Then I moved to New Zealand for a new adventure, and my first night out with my new friends happened to be St. Patricks's day. I wore a green top, had my first Guinness and hated it.I was hooked. Every year I made a point of going to an Irish pub wearing green, although I draw the line at ever drinking Guinness again. But still I didn't know anything more about this Irish holiday.
So when the new Sugar High Friday challenge turned out to be St Patricks day, hosted by The (ex)patriate's Kitchen, I reckoned I needed to do some research. This is what I learnt:
- St Patricks day in Irish is Lá Fhéile Pádraig
- St Patrick used the three-leaved Shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish.
- The holiday is held every year on the 17th of March, unless the date falls within Holy Week
- Seattle paints the traffic stripe of its parade route green
- In 1962 Chicago dyed its river green to check for sewer leakage, and has done so ever since on St Patricks day
Then again, that might be because of the icing. This is a recipe from Jamie Oliver via Heather from Eggs, cream and honey, and she called it Chocolate Insanity. I don't know about you, but anything called something so provocative makes me sit up and take notice. And I must agree, it was gorgeous. Very chocolaty and rich and smooth and something, and that something is the Guinness. Nobody I asked could name the secret ingredient, which is good if you want to keep the recipe a secret. I love having a few recipes up my sleeve that people can't work out. Then again, I've never cooked for chefs, so I might just be kidding myself.
I borrowed a custom from the Christmas pudding custom to make these cupcakes lucky. Before icing them, I hid a $2 coin in one of the cupcakes, and told everybody that whoever found it would be extraordinarily lucky for the year to come. That lucky somebody turned out to be me (totally by accident, I swear), so I think I might go and buy some lottery tickets.
Lucky Green Guinness Cupcakes
1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil
3/4 cup (165g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (200g) finely chopped broccoli
1/2 cup (90g) finely grated zucchini
1/2 cup (75g) self-raising flour
1/2 cup (80g) wholemeal self-raising flour
1/4 cup (25g) cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon milk
Preheat oven to 190°C. Line your muffin tin with paper cases.
Whisk eggs, oil and sugar together in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Spoon into prepared cases and bake for 15-20 minutes, until done. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
If you want, hide a coin in one of the cupcakes. Pour some of the Chocolate and Guinness Insanity over each cupcake. Let it set before serving.
Chocolate (and Guinness) Insanity
100ml double cream
2 tablespoons golden caster sugar
100g dark chocolate, chopped
Put the beer, cream and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until it comes to a boil and then take it off the heat. Stir the chocolate into the hot cream mixture with a small pinch of salt.