Earworms

Earworm: A song that you can’t get out of your head. Now usually it applies to songs, but I am just gonna incorporate all things that I am loving and well maybe frankly – just too obsessed with lately and thus and continuously thinking about. Example –  I will incorporate any of these into as many conversations as possible just so I can talk more and more about my current obsessions. The Earworm series is gonna be a new series on the blog. Interesting fact –  earworm was added to Merriam-Webster Dictionary this month! How cool is that?!? Along with F Bomb, Bucket List and sexting. The world in which we live is changing.

1) Current Earworm –> song here. 

2) NPR Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me Podcast I listen to it and other podcasts when walking in the city. I was always told to smile when walking – people will wonder what your smiling about – well I am certainly giving the people something to wonder about – this show gets me to laugh right out loud.

3) Cupcakes – I really just wanna bake some cupcakes. I’m having dreams of baking cupcakes – not eating them. Baking them. Really gotta find a pan and then figure out how to bake cupcakes in a toaster oven.

4) The Newsroom – HBO series produced by Aaron Sorkin that I may or may not have be watching continuously. With Turkish subtitles…naturally. It’s just too good to stop watching. Really here is a quick clip to hopefully peak your interest.

5) Up Hair-dos that only require bobby pins – no hair tie needed. Warning: You may start finding bobby pins anywhere and everywhere that you go. Mums you know you miss finding my bobby pins (;

What are your current earworms or obsessions?

Cheers and now back to watching more of The Newsroom

n

To Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

It’s March meaning green, rainbow-y Irish things are just gonna start flooding the internet. Including tons of recipes with the water of Ireland – aka Guinness

Perfectly drafted at the Guinness Factory

Such a festive time that I love because it gives me an excuse to bake. Now yesterday was Unofficial on my college campus which is always the first Friday in March to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day since the Official holiday always falls during spring break. Yesterday the campus scene was tons of people clad in green specially made Unofficial shirts with lots of decorative accessories like Leprechaun hats and green beads. It’s pretty much a monochromatic type of day, with the sole emphasis on green. Complete with the bars serving green beer and a bagpipe player providing us some great traditional tunes – what a treat.

So have some Irish cheer and wow people with these cupcakes that will have them speaking in Irish accents…maybe (:

I do know that I loathed Guinness until I went to the Guinness factory in Dublin and my world was changed –

 

The dark hue of the beer turned me off before, but after being sleep deprived from a 10 day back-packing trip through the lands of the cool accents (England, Scotland, Ireland), finishing my free Guinness in the Gravity Bar at the end of my factory tour felt like the greatest achievement in the world

and then that was quickly replaced with racing across Dublin (quite tipsy mind you) to Trinity College in hopes of seeing the Great Book of Celts and getting in for FREE because it was about to close! I call that success and my backpacking partner agrees whole-heartedly, we still double over with laughter when remembering our Irish shenanigans.

But you came here for a cupcake recipe, my bad. Start Delicious-ness NOW!

Recipe taken from Brown Eyed Baker, one of my favorite baking blogs

Ingredients:

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Prep Time: 40 minutes | Bake Time: 17 minutes

Cupcakes:
1 cup Guinness stout (I used Draught and it worked great)
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream (I replaced with a Very Vanilla Yoplait Yogurt)

Whiskey Ganache:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

Baileys Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream

(I went light on the frosting – halved what the recipe called for – next time I think I would do 1 1/2 cups butter, 4-4 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 4-5 Tbsp. Bailey’s – because I think the full recipe would be too much frosting)

1. To Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the Guinness 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 until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.

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

note: (mine didn’t thicken up much until I put it in the cupcakes)

4. To Fill the Cupcakes: Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter (or the bottom of a large decorating tip, or an apple corer), cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down. Transfer the ganache to a piping back with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

5. To Make the Baileys Frosting: Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 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 Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, 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. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container.

These were splendid and a definite crowd pleaser – and they stayed moist (most important part about a cupcake)

Did I mention that I made these in the wee hours of the morning (1am and I am tots an 11pm bedtime get up at 6/7am kinda gal) I think I will only resort to late night baking when necessary – don’t want my roomies hating me for banging pots and pans around!

Cheers to a delightful March

n