Monday, March 16, 2009

If you feel like being festive this St. Patty's Day

While St. Patrick's Day is definitely about the beer it's also about the food for me. Corned beef and Cabbage is coming up tomorrow, but for today we have some fun cupcakes to get you in the mood. While I have brought many sweets into my office, I had yet to send the boy to work with any. Something that I heard the guys had begun to grumble about since he has mentioned my blog and my affinity for making treats more than once. I figured what better time to send something but right around St. Patty's day. They obviously can't drink on the job so I made cupcakes with the beer baked in to keep things in the spirit. I made Guinness Chocolate mini cupcakes and Green Velvet minis both iced with Bailey's Buttercream icing. The green velvet are my own little twist on red velvet, using green food coloring in place of red.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
makes 24 regular or 48+ mini
from Culinography

1 cup Guinness or other stout beer, room temperature
1 stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream (light works fine)
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine Guinness, melted butter, vanilla, eggs, sour cream, cocoa and sugars. Mix on low speed until combined. Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until combined, stopping once to scrape down the bowl.

3. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and fill 2/3 full with batter.

4. Bake for 10-13 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for five minutes in the tin, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Green Velvet Cupcakes
makes 12 regular or 24 mini
adapted from I Heart Cuppycakes

1-1/2 cups cake flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp vinegar
5 drops green food coloring (I used 1/4 tsp of Wilton leaf green gel coloring)
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp butter
1 egg, room temperature

1. Preheat oven 350F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

2. Sift together cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In a large Pyrex measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar and red food coloring; set aside. In a stand mixer with flat beater, beat the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg. Mix to combine. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions alternating with buttermilk mixture, ending with the flour mixture.

3. Fill each liner about 2/3-3/4 full. Bake about 22-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool before frosting.

Bailey's Buttercream Icing
Enough for 96 mini cupcakes
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

6-8 or more cups confections sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup Baileys (or for non-alcoholic milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)

1. 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.

2. When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin, beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.

These were definitely a hit with the guys at the boy's work (and my office too). This was my first time using a proper piping bag and tip and I think I did a pretty good job! I was amazed at how easy it was to get all the cakes iced once I found my rhythm and doubt I'll ever use a knife or spatula again!

I loved the Bailey's buttercream. Just the right amount of Bailey's. The measure of sugar is vague as I literally added only a few Tbsp at a time and didn't keep track of the final measure. The Guinness chocolate cake was my favorite, so perfectly moist and delish! The Green Velvet was very dense, almost too dense for me, although the boy said it's denseness paired really well with the icing. All in all everything worked together quite nicely, although I think I'll go with a cream cheese icing on the Guinness cake next time I make it.

Hope all my friends in Southie had a great time at the parade yesterday! Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Oh yes. For sure. DEFINITELY!

Tangled Noodle said...

Delicious! The great thing about this mini-cupcakes (aside from the excellent use of fine liquor) is how the Bailey's Buttercream icing on top is almost as big as the whole cupcake. That's my kind of icing!

Jen H said...

Tangled Noodle - I think the amount of icing worked better with the dense velvet cake, but I'd use less on the Guinness cake next time as it was a lighter cake. But it was some tasty icing!