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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sweet Melissa Sundays #7: Guinness Gingerbread; and Strawberry Contest Muffins

Guiness Gingerbread, aka Rootbeer Gingerbread

The Sweet Melissa Sundays baking group this week baked up Melissa Murphy's Guinness Gingerbread (p. 12 - 13). It was chosen by the fabulous Katie of Katiecakes. One thing I love about this group is that it gets me to bake things I would normally probably never choose on my own. This recipe was a lot of fun.

I made a few changes to the recipe. Since we aren't really drinkers in our house and I didn't want to be left with a ton of Guinness stout, I used IBC Rootbeer in place of the Guinness beer called for in the recipe. I also substituted maple syrup where the recipe called for Molasses as past recipes have taught me I'm really not in to the taste of molasses. Light brown sugar went in instead of dark because that is all I had, and similarly I used black pepper instead of the ground white pepper the book uses because I didn't have any white. I used my little Baking Bible book and this new fantastic website I found, Cook's Thesaurus to find out that white pepper is basically just a milder less flavorful version of its darker counterpart. So, rather than the 1/4 tsp white pepper the recipe calls for, I used just a light sprinkling of black pepper. Annddd I baked it in a cupcake pan rather than the 9 x 9 x 2 baking dish because I like the ease of give-away-ability that cupcakes allow. Other than that, I followed the recipe. :)

I thought it would make about 9 cupcakes, so I greased & floured 9 wells of a cupcake pan. I soon learned it makes MORE than that, about DOUBLE my estimate to be exact, so I called for help from Daniel who came to the rescue with cupcake liners.

Melissa Murphy says it is best served warm with freshly whipped cream dolloped on top. Well, it is Sunday morning, and I didn't think ahead enough to make whipped cream first. And I really wanted to taste it warm like she said. So we made due with some Ready Whip.

It was very nice! I am sure it would have been even tastier with homemade whipped cream, but even with the store bought stuff it was quite good. With my light brown sugar and my maple syrup substitutions, the result was a mild, subtle flavored cake. I look forward to enjoying the rest of the cupcakes room temperature with frosting on top!

Now, to decide which frosting to use... Rootbeer frosting? Regular ol' buttercream with caramel drizzle (Dan's choice)? We shall see!

*Update* Root Beer Frostingish/Glaze Topping

1 3/4 C confectioners sugar
1/2 stick, unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
4 Tbs. root beer

Add butter to mixing bowl. Gradually add confectioners sugar to the butter & cream together until well mixed. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add the root beer. To get the correct consistency, add more root beer or sugar to reach desired adjust thickness. Mine came out somewhere between Glaze & Frosting, but piled on nicely!

Strawberry Shortcake Crumb Muffins

I've also been baking up some other things. Mimi's cafe held a Meaningful Muffin Search contest to find their new Seasonal Muffin Recipe. The amazing Gale Gand is one of the judges, and prizes include $1,000 gift cards to Mimi's, your muffin on the menu, a cookbook signed by Ms. Gand, and $1 from each winning Meaningful Muffin sold will go to "Share Our Strength". I thought, WHY NOT, might as well try and enter, right?? If I don't win, I still got to eat some muffins!

I designed a Strawberry Shortcake Crumb muffin. I thought Strawberries were a good place to start, since the contest was to design their seasonal muffin, and I added a nice crumb topping because, well, everyone likes a good crumb topping.

Recipe to follow soon! Be sure to see how the Guinness Gingerbread came out for the other SMS Bakers!


Cristine said...

I love how you subbed root beer! How creative!

And those muffins look AMAZING! I'm looking forward to the recipe!

Jennifer said...

I used the root beer substitution, too, and which I would have thought of the rootbeer glaze, that sounds delicious. (Hmm.. a cake with rootbeer glaze and vanilla ice cream would be so good, but then I am a float fan)

Tracey said...

Great substitutions! I left the pepper out as it scared me a bit :) I love that you made cupcakes - they look marvelous! I especially love the ones with the root beer frosting.

Fit Chick said...

Root beer is a great sub!!!, Love all your differently topped cupcakes; the glaze sounds delicious.

margot said...

Subbing root beer was a great idea and I think the root beer glaze sounds awesome. I have been wanting to make a root beer cake since the last one I made (from Baked) was good, but tasted more like chocolate than root beer.

Good luck with the contest; the strawberry crumble muffins look incredible!

pinkstripes said...

Your gingerbread muffins look wonderful. So do the strawberry ones.

Kaitlin said...

Yum - you can't go wrong with maple syrup! And your cupcakes look fantastic - seeing the cupcakes look so tempting on yours and others' blogs, I'm definitely making this recipe cupcake-style next time!

Kaitlin said...

Yum - you can't go wrong with maple syrup! And your cupcakes look fantastic - seeing the cupcakes look so tempting on yours and others' blogs, I'm definitely making this recipe cupcake-style next time!

Megan said...

You're the second person to use rootbeer - and I think it's such a great idea!

And those strawberry muffins - they look delicious!

Donna-FFW said...

Love that strawberry muffin. The crumb topping puts it over the edge!

Elyse said...

First of all, your gingerbread sounds fantastic. Yours domed beautifully (mine sank...why??), and that frosting sounds so delicious! But, let me say, you totally got me drooling over those strawberry crumb muffins. Man oh man, do those look divine! Sorry that I’ve been an absent commenter; I just finished up my law school exams and am finally getting around to my google reader.

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Gotta love how Rediwhip comes through in a pinch! I'll bet the frosting was delicious with those sweet cupcakes. I always put pepper in my spiced desserts.

The Bahens said...

I'll have to try using maple syrup next time. That sounds like tasty substitution!

Mermaid Sweets said...

Wow, great double post. Loved the cupcakes and the rootbeer sub, I actually just made rootbeer float cupcakes too! And the strawberry muffins, they sound heavinly, good luck.

Ingrid said...

I don't think I've ever had and I know I've never made gingerbread before. I'll have to give it a try one day.

Good luck on your muffins....they sounds and look great!

Sweetie said...

the muffins look spectacular! best of luck. were they better straight out of the oven, after cooling, or even the next day?

tajmahill said...

Hi - I just found your blog and I am love! How fabulous are you?!?!?!?! The pic in your header is making me salivate :) Can you tell me what it is the recipe to? I could not find your email so I am sorry for having to sneak this in the comments. Jenn

unconfidential cook said...

Those strawberry muffins just look great with that topping!

Pauline said...

Oh my gosh! I LOVE gingerbread. Your cupcakes look absolutely delectable. They look moist and dense and flavorful. I will have to get this recipe somehow. It's an interesting addition to use white/black pepper in a gingerbread recipe, but I guess it really adds an extra spice to it! Wonderful!


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