I love themes and after getting the invite for this potluck, knew that I wanted to bring something to fit along with one of the movies featured. Unfortunately I haven’t seen too many of the nominees this year, so I was a little stumped. 😦
At first, I thought about Inception and how what you see is not always what you get. Ideas of creating something that looks like a certain food, but tastes completely different (playing on your senses of sight and taste) developed in my head, but seemed too ambitious to actually bring to fruition.
I thought about Toy Story 3 and how I could make loaded potato skins with bacon and cheese to honor Mr. Potato Head and Hamm who have great scenes in the movie. But that seemed a little…barbaric? I like Mr. Potato Head and Hamm.
I thought about The Social Network and how I could bring the ingredients for appletinis (you need to see the movie to understand the reference), but the hosts of the party are taking care of all libations.
I last thought about The Fighter. I admit that I haven’t even seen the movie, but I know the general storyline of Mickey Ward’s path to a welterweight boxing title. The movie showcases strong Irish-American families in Massachusetts, so I pondered the question of what people of Irish descent love to eat and drink. One of the first things that popped into my head? Guinness. Thus, the idea of Guinness chocolate cupcakes was born.
This isn’t an extremely original flavor, but it was new to me. Also, I’d never used beer in a dessert before (though I’ve used it in other baked goods) so this was a fun baking experiment that luckily turned out just fine. I took a shortcut by using a box of Pillsbury cake mix, but made a few extra additions to make the cake more moist and flavorful. So I’m not completely lazy. 🙂
Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing
Makes 24 cupcakes
1 box of Pillsbury devil’s food cake mix
⅓ cup vegetable oil
⅓ cup sour cream
⅓ packet of instant chocolate pudding mix
1 ¼ cups Guinness Extra Stout
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place all ingredients except the beer in a large mixing bowl.
Pour beer into the bowl, get slightly distracted by watching the yeast activate, and stir until just combined. Batter will be slightly lumpy.
Line a cupcake pan with paper liners, or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Fill cups 2/3 of the way with batter and bake for 16 to 20 minutes. My cupcakes were perfect at 17 minutes in my oven.
Remove pan from oven and place cupcakes on a cooling rack. Allow to cool for an hour, or overnight.
Once cool, top with cream cheese icing, recipe follows.
Cream Cheese Icing
Makes about 2 cups of icing
4 oz. cream cheese (DO NOT use low or non-fat)
¼ cup butter or margarine
1 cup powdered sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Cream together the butter and cream cheese using a hand mixer to soften. Add the powdered sugar in small batches and mix until all combined. Lastly, mix in the vanilla extract.
Enjoy on Oscar night or any night! I think these babies give your mouth a good one-two punch, if I do say so myself.