Friday, March 15, 2013

Irish Car Bomb Brownies

With St. Patrick's Day quickly approaching, I wanted to bake something festive for the holiday.  Hoping to avoid anything green (and full of food coloring), I decided to choose a more adult-oriented recipe.  I had seen numerous "Irish Car Bomb" flavored desserts around the internet, mostly cupcakes and the like.  I kind of had my heart set on making brownies, but none of the recipes I saw were really what I had in mind.

I wanted a rich, stout brownie and a light and smooth Irish cream/whiskey frosting.  To make the vision come to life, I decided to tweak and combine a couple of recipes.  These brownies are dense and rich, heavy on the stout flavor (thanks to two entire bottles of Guinness in the recipe) and are balanced by a modestly sweet, buttery, oh so light and creamy Irish cream/whiskey Swiss meringue buttercream.

To be completely honest, I wasn't a big fan of the brownies (I really don't like beer).  I did; however, love the buttercream.  My hubby and his man friends did enjoy these brownies, so I definitely would recommend them if you generally like beer.  If you'd like to try these brownies, but are a bit hesitant about the strong stout flavor, I provide a suggestion for that in the recipe below.

Irish Car Bomb Brownies
brownies adapted from Blondie's Cakes
frosting adapted from Baker's Royale

For the brownies:

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
8 ounces dark bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup white chocolate, chopped
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 (12 ounce) bottles Guinness Extra Stout Beer*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a 9x13 baking pan with nonstick foil or parchment paper and grease.

Pour both bottles of beer into a medium saucepan and simmer on medium heat until the liquid has reduced to 1 1/4 cups.  Keep a glass measuring cup handy nearby to check your progress periodically.  Reducing the liquid will take time, at least 15 minutes so, if you're like me, your patience will be tested with this step.  Once the beer has reduced to 1 1/4 cups, remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool while you continue with the recipe.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt until evenly combined.

Melt the butter and chocolates in a double-broiler over very low heat, stirring constantly, until completely melted.  Remove from the heat.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the melted chocolate mixture and beat until combined.  Next, beat in the flour mixture until just incorporated.  Finally, whisk in the beer mixture and vanilla.  (The batter will be a bit thin.)

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes on the center rack, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.

Let the brownies cool completely before frosting.

*If you'd like a brownie that's a bit more subtle on the stout, you can also choose to use 1 1/4 cups of Guinness straight (in place of the two bottles that have been reduced).  This will cut down on the recipe prep considerably and will result in a much more mellow brownie.

For the frosting:

2 1/2 egg whites (3.125 ounces)**
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cubed
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream
3 tablespoons Jameson Whiskey

Place egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer bowl, attach a thermometer to the bowl, then place the bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Whisk the mixture constantly until it reaches 150 degrees.  Remove the bowl from the heat and position on the mixer.  Beat the mixture on medium speed with the whisk attachment until it becomes glossy and shiny and stiff peaks begin to form, about 8-10 minutes.

Add the butter a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition.  The mixture may look curdled half way through, but if you continue adding the butter and beating the mixture, it will become smooth once again.

Once the butter is fully incorporated and the frosting is smooth, switch to your paddle attachment and beat in the vanilla, salt, Bailey's Irish Cream and Jameson Whiskey until combined.

Spread the frosting onto the completely cool brownies, cut and serve.

**I halved the original frosting recipe, which resulted in this odd measurement.  Feel free to follow the original recipe (though you'll likely have extra frosting), or use a kitchen scale to weigh your egg whites like I did.


  1. Car bomb, really? Is that supposed to be a cute, funny name for brownies? Every time we laugh at violence we dehumanize ourselves a little more until pretty soon nothing is shocking, nothing is wrong, there is no limit to our ability to inflict pain and suffering on one another.

    Are you going to give these brownies to your kids? "Here, have a car bomb brownie! What a funny name! Car bombs are awesome!"

    Words matter.

    1. Did you even read the article before jumping to your overly-dramatic conclusions? I'm guessing not.

      Would YOU give Guinness brownies to your kids? Like she said, they're adult treats.

      Being informed of a situation before berating someone matters.

    2. Amy, as Stefanie stated, if you would have actually read the post you would have realized that 1) an Irish Car Bomb is a very famous drink and 2) these are boozy, adult-only brownies that, of course, no one would feed to their children. The "Irish Car Bomb" name is given because these brownies are modeled after the flavor of the very well known drink of the same name.

    3. Way to read a title an flip out. Just so you know, an Irish Car Bomb is a drink made by dropping a shot glass full of Irish cream and Irish whiskey into a pint glass 1/2-2/3 full of stout beer. It's so named because if you don't drink it quickly enough, the booze reacts in a violent manner in the glass, causing a disastrous, curdled mess. If too much beer is used, it can appear to explode over the top of the glass.
      And I don't know how your parents raised you, but mine didn't give me alcohol-filled treats.
      Read the damn article before getting your panties in a bunch.

  2. For heavens sake! I'm Irish and I'm not offended. It's a brownie!

  3. These look delicious, Amy! And the name is what attracted me to them. :) My hubby will love them as he celebrates his last birthday in his 20s!

  4. Mmmmmm my Fave Shot! Def making these. Get a grip Amy.

  5. To be honest, I did not even think of the name, Irish Car Bomb Brownies when I first saw the recipe, and after reading Amy's comment, I still do not relate this name to actual car bombings. It is a recipe site, my goodness. I have heard the saying "It's the bomb" many, many times. I believe it means, it's the best, it's awesome.... And so on. Kids say it all the time, and I have never took it in an offensive way, By the way, I will be making these, they look and sound delish. I will let you know it "they are the bomb!" ha, ha.

  6. I specifically went looking for an Irish Car bomb brownie recipe, and here I found it. I have made cupcakes out of Stout beer and Irish Whiskey before, and they really were THE BOMB! Geez, people need to stop taking every little thing so seriously, and dial down their offensive response. Lighten up, Stefanie. No one here is advocating violence, unless it is the type where you plunge your teeth into deliciousness.

  7. Making these for an Irish pub tonight so excited and so are all the guys!!


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