Sunday, March 17, 2013

Irish Carbomb Cupcakes

Today is the day that the world becomes Irish. Although, given it's a Sunday, everyone has been Irish all weekend long! Technically the celebrations in my life started on Friday with an Irish inspired bake-off at work. I missed the actual event but submitted my entry nonetheless.

Guinness and butter, an excellent combination.
I have now officially had an Irish carbomb once. But I've had the cupcake variety about a half dozen times. I had to test my creation before submitting it to a contest, duh. I have not reached the point in baking expertise to invent recipes but this one was pretty great.

Three alcohols: Guinness, whiskey and Bailey's. Delicious. Say "Guinness chocolate cake with a chocolate whiskey ganache and Bailey's frosting" three times fast. As always, there's a twist. I woke up early one day to make the cupcakes so I could frost them in the evening (I guess that defeats my excuse of not being able to get up early to go to the gym). Evening arrives, I dig out little holes for the ganache using tongs and proceed to gather my ingredients for the filling. Now, I haven't fully unpacked my baking supplies so digging through a box of spices and various chocolates commenced. I knew there was a reason to buy that Ghiradelli chocolate bar! But it was only half of the bittersweet chocolate I needed. No worries, chocolate is chocolate so I pulled out the unsweetened chocolate too, that will work, right? Well there wasn't enough of that either so then I pulled out the one square of semi-sweet chocolate I had left. Cue Googling to determine if you can exchange unsweetened for bittersweet. Good news, you can! The translation is not 1:1 so the two unsweetened squares were sufficient. Except I put it next to the semi-sweet square...wrapped in the same paper and otherwise unmarked as to if it was sweet or not. Well, I'm still not sure I used the right one but into the pot they all went to make a hodge podge of hopefully accurate ganache.

Check out all that ganache
Now, baking competitions are serious business. In my head I had all these great plans of how to decorate the cupcakes. Arranged as a rainbow with gold cupcakes at the end, a field of shamrocks and gold cupcakes. Then I remembered that I have no decorating talent so was left with some green frosting and shamrocks on top. But wait! There was that one time I made gold snitches which means gold spray is among the spices. Yes, I sprayed cupcakes because I made gold snitches for a Harry Potter party. And yes, I can say that with a straight face.

This is the extent to which I can make icing pretty
I'm not sure of the competition verdict but I do know that they were a hit among my guinea pigs (aka: roommates, friends and coworkers). And they were festive and a worthy late night snack during the weekend of Irish festivities.
The final product!
Go forth and be merry Irishmen and women! And find a nice Irish blessing to go with your Guinness.

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