was made), but the icing was still amazing.


When that was done, I laid my cupcakes out on plates and used my cheese grater to shave some leftover chocolate over the top of them. I think they’re so pretty.


The recipe made enough frosting to cover the top of each cupcake in one layer (you can probably tell that I did a spiral on each one, starting at the outer edge and moving toward the center). Deb said she didn’t want more than that, and I can see why – but since I’m not a huge fan of intense chocolate, I wouldn’t have whined if there were a mountain of buttercream on top of each cupcake.


And the result? Holy crumb. So good. I’ll definitely be making these for you this summer.