st. paddy’s day goodness.

happy late st. paddy’s day! i hope you all had your share of corned beef and cabbage. i know i did! i was really looking forward to st patrick’s day because i was going to be making my first corned beef brisket and cabbage (and potatoes, carrots, parnips). since cooking corned beef brisket usually takes hours, i decided to use the trusty crock pot. i had to work at 5 am, so before i left, i just popped everything in the crockpot, and hit go, and left it to do its magic. and magic did it do. the recipe i used was really a winner, incorporating carrots and parsnips, not just potatoes and cabbage, and also including a bottle of guiness! when i arrived home sometime around noon, i had to remove the parsnips and carrots, and pop in the potatoes and cabbage. my crock pot would barely hold it all, but i made do. the recipe suggested using a pineapple ham glaze to top the brisket, and broil for a few minutes. i did this, but not only did i do this, i decided to add bacon! what could make a dish better than it already is? bacon. just add bacon. that’s going to be my new motto — just add bacon. sounds good to me. so i cooked the bacon in the oven first for about 20 minutes, then when that was done, glazed the brisket, added the bacon, then added some more glaze. broil for only a few minutes, and make sure to not get distracted like i did. some of the bacon was burnt, but only a portion, so nothing to get crazy about. let me tell you. BEST. CORNED BEEF. EVER. it was soooo good. on st paddy’s day i usually eat it simply cooked with cabbage and potatoes, nothing fun, but always good, but i decided to do things different this year. do things different and you’ll almost always be glad you did (ALMOST, always). so i ate all this with a side of rice, cause i’m asian. i have to eat it with rice. =) it was great.

here we have the nice bacon and pineapple glazed corned beef brisket. look how juicyyy.

on another note, parsnips, i like it! i’ve never had parsnips before, and they were super easy to spot in the market, right next to the loose carrots, looking like an albino carrot. they are sweet, and tasty, and im sure the juices from the corned beef and guiness made them even tastier. i will definitely eat more parsnips in the future.

Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe adapted from recipezaa

Pineapple and Ham Glaze recipe adapted from recipezaar

As for dessert…ah who could forget dessert. well the night before, i decided to make some irish carbomb cupcakes. if none of you are aware, an irish car bomb is a drink consisting of Guiness, Irish Whiskey and Baileys Irish cream. so guess what this cupcake recipe called for? yep, all of the above. i was lucky enough to have a bunch of mini bottles of Baileys, so i didn’t have to fork down the money for that, all I ended up buying was the guiness. and unfortunately, my irish car bomb cupcakes were somewhat of an imposter, because i didn’t want to go out and buy a bottle of Jameson, so all I had was jim beam — but hey it worked out fine. the guiness went into the chocolate cake batter, the whiskey in the chocolate ganache filling, and the baileys for the frosting. these cupcakes were AWESOMEEEE. when i was done baking, i went on a cupcake run, dropping some off to my bf, my coworkers, and my sister. my bf said they were super strong, making him feel like he was taking a shot. everyone else says they were just fine and really good. so i conclude, he’s a wimp, and can’t take a little liquor! anyhoo, i brought some to work the next day too for whoever i’d be working with, and i hope everyone enjoyed them. i know i sure did. i would totally much rather get drunk off of these cupcakes than taking a real irish car bomb. i wanted to just spooooon the frosting into my mouth, but i resisted. good job me.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup stout (Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Ganache Filling
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (preferably Jameson, but I only had Jim Beam, eek! but worked fine)

Baileys Frosting (see Recipe Notes)
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temp
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys

Special equipment: 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer and a piping bag (though a plastic bag with the corner snipped off will also work) — i didn’t use any of these, i used a small measuring spoon to just scoop out some of the cake in the center, messy, but works!

To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Make the filling: If you’re using a bar of bittersweet chocolate, chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. (I used Ghiradelli bittersweet chips, so no chopping needed). Heat the cream til it simmers and pour it over the chocolate. Let sit for one minute, then stir until smooth. (If your chocolate isn’t fully melted, you can put in a double boiler just until it fully melts, or nook it in the microwave for about 20 sec). Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined.

Filling the cupcakes: Let the ganache cool til thick but still soft enough to be piped. Using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer (or like me, a tiny measuring spoon), cut the centers (scoop the centers) out of the cooled cupcakes. Scoop about 2/3 the way down the cupcake, don’t go all the way! You don’t want your ganache to leak through. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Making the frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. Your aiming to get it light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar. If you don’t go slow, you might get sugar clumps, as i like to call the. the frosting won’t look completely smoothe, and you’ll see these little tiny chunks, that are annoying to look at.

When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys and whip it until combined.

Frost and decorate is your last step! I haven’t been piping lately, out of pure laziness, so I’ve just used a small offset spatula to frost them, and they still look pretty.

On st paddy’s day itself, i decided to make some green velvet cupcakes, because i had extra frosting from when i had made red velvet earlier in the week. sadly, my i overbaked my cupcakes, and the tops were hard, so it was difficult to frost. so i decided to rip those tops off, and take the cake and make cake balls! i’ve been wanting to make cake balls for a while, and this was a perfect opportunity. you mix the crumbled cake with your frosting, not too much, but just enough to make it stick. roll them in balls and chill them for several hours (or pop em in the freezer for a bit). then you take chocolate bark, melt it in the microwave, and roll your balls in them. (lol). you have to work fast though! chocolate bark hardens reallly quickly, so if your chocolate does get hard, just pop it back in the microwave for a few seconds. i really do have to work on my cake ball rolling skills, cause they all looked pretty hideous, but guess what, that’s okay, because they tasted amazing! they are definitely one of my new favorites =)

Green Velvet Cupcakes recipe adapted from Food Network

For the cake balls, I followed the directions from Bakerella

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