Monday, March 17, 2014

Baking On Board

It's March 17 and we have yet another snow storm. I'd say we have a good 6-8 inches of light, fluffy snow. I thought we were supposed to beware the Ides of March not St. Patrick's Day. Regardless, I took advantage of the weather and participated in the age old snow day activity of baking.

I used to have hoards of cook books. While I had a few favorites, most of them had only a recipe or two that I liked and they sat collecting dust. The Internet is my recipe book now. Whenever I come across something interesting, I add it to my Recipes favorites folder. The cupcakes I made today have been calling to me for a couple of weeks.

Months back, I introduced readers to the galley on board. It's time to see just how small my oven really is.

The ruler gives a bit of perspective, but it's 12 1/2 inches high and 15 inches wide.
Safe to say I won't be cooking a Thanksgiving turkey any time soon. This also means that many of my old pans don't fit in the oven. So, cupcakes are now baked in silicone molds.

I was able to squish 12 molds onto my little baking sheet. They are a little shorter than a regular muffin tin so my recipe made 18 cupcakes. The second batch of only six came out a little better so I need to keep that in mind for future baking endeavors.

The molds stack and take up very little space in my cabinets. Many thanks to my mother-in-law who thought to give us these handy molds.

Okay, so the problem of how to bake the cupcakes was solved. The next issue was getting butter to warm up to "room temperature" in a 59 degree cabin. I set out a stick for the frosting but it remained just as chilled as I was. After a sad attempt at blending it soft, I put the bowl and butter-covered mixer right in front of a ceramic heater for a while.
This may be the solution for winter baking. Any chefs out there, would I have been better off putting the butter in the microwave for a couple seconds? (Obviously before it coated my mixer.)

Ta-da! A successful batch of Chocolate-Guinness cupcakes with Bailey's and Jameson frosting. Éirinn go Brach!
The jury is still out on the recipe. The cupcakes are good but the frosting is a bit sweet for my taste. I definitely added a bit more Jameson than called for in order to give them an Irish kick -- and I recommend that if you try the recipe.

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