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!