Wednesday, March 24, 2010

St. Patrick's Day, Recipes, Pictures, and an Experience with Fermentation


No, not really. Don't kiss me, I'll hurt you. Also you're not Irish unless it says so on your passport, you nasty drunkard.

I began the day with Bulmer's, because it's delicious. Don't mind the fact that I have no chin, I donated it to help the sober kids in India. The drinking was necessary because I was engaged in making something suspiciously delicious: Irish Cake Bombs.
 Irish Cake Bombs are Guinness cupcakes filled with Jameson ganache and topped with Bailey's frosting. They are also King of Delicious, partially because they are alcoholic, but mostly because it involves nearly an entire pound of butter. Eat your heart out, Paula Deen, but first put a little butter on it. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to hide this behind some sort of cut tag, so just scroll through if you're not interested. Here's the recipe:
For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Ganache Filling (Updated to double it, based on many commenters suggestions — thanks!)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)

Baileys Frosting (see Recipe Notes)
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)

Special equipment: 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer and a piping bag (though a plastic bag with the corner snipped off will also work)

Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Make the filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.

Fill the cupcakes: Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Those are your “tasters”. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Make the frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.

Now, I did a silly thing and thought "hurr bittersweet chocolate they don't have that here unsweetened is like the same thing rite hurr." It is not the same thing and I shame the baking gods. There was improvisation and a lot of powdered sugar, but in the end I made an awesome, slightly-too-thick filling. I should have saved some of it to make truffles with, as it probably had enough sugar and chocolate in it to keep from melting... oh well.

Oh yeah baby. That is cupcake porn. Seriously you guys, you have to make these. Don't get scared by the word "ganache," it's just about the easiest damn thing in the world to make (heat milk, pour on chocolate, stir).

I brought these fine offerings to the bar, where they were appreciated by many. It is time for more Embarrassing Pictures of People I Love.
There were also plenty of Suspicious Drinks. Such as the standard Green Beer:

And the ever-present Irish Car Bomb. AngryGinger was not pleased with the development of Irish Car Bombs.
PictureTaker McDrunksalot on the other hand was thrilled:

I hate Irish Car Bombs. Can't chug fast enough. Blurgh.

Moving away from the St. Patrick's Day festivities (including the wicked awesome party in Middle Basement), today I had an Experience with Fermentation. You see, At Birthday Ball we filled up a resealable container with orange juice for mixers. We then never used it and I left the box in Captain Class's dorm room. That was a month ago. This morning I opened it in order to wash it out, so that I could put something else delicious in it.

I do  not think I have experienced that level of energy in a fruity beverage before. It exploded like a poorly maneuvered bottle of champagne. If I had not had the sense to point it away from me, I'd be drenched in fizzy orange bits. Holy science, that was unpleasant. At least it doesn't smell like rotting oranges... probably because botulism is odorless... My god.


  1. you get +5 win for making cupcakes.

    you lose -2 for using the word 'wicked' in a non-ironic way.

  2. The cupcakes look amazing.

    I'm loving your blog. Check out mine, I think you'd especially love it:

  3. I'm already following your blog, sweetheart. You delete half of my posts.


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