To encourage myself to keep up my reading for fun & to give myself ideas of things to cook, I've decided to cook food that is thematically tied to whatever I'm reading. The next book on my list is about the daughter of migrant workers from Mexico. That one's pretty easy. Of course, I decided to start this when I'm in the middle of reading about the Stonewall riots. It took a little more thinking to figure out what to cook. First, I thought about just going with bar food. (Depending on how long it takes me to read the book, I might end up going with that as well.) Second, I thought about Greek food, for Sappho and the island of Lesbos. That was a bit of a stretch, since the vast majority of the Stonewall's patrons were men. Oscar Wilde crossed my mind a couple of times, but I couldn't think of anything Irish except for beer. Sarah Green helpfully suggested Guinness cupcakes. I wanted to go for rainbow sprinkles, but all they had was pink. Behold the culinary gayness: Oscar Wilde Guinness Cupcakes with Pink Sprinkles
Alright, so my decorating & food photography skills could use some serious help. Perhaps my baking skills too? I wasn't in love with this recipe. I think maybe it's just that I don't care for Guinness and am not much of a dessert person. They're good enough that I'm going to take them to work and try to make other people eat them. Hopefully this won't lead everyone to conclude that I am unable to cook. [EDIT: upon further reflection, I have decided they are quite tasty as long as they have icing on them--the icing-less ones are not as appetizing.] Here's the recipe (from Chow.com).
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle Guinness stout
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for garnish
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
For the frosting:*I used store bought cream cheese frosting. Some commenters on Chow suggested substituting some or all of the heavy cream with Bailey's.
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 pound confectioners’ sugar
- Cocoa powder, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the Guinness, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the sour cream.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, and baking soda. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet Guinness mixture.
- Butter 24 muffin tins and divide the batter among the muffin tins.
- Bake 25 minutes, until risen and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out of the tins.
Make the frosting:
- Beat the cream cheese in a bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. Slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar.
- Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and dust with cocoa.