3/17/2012

Why everybody should celebrate St. Patricks Day


St. Patrick´s Day, unfortunately, is not really big here in Germany - I don´t think anyone has ever thought of dyeing the Rhine green or holding a parade to celebrate.

But, if you have ever spent an amazing, crazy summer in Ireland, you will never forget to honor your favorite Island on this special day. And, believe me, it is impossible for Ireland not to be your favorite Island after you have been there, or, if you are as lucky as me, been there twice. 

The Irish, although they may seem a bit rough at first, are incredibly welcoming and warm and, while they make sure you have the best of times with music, beer and laughter, you will come to believe that the magic is still alive in Ireland. 

If you have never been, go and buy a plane ticket right now! Or, if you are as broke as everyone seems to be in this economy, at least celebrate St. Patricks day.


I´ve made these brownies before and they were a great hit. The Guinness chocolate combination is perfect and the brownies are honestly the best I have ever had. Deep, rich chocolate taste, soft gooey center and the Guinness gives them the extra special Irish magic you want to have today.

Guinness Brownies
(Slightly adapted from here)

What you need:  
2 bottles Guinness, I could only find 44cl cans of Guinness Draft, so that’s what I used
1 cup / 150gr flour
 3/4 cup / 80gr unsweetened cocoa
½ Tsp / 3gr Salt
6 Tablespoons / 85g butter
8oz / 225g dark chocolate, I used a mix of 70% and 85% chocolates, broken into pieces
1,7oz / 50gr white chocolate, broken into pieces
1 cup / 225gr sugar
4 Eggs
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
Semisweet chocolate chips for decoration

What you will do: 
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (180C convection). Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick foil, or regular foil, lightly greased.
2. Pour the Guinness into a pot, and bring to boil. Be careful to use a big enough pot, as it will foam a lot in the beginning. Simmer on medium heat until it's reduced down to 1 1/4 cups. Keep a measuring cup nearby, so you can check the progress. Leave the beer on the side to cool.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt until evenly combined.
4. Melt butter and all the chocolates together. If you have a double-boiler, that’s good, but you could just as well use a normal sauce pan. Just make sure to put the butter in first and be patient and keep it on low heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat.
5. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate mixture, beating until combined.
6. Beat reserved flour mixture into melted chocolate mixture. Whisk in the reduced beer mixture and the vanilla. Be careful with the mixer, I sure wished my apron had sleeves. The batter will seem a bit thin, but the brownies will be perfect and gooey inside. Pour into the prepared baking pan and drop semisweet chocolate chips evenly on top of batter.
7. Bake 20 to 25 minutes on a low rack in the oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.
8. Let the Guinness brownies cool. I find, they are best when they are still a bit warm.

You can enjoy your brownies plain, dust them with some confectioners sugar or, if you really want to splurge, pair them up with some vanilla ice cream and pour some Baileys over it.


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