I seem to be a sucker for punishment. Keep getting inspired for St Patrick’s Day recipes but can’t enjoy them for myself 😛 Good thing Dr B works with lots of nice people who happily eat all the samples he takes in.
After making these cupcakes I realised that the flavour combination would work well in doughnuts. While fried doughnuts would have been amazing I deep fried cinnamon rolls recently (will share the recipe in the next few weeks) so I just couldn’t let myself get out the oil again.
Baked doughnuts are still delicious and can be made as muffins if you don’t have a doughnut pan. Plus there is the added bonus that you can pretend they are healthier as they are baked not fried.
St Patrick’s Day is fast approaching so it seemed like a good time to continue to find ways to add Guinness into dessert. However being 38 weeks pregnant makes this more enjoyable for the people around me, I will have to wait a few more weeks before being able to enjoy desserts like these.
I don’t remember why I first tried this recipe. I was probably trying to impress my then boyfriend (now my husband Dr B) by finding good ways of incorporating beer into baking. While these are perfect for St Patrick’s Day they are really good at any time of year. We did over 120 of these for a friends wedding which was a great flavour choice. They have the lovely dark flavour from the Guinness and have a surprise of whiskey ganache in the centre. Finish that off with creamy Bailey’s buttercream and you have some very tasty cupcakes!
I love pastry. Growing up my mum always made her own pastry for pies (as did my aunts and Nano) so I have been thoroughly spoiled with amazing home made rough flaky pastry over the years. When I was first learning to bake on my own the ultimate goal was to be able to achieve a pastry that was at least somewhere close to the quality of mums. As it turned out pastry really wasn’t my thing. It would get to warm, to wet, to crumbly, to sticky, the list goes one. Basically anything that could go wrong would. I couldn’t roll it out into one piece (even though mum insists Nano never bothered and was always happy to do patch jobs on her pies) and I would just end up frustrated. The worst part was if mum helped, even by doing one quick mix with the fork when adding the water, the pastry would be perfect. She seriously had the magic touch but I was determined to get this right on my own.
I honestly don’t remember anything magical about the first time I succeeded with pastry but I would say that I probably was calm, not putting pressure on myself and was working with cold ingredients. You see pastry isn’t really that hard as long as you keep whatever fat you are using cold and don’t put your hands into the mixture. It doesn’t matter if you use a pastry cutter, a knife or a food processor to mix the fat into the flour as long as you just remember to keep it cool (and no hands, seriously can’t say that enough). Also don’t fret if the pastry seems a little crumbly after adding the liquid (which also needs to be really cold, it till still hold together well and the resting period in the fridge helps to more evenly distribute the moisture throughout the pasty.