Not just any look, but the silent glare that simply says "Must you speak so loudly, human?"
No, I didn't get that look from someone wearing a green beer stained "Kiss me I'm Irish" T-shirt.
I got it from my cat.
On the floor, a few feet away from Hagia, two items told a story: to the left were cupcake wrappers, traces of Irish cream glaze left clinging to the paper; to the right, a puddle of cat barf.
Hmmm...I've been here before...sort of. Instead of being helped by My Dear Little Cardamummy down the distilled path of wobbliness, they apparently showed great initiative and helped themselves to discarded cupcake liners from the trash.
Well, they say drunks and other addicts will stop at nothing to get their fix.
Hagia has very...refined...tastes. Ice cream and tuna interest her. Olives, lemongrass and (more recently) bleu cheese keep her by my side. More recently baking--buttery cakes and croissants along with traces of raw flour--cause frantic miaos and pokes.
Being so close to St. Patrick's Day, I decided to create an Irish cream cupcake--a treat that could inspire choruses of "No dear, those are Mummy's special cupcakes." Given she had no interest in other alcohols I've sipped or cooked with (Guiness, wines, liqueurs and the rest) I was more than surprised at her begging for a bit of cake (which she did not get...at least not then). Maybe it's the cream...or perhaps the sugar.
With my luck, it's the whiskey.
These cakelettes are very easy to make. The finished cake has Irish cream's caramelly tones while keeping a buttery-dense crumb and really doesn't need any additional boosting. Yet me being me, I chose to thoroughly embrace the day and gaze the fairy cakes with a thinned Irish cream icing.
Since I'm not a fan of thick icings, the cakes were glazed while still warm--apart from thinning the icing, the flavours to seeped into the cakes and dribbled down the sides and left a thin layer to cool on top. You can, if you wish, cut away any rounded peaks from the cooled cakes and spoon on a thicker icing (vanilla or royal icing would work well) and top with whichever candies, sprinkles or dragees that come to hand.
Irish Cream Cupcakes
110g (0.75c +4tsp) cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
125g (0.5c + 1Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
100g (0.5c) sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
60ml (0.25c) Irish cream liqueur
Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Line a 12-bowl cupcake tin with papers.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light, fluffy and almost pearlescent. Mix in the eggs one at at a time (or as best as you can), followed by the vanilla.
Incorporate half the flour into the batter, scrape down the sides and then continue with the rest of the flour. Pour in the Irish cream and mix until smooth.
Divide between the papered bowls and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cakelettes have risen, are golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack; decorate as desired.
Irish cream glaze
55g (0.25c) unsalted butter, very soft
30-60g (2-4Tbsp) icing sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp Irish cream liqueur
1 Tbsp cream (heavy or light) or milk (plus more, if necessary)
Beat together the butter and a couple of spoons of the sugar until smooth. With the beaters still going, dribble in the Irish cream and cream. Taste for sweetness--add more sugar or cream (or Irish cream) as necessary for the consistency you prefer.
I'm a quill for hire!