Although Saint Patrick’s Day is often deemed one of the most fun holidays of a college student’s career, I didn’t get the chance to celebrate it last year! I’m sure you’re wondering how that’s possible since I come across as so fun and exciting. Let me explain: last year I had to fly out early (like 5AM early) the following morning to interview for the company which turned out to be the one I interned for and subsequently accepted a full-time position with. Some of my friends tried to convince that it made more sense to just stay out all night and sleep it off on the plane. Based on how important that morning turned out to be, I’m pretty glad I didn’t heed their advice.
To make up for last year, and to celebrate the fact that I can now legally participate fully in this holiday that really doesn’t even pretend to stand for anything other than partying (perhaps also gold and the color green?), I wanted to do something special. I somehow stumbled upon these and thought they were the perfect St. Patty’s day treat! I was so excited in fact, that I even made a special trip to the supermarket to ensure I had the appropriate ingredients, since as we’ve learned recipes aren’t really suggestions as much as explicit instructions. I was pretty proud of myself – I even splurged the extra 62 cents to buy baking soda instead of trying to substitute with some proportion of baking powder as I’d done in previous baking endeavors. Of course, I would be lying if I said I followed the recipe exactly – I was perusing the baking aisle for what felt like forever in search of bittersweet chocolate. I found some Godiva bars but they were really expensive and I couldn’t figure out how I’d chop them up. After googling it (thank heavens for smartphones!) I came to the conclusion that I’d be fine with using some semisweet, and so – for under $20! – I was ready to make some St. Patty’s Day magic!
It was a pretty ambitious endeavor since I needed to make the cupcake batter, the filling, and the frosting. I decided that since the filling needed to cool, I would start with that. I started heating up the cream and got the chocolate ready in another bowl. I simultaneously started mixing together the dry components of the cupcake batter because I’m all about efficiency. Once the cream heated up I combined it with the chocolate and then added in the other components, making sure to test the Bailey’s before adding it in (just to make sure it was still good of course!) Once it was a smooth consistency I put it in the fridge to cool down and set a timer for ten minutes so I would remember to stir it.
While my filling was cooling it seemed appropriate to start working on its surroundings so I popped open my bottle of Guinness and got started. I had opted to buy one big bottle rather than a six pack of little bottles – this gave me the opportunity to casually enjoy the rest of it after I poured the one cup required to make the cupcakes out. It really made the whole experience more pleasant. As per usual, I proved that I am > an electric mixer as I was able to create the smooth consistency that the recipe called for without the aid of one. (We had an electric mixer last year but it literally starting smoking while we were trying to make frosting one time so I’ve been a little wary of them ever since.) After doing a terrible job of evenly distributing the batter (I was a little overeager at first and so they got progressively smaller as I went on), I popped them in the oven and felt accomplished…until I realized that when since I was baking something not out of a box that I actually still had a lot more left to do.
Ever ambitious, I took the 17 minutes I had while the giant cupcakes baked to try to make some frosting. (It actually ended up taking 22 minutes to bake the first tray – I overfilled the little cupcake holders by 5 whole minutes! I’m not sure how minutes translate to batter per cup but I feel as though I was pretty off. Oops.) The frosting is sadly, where I hit my first snag. The recipe recommended that I combine the sugar and butter with the butter at room temperature using my electric mixer. I cut up the butter and put it in the microwave for a few seconds and tried to do my best mixer impression to no avail. As I got more and more desperate the powdered sugar seemed to keep jumping out of the bowl and landing everywhere. I decided to try to melt the butter a little more even though (1) the bowl it was all in was not microwaveable and (2) I feel like microwaving sugar is weird. Sadly, taking these risks did me no good (although I didn’t end up with any melted bowls so I guess things could have been worse). I was starting to get pretty bummed when I decided I should just go ahead and add the Bailey’s even though the recipe told me to wait. It turned out the frosting just needed a little liquid to hold it all together! After putting nearly all my muscle into it (it was, after all, my workout for the day) I ended up mixing everything together into something that could likely pass as frosting.
By this time the cupcakes were out, cooled, and ready to be filled! Obviously I didn’t have any sort of device for filling them, so I turned back to the website I got the recipe from and employed Annie’s clever tactics for how to fill cupcakes when you don’t have all the fancy tools. I used a paring knife to cut a cylinder out of each cupcake, spooned a bit of pudding in the whole, chopped off the top of the cylinder, placed it back on top and ate the bite-sized remainder!
I successfully filled and frosted all of my cupcakes. I had tried each other the individual components (obviously) but the ultimate test still needed to be done – how would they taste all together?! Luckily, we had a couple of friends over after dinner but before the event where the cupcakes were making their debut. We all agreed that they were fantastic. I was so impressed with myself – probably unnecessarily so. They ended up taking me about 3 and half hours but their deliciousness definitely made it worth it.
Why not just go for real Irish car bombs?
- These are super tasty.
- You can eat them at your leisure – no fear of them curdling.
- You get to drink the leftovers.
- It’s a three and a half hour break from whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing (i.e. writing blog posts)
- As we’ve seen throughout the semester, food brings people together!