Tag Archives: Guinness

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

-Whitney Gomes

I may not have a drop of Irish blood in me, but I can sure appreciate an old Irish whiskey. I particularly relish in a glass of Jameson neat or Bushmills on the rocks. An Irish friend (and fellow whiskey enthusiast) of mine created the perfect dessert recipe for our St. Patrick’s Day dinner party: Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes—an impeccable combination of delectable chocolate Ganache-filled cupcakes, Irish whiskey, and Irish cream frosting.

[An Irish Car Bomb is a popular “bomb” or “drop” shot cocktail. To make, fill a pint glass half-full with Guinness and pour 1 part Jameson Irish Whiskey in a shot glass before floating a thin layer of Bailey’s Irish Cream on top. The idea is to drop the shot into the pint glass and begin drinking once the shot glass hits the bottom.]

Shannon Flowers, the recipe master and baker, combined her personal chocolate cake recipe with two other “Irish Car Bomb Cupcake” recipes found online. The chocolate was rich, but not too rich. The cupcake was moist, but didn’t crumble in your hands. She tweaked a couple ingredients and added her own to create what our friend Mitch deemed “a life-changing cupcake” after just one bite. He’s not alone—these cupcakes blew my mind and my taste buds. Shannon’s original recipe, which is thorough yet easy to follow, exposes novice bakers to the tricks of working with a variety of ingredients. These cupcakes were a hit at the party and one of the highlights of my St. Patrick’s Day. But it doesn’t have to be St. Patrick’s Day for you to enjoy them as well!

The Cupcakes:
1 ¼ cups Guinness stout
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 cups cake flour (or all-purpose flour)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt (only if using unsalted butter)
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla

Whiskey Ganache Filling:
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3-4 teaspoons Irish whiskey

Bailey’s Frosting:
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
6-8 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream

Directions:

#1. To make the cupcakes: preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line twenty-four cupcake cups with liners. Bring the Guinness, vanilla, and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

#2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake on a rack until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean—about seventeen minutes.

#3. To make the whiskey ganache filling, finely 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, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.

#4 Fill the cupcakes: using a one-inch round cookie cutter, cut the centers of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down. Transfer the ganache to a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

#5 To make the Bailey’s frosting: using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for five minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Bailey’s and vanilla and increase the speed to medium-high and whisk for another two-three minutes, or until it is light and fluffy.

#6 Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles, if desired, and enjoy! Store the leftover cupcakes in an airtight container.

My Miraculin Immunity

-Sam Katzman

Imagine ingesting something with the ability to confuse your taste buds so radically that they can’t distinguish a bite of a tart lemon from sweetened lemonade. A substance with such far-fetched qualities it could only be conjured by the mind of Willy Wonka. Contrary to popular belief, inducing this hallucination of the taste receptors is possible.

Synsepalum dulcificum, otherwise known as the miracle fruit, has become a popular novelty among curious “flavor-trippers,” earning its namesake from its high miraculin content.

Found in the tiny red berries of this indigenous West African plant, miraculin is a glycoprotein notorious for amplifying sweet sensations on the palate.

Miracle berries have been used to spruce up the taste of meals since before being first noted by explorers in the early 1700s. However, new trends have evolved incorporating miraculin in party atmospheres. This FDA classified “food additive” exploded in popularity in the twenty-first century due to its glorified social appeal.

Flavor tripping parties are a growing phenomenon among all age groups. Guests at these events typically pitch collectively to purchase the taste bud twisting berries, while out of the ordinary snacks are usually provided by the host.

Taste receptors under the influence of miraculin have been known to fool some into mistaking goats cheese for cake icing and passing Guinness beer as a chocolate shake. According to miracleberry.wordpress.com, drinking straight Tabasco sauce is “delicious” but the website also advises, “don’t drink too much.”

Naturally after being reassured I wouldn’t be harming my body or breaking the law by consuming these things, I was curious to try the experiment myself. So I chose to join the flavor-tripping revolution and purchased some berries of my own online.

Twenty dollars less in my wallet and a week of anticipation later, I placed one miracle fruit tablet on my tongue –meanwhile my sense of taste was preparing for its first psychedelic experience. Expecting a flurry of foreign, delicious flavors to invade my mouth, I was surprised to notice everything tasting so overwhelmingly . . . normal.

I could be a freak of nature, but nothing tasted unusual despite conducting three taste-tripping trials.

My dreams of sipping hot sauce from the bottle, with the aid of a little performance-enhancing berry, were in vain.  Tabasco still had its fiery sting even with a dissolved miracle berry tablet coating each of my taste receptors.

I have heard enough testimonials to buy in to the validity of the miracle fruit, but as I reflect on my experience I’m disappointed and confused about why I’m apparently immune to miraculin.

Flavor-tripping might have failed for me, but this glycoprotein is scientifically proven to influence people varyingly. If you’re feeling too lazy to take the lemons you’re given and make lemonade, allow me to introduce synsepalum dulcificum as a more convenient alternative.

Super Bowl Spread

-Whitney Barton

Of the people who watch the Super Bowl, most seem to fall into one of two categories; those who care about the game and those who are in it for the commercials.  Personally I think it’s most fun to watch with a mix of both types, and with plenty of food (food that preferably does not require the use of utensils.)  Regardless of your personal interests, or those of your company, this meal is sure to please.

The Spread:

Tips:

Prep. Most of the time I like to believe I can handle cooking on the fly.  With this though, I recommend making all the dips and marinades/sauces before beginning to actually cook (maybe even slice all the veggies too.)  This is a piece of advice I wish I had followed before I began this delicious project.

The wing recipes are accompanied by a buttermilk blue cheese dip.  However, it required more time, energy and resources than I was in the mood to invest.  I used this recipe instead, adding ¼ tsp. cayenne and a pinch of lemon zest.

For the wraps:  once the phyllo sheet is buttered, I sprinkle grated Parmesan, freshly ground pepper AND dried basil.  Also, I prefer just one asparagus spear per wrap.  These adjustments change the heat and cook time required to 425°, for 5-7 minutes.  Lastly I quartered each wrap once cooked.

The veggies:  I chose smaller portions of all my favorites, as opposed to heaping piles of one or two kinds.  I selected red and yellow peppers, cucumbers, radishes, carrots (the kind that come with greens) and the traditional pairing for wings– celery.

I love this dressing recipe for a veggie dip (or any kind of dip really), but I chop the herbs instead of pureeing in a food processor.  I also added the zest of half a lemon, and about ¼ tsp. of cayenne for a little heat. These last additions are optional.

The brownie recipe includes a chocolate glaze.  With my wonderful mother’s help, I decided on our family’s brownie topping recipe instead-  One-Minute Fudge Frosting*.  I added a tablespoon of the Guinness reduction for good measure, though.

*One-Minute Fudge Frosting

  • 1 square (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate cute into pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients, except vanilla, in saucepan.  Let come to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Boil 1 minute and remove from heat.  Beat with spatula until it thickens (about 3-5 minutes).  Add vanilla (and Guinness if you like) and continue beating until of spreading consistency.

Bon apétite!