If you are wondering why I am posting this the day after St. Patrick's Day, it's because I slept through most of the day because I work nights and missed the date by a couple hours. But, I had selected the recipes and bought the ingredients already, so I decided "fuck it!" and made the cupcakes anyway. I have decided that St. Patty's is today and no one can convince me otherwise. I even listened to the Cranberries and U2 and I am currently sipping a Guinness, so there!
Bailey's Irish Cupcakes:
I found the recipe for these at allrecipes.com and followed the recipe to the letter, except for the fact that I omitted the almond extract, because my experience is that almond extract overpowers the other flavours. The cook suggested whipped cream or Buttercream frosting but I thought, since they are Baileys cupcakes, I'll top them with Baileys icing. I found the recipe for the Baileys icing in the Southern Food section of about.com:
I'm not sure what is Southern about a recipe that is so clearly Irish. You'd think it would be nothing but Twinkie cupcakes and Fried Green Tomatoes there. I guess it's because a lot of Americans have Irish ancestry or something like that.
Taste: They are pretty yummy, but without the icing I can barely taste the Baileys. The icing is delicious and tastes exactly like Baileys, only in icing form. They have kind of a weird taste, but they still taste good. Maybe it's just a unique taste. The texture is a bit firm and flat for a cupcake, but still moist and cakey enough that I have no complaints.
Chocolate Stout Cupcakes:
This one is from Food Network and it was created by Dave Lieberman. The recipe called for cream cheese icing but, since I wanted to share with my brothers (who don't like cream cheese), I decided to use Baileys icing again, which makes for less work. In the end, I had just enough icing to ice both sets of cupcakes, so that worked out nicely.
I think the Baileys icing works better than the cream cheese icing would have because in the cook's pre-recipe blurb, he wrote that he wanted the icing to look like the foam that lines the top of a mug of Guinness, but, as you can see in my picture, Guinness foam is not white, but a very light brown, so a Baileys icing works much better for imitating the look of a mug of Guinness.
How does it taste, you ask? I'll tell you! The icing is buttery and has that strong taste of Baileys, but mixed with the cake, I can taste a hint of banana. The cake itself, without icing, tastes chocolatey and rich. You can also faintly taste the yeast and hops of the Guinness. The texture is moist and spongey, utterly perfect.
I must say, it feels very weird to write this sober (or mildly sober, considering the fact that I just drank a can of Guinness). There is more clarity, but also more insecurity.
Happy St. Patty's day, everyone, and even if in your mind you think St. Patrick's day was yesterday (which is ridiculous), you shouldn't feel a lick of shame when you hoist a few (or a lot) tonight in celebration of the absurd thing that is life! I sure won't!