Today is St Patrick's Day. The day we celebrate all things Irish: shamrocks, Giant's Causeways, Guinness, Books of Kells, leprechauns and, erm, Westlife.
(Feel free at this point, if you are sitting on a stool, to stand on ceremony at a significant key change)
Truth is, and I've tried very, very hard, but (whispering with it being St Patrick's Day) I don't actually like Guinness. Even on a visit to the Guinness Factory in Dublin, where urban myth has it that a pint of the black stuff tastes the best, I couldn't bring myself to have more than a few sips*. I did however spend a small fortune in the quite fabulous gift shop, which stocks, I quote 'the largest range of Guinness merchandise in the world...a visit to the shop is an experience in itself'. I did my best to resist filling my suitcase with the, I quote once again, 'widest range of Guinness casual wear available'. It does pose the question of what Guinness serious wear involves. Anyhow, I think I'll be sticking to the sublime, yet earthy Guinness Cake.
I'll also be tucking into these: Mint Chocolate Macarons, which, with their green hue make them perfect to munch on while you enjoy a pint of Guinness (other Irish drinks are available).
Mint Chocolate Macarons
The macaron recipe is inspired by Edd Kimber, aka The Boy Who Bakes, who in turn uses Pierre Herme's recipe, aka the Macaron Man. The macaron recipe can be found here. I simply exchanged the red food colouring for green of course and added a few drops of peppermint extract.
And for the mint chocolate ganache I warmed 100ml of double cream gently and poured it over a bowl of 100g of broken up mint dark chocolate. I set it aside for two minutes before stirring gently and spooning into a piping bag. The ganache was then piped between two macarons before I used a dusting of cocoa powder to decorate.
- You may know that I have an abysmal history with macarons. They are my nemesis. My curse. My greatest adversary in the kitchen.
- These weren't too bad although a few stuck to the greaseproof paper. Boo.
- Once filled, pop the macarons in the fridge until served. I also discovered on Twitter (the new Encyclopedia Britannia) that the macaron shells freeze well for up to a month
- I'm submitting these to two brilliant blogging challenges: We Should Cocoa, hosted by Chele from the Chocolate Teapot with 'green' as the theme this month and also Alphabakes, hosted by Caroline from Caroline Makes with 'M' as the letter of the month
* a marginal improvement on Her Majesty's attempt