Tag Archives: St. Patrick’s Day

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.

FLUX's Guide to an Authentic St. Patty's Day Meal

– Madeline Dickerson

This year, I’m taking St. Patrick’s Day seriously. In less than six months I will be on an airplane headed to the Emerald Isle to live and work on a farm for three whole months. So this St. Patrick’s Day will be a trial run so to speak, where I can eat copious amounts of Irish food and of course, have an Irish beer or two. Granted, I’ll be celebrating in Eugene but that doesn’t mean my kitchen can’t take a theoretical trip to Ireland for the night.

First, for those of you who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for the same reason as Cinco de Mayo, the booze, let’s have a brief history lesson on what St. Patrick’s Day is all about. While the holiday is more about celebrating the culture of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day was originally a Catholic holiday honoring of one of the patron saints of Ireland, Saint Patrick.

Patrick was born into a wealthy family of deacons in Britain in the 4th century. At 16, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave. About six years later, after hearing the voice of God tell him a way to freedom, Patrick escaped and returned home to his family where he entered the Church. After becoming an ordained bishop, Patrick returned to Ireland to bring Christianity to the Irish people. The date of March 17th is significant as it is the day he died.

The the green clover, a well-known Irish symbol, was also introduced by St. Patrick.  He supposedly used it to help explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish.

So now that you know why St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated, let’s talk about food. The three ingredients most associated with Irish cooking are probably meat, potatoes, and cabbage. Potatoes and cabbage were common because they are hearty, easy to grow vegetables that make “stick to your ribs” type meals. Another key food item often associated with Ireland is beer. And since I absolutely love stouts, I definitely wanted that to be a part of my Irish feast.

With those four ingredients I decided to make a beef and stout stew and a traditional Irish side dish called colcannon. Colcannon is very basic as it is simply mashed potatoes mixed with steamed cabbage. It’s traditionally eaten over the October three-day “bank holiday” in Ireland. If you feel like you need a song to sing while eating your colcannon go here.

And finally, to finish off this hearty meal, I felt like a stout inspired dessert would be a good idea so I made a stout ice cream float. Just put a few scoops of vanilla ice cream in a glass and top with stout. Opt for a beer that is not overly dry with chocolaty flavors. The one I used is a great stout but just a little too dry for an ice cream float. I picked up a few different genuine Irish stouts at my favorite place in all of Eugene and possibly all of Oregon, 16 Tons, a local beer and wine store.

The other great thing about this meal, and Irish food in general, is that it’s cheap and easy to prepare. The stew took about 15 minutes to prepare and just sat cooking in the oven for 2 ½ hours. The colcannon only took about 30 minutes, including boiling time for the potatoes.

So go put that “Kiss me, I’m Irish” shirt on that I know you have tucked away in your drawers and get out the potato peeler. St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner!

Irish Beef and Stout Stew: from Marthastewart.com. Serves 10 (I cut the recipe by 1/3 and it was about three meals worth)

Ingredients:

–       4 lbs beef chuck, cut in 1 ½ inch cubes (I bought the already cut up stew meat)

–       ¼ cup all-purpose flour

–       2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste

–       2 ½ lbs new potatoes, scrubbed (use baby yukons or any small potato)

–       2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

–       2 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced-sodium beef broth

–       1 can (14.9 ounces) Irish stout beer

–       10 garlic cloves sliced

–       Coarse salt and ground pepper

–       2 boxes (10 ounces each) frozen baby peas, thawed (you’ll notice from the picture of the finished stew that I totally forgot to throw these in…Woops!)

Directions:

1)   Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a Dutch oven or heavy pot, toss beef with flour; stir in tomato paste. Add potatoes, onions, broth, beer, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

2)   Transfer pot to the oven, and cook, covered, until meat is fork-tender, about 2 ½ to 3 hours. Stir in peas, and season with salt and pepper.

Tip: This stew freezes well. Divide among plastic airtight containers and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat.

Colcannon: Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

–       1 ½ cups finely shredded green cabbage

–       ½ onion, finely chopped

–       1/8 cup of water

–       About 2 cups of mashed potatoes (Boil whole potatoes until fork tender. Drain and pull off the skins. Mash with a potato masher.)

–       ¼ cup of milk

–       1/8 cup of butter

–       Salt and pepper

Directions:

1)   Put cabbage, onion, and water in a saucepan or Dutch oven and quickly bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 8 minutes until cabbage is tender.

2)   Add mashed potatoes, milk, and butter and season with salt and pepper. Mix well until heated through. Serve.

Stout Ice Cream Float:

Simply put a few scoops of vanilla ice cream in a cup, pour your favorite stout over, grab a spoon and enjoy!