That most green of parties is coming around again (St Patrick’s Day, for those living under a rock. On Mars.) So to help you celebrate wherever you are, we’ve selflessly eaten our way through countless recipes.
Feeling adventurous (and hungry), I attempted the two recipes myself and I’m pleased to report that they were delicious! As an extremely inexperienced baker, the cupcakes were a cinch. However, my meringue may have come from a supermarket…
Irish Coffee Meringue
This recipe comes from Chef Emily J Kay of Dublin’s . She describes it as ‘a chilled out version of a classic Irish taste with a crunchy texture.’ I call it a party in a glass.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Or 15 minutes if meringue is pre-prepared
Cooking time: 1 hour for meringue (if making from scratch),
10 minutes for everything else
For the meringues:
- 2 large free range egg whites
- 4 oz caster sugar
- ¾ oz roughly chopped walnuts
For the whiskey coffee:
- 3 ¼ oz (almost half a cup) hot strong black coffee (approx 4 espressos)
- 2 ½ tbsp whiskey
- ¾ oz brown sugar
- 6 ¾ oz (¾ cup) freshly whipped cream to garnish
- For the meringue, pre-heat your oven to 280 degrees F/ 140 degrees C.
- Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks then continue whisking adding the sugar slowly until the mix is smooth and glossy. (The sugar can be warmed in the microwave, this will speed up the process and you’ll get a better mix)
- Fold in the walnuts and spoon the mixture in four even shapes on to a baking sheet lined with grease proof paper.
- Place in the centre of the oven and leave for 1 hour then turn off the oven and leave the meringues to dry out.
- Add all the whiskey coffee ingredients together, stir to dissolve sugar and leave to chill.
- In a bowl roughly crush the meringues, fold in enough of the cream to form a loose mix
- Take four glass bowls or tall glasses, and pour a good measure of the whiskey coffee into each, then spoon the meringue mix evenly on top.
- Garnish with some mint or chocolate sticks.
To green it up even more, I recommend mixing a few drops of green food colouring with some ice-cream and drizzled it over (you can see my results in the photo) with some chopped hazelnuts. A dollop of mint ice-cream is another option.
Black and White Cupcakes
This recipe is thanks to Graeme Campbell, Head Chef at , County Cork
Being a chocolate fan, these are one of my favourite cakes to make, the rich chocolate cake and the creamy vanilla icing are a classic combination that never fails to please. Resembling a Guinness, they are the ideal choice for serving during Afternoon Tea on St. Patrick’s Day.
Makes 15 – 20 cupcakes
Preparation time: 15-20 mins
Cooking time: 20-25 mins, depending on heat of cooker.
- 4 oz good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- 3 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 oz (¾ cup) soft brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 6 ½ oz (nearly 1 cup) plain flour, sifted
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Pinch of salt
- 6 ¾ oz semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
- 1 tsp good-quality vanilla extract
Method for the cakes:
- Preheat the oven to 170˚C (fan)/190˚C/375˚F/gas mark 5 and line two 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake cases.
- Break the chocolate into pieces and melt until smooth. Leave to cool slightly.
- Cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks for several minutes. Slowly add the egg yolks to the creamed mixture and beat well.
- Next, add the melted chocolate to the mixture and beat well.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a separate bowl.
- Put the milk in a jug and add the vanilla extract to it.
- Add 1/3 of flour to the chocolate mixture and beat well. Pour in 1/3 of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added.
- In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks start to form. Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter, using a metal spoon. Do not beat or you will take all the air out of the mixture.
- Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases (the mixture is quite liquid which is normal), filling them to maximum 2/3rds full.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. To check they are cooked, insert a skewer in the centre of one of the cakes – it should come out clean. Remove from the oven and leave the cakes in their tins for about 10 minutes before carefully placing on a wire rack to cool.
- Once completely cool, ice the cupcakes with vanilla butter cream (see below).
Vanilla Butter Icing Ingredients:
- 4 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 oz (¼ cup) semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
- 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
- 17 ½ oz icing sugar
- In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract and half the icing sugar until smooth – this can take several minutes with an electric hand mixer.
- Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and beat again until the butter cream is smooth and creamy.
I opted for mixing food colouring with icing and painting on a little shamrock in the first photo before adding extra icing as Graeme reckons:
When iced, the cupcakes will resemble a tiny pint of Guinness. To add an extra sparkle in celebration of St Patrick’s Day, sprinkle some edible green sparkles to the iced cakes. These cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for 3 days in an airtight container before icing. They are very moist, so they keep very well if stored correctly.
I can tell you they certainly did not last long in my house! Guess I’ll just have to do another batch for the 17th…
Our adventurous blogger Orla will be blogging live from the St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin. Listen in for photos, clips and stories from right inside the action: Bookmark the page now!
Interested to know who St Patrick actually was? We’ve recreated the St Patrick story with his myths and legends, Hollywood style