Asheville Eats Chocolate Guinness Cake

Asheville Eats St. Patty's Day 2016 Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
The real lynch pin of a successful meal is the dessert. The success of your dinner, especially when you're entertaining, is often made or broken based on the popularity of your final sweet course. Who doesn't love a perfectly moist chocolate cake with the perfect creamy icing to top it off, or a brilliantly rich and decadent Flourless Chocolate Torte with raspberry compote and fresh whipped cream. Sounds good right?

If you're looking for a main course that makes you feel like you're grabbing a quick bite on your way out the door to the ceilidh (a night out listening to Celtic music and dancing), check out our post from last year Asheville Eats the Grand Ole Irish Way for festive recipes for Corned Beef and Cabbage Rolls and Traditional Irish Soda Bread. Once the dishes are cleared and your guests are sure there couldn't be anything better than the meal they just finished, blow them all away by bringing out this year's traditional Irish dessert. Chocolate Guinness cake is one of those recipes that you can find in almost any Irish cookbook, whether you've picked it up off the bookstore's shelf or off your grandmother's and are flipping through hand-written pages of family recipes. However, the most common recipes are for a full cake and anyone who has had a full slice of Chocolate Guinness cake knows that while it's delicious, it is very rich. So as we considered various recipes to compliment last year's post, we were thrilled to find this recipe that has adapted the Celtic favorite to Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes that easier to pass around, easier portions to manage at a time, and easier to eat more of!

Don't forget as you try your hand at these delectable little tastes of Ireland that while heat does remove alcohol from food and this recipe only calls for a cup of beer, the table below showed exactly how much time it takes to really cook all the alcohol out of a dish, and North Carolina has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking (especially when followed by any amount of driving). Though the study below targets alcohol in soups and sauces, additional research has concluded that the time line for reduction is pretty much the same for both baking and simmering a liquid solution. A study by the US Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Data Laboratory calculated 85% of alcohol remains in a dish after being added to a boiling liquid and removed from heat. However, allowing the alcohol to simmer on the stove with your sauce/soup (or in this cake bake in the oven in your cupcakes) allows more alcohol to burn off. The results are as follows:

  • 15 minutes simmering - 40% remains
  • 30 minutes simmering - 35% remains
  •  1 hour simmering - 25% remains
  • 1.5 hours simmering - 20 % remains 
  • 2 hours simmering - 10% remains
  • 2.5 hours simmering - 5% remains
If you have a group with mixed ages that will be enjoying your feast, make sure to make some plain chocolate cupcakes or another age appropriate dessert for the younger attendees! The important thing is to remember to have fun and enjoy the company you're in on a day set aside to remember a man who brought a new way of thinking as well as education to a nation that has in turn touched every one of us.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and yours from the team here at Asheville Connections!

Asheville Eats Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes 2016 Recipe Cards

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