Well, Top of the afternoon to you!
Just had a lovely afternoon tea for St Patrick's day inspired cakes..
Guinness and chocolate cupcakes and a traditional Irish fruit loaf- an orange marmalade BarmBrack.. and of course some very strong tea!
The deliciously rich and moist Guinness cupcakes is taken from this recipe by Gizzi Erskine, who adapted her recipe from Nigella.. So take your pick on which to follow. I slightly changed the measure of cocoa powder, doubling the amount and substituting milk chocolate instead of plain. It didn't affect the rich malty chocolatyness one jot. Place the very liquid mixture into 2/3rds of the cupcake cases and bake for 20 -22 minutes. It makes enough for about 24 cupcakes.The Guinness 'foam' is made from combining cream cheese, icing sugar and double cream.. just whip it up till you get the right frothiness!
I love these vintage china plates- the one below is a midwinter 'fashion shape' from the 50's white rose pattern.
The Barm Brack is very similar to the Italian pannetone or Welsh, fruit cake bara brith, and very easy to whip up.
Start by soaking 2 cups of mixed fruit, raisins,currants,sultanas in very strong tea(I used Earl Grey for added flavour) leave for a couple of hours. Grease a loaf tin or 8 inch tin. In a large bowl, mix 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar with 1 egg, beat well together and 1/2 a cup of orange marmalde and teaspoon of cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg. Strain the soaked fruit and add this to the mixture. Fold in 2 and 1/2 cups of plain flour and 1 teaspoon of bicarb of soda. Keep folding till it all comes together. I added large tablespoon of natural yogurt and some more marmalade right at the end! Dollop into the pan and bake at 180c for 45 mins or until a knife comes out clean.
Serve warm with some jam or butter. Oh my goodness it's so good! Also have it toasted the next day, please.
Now, will you have another cup of tea, you will? Go on.. you will....