I hope everyone has recovered from the sugar rush following our most excellent Irish-themed meetup last month. Now, are you all ready to do it again?
Summerland Baker’s Special Event: Baking with Ancient Grains
- Where: True Grain Bread, 10108 Main Street
- When: Thursday, April 24th, 6:30pm
- What: This is your chance to try something new with one or more of the many incredible ancient grains out there. True Grain carries varieties like organic spelt and emmer flour. True Grain is one of the only bakeries in BC to mill their own flour on site, and we’ll learn about where they source their grain and also see the mill in action!
- Reserve your place! There is a lot of interest for this event – please email me to confirm your spot on the 24th.
On with the Irish Recipes!
Christine’s Irish Cream Bundt Cake
This kind of drizzle that combines Baileys and butter should be invited to all parties everywhere.
Jennifer’s Bailey’s Trifle
First, the cake: Black Bean Chocolate Cake – Flourless and Gluten Free!
Notes from Jennifer: For the trifle assemblage I just made pudding with half milk, half Baileys. Layered with cake bits, then Whipping cream on top sprinkled with shaved chocolate.
Lisa’s Irish Soda Bread
Lisa says this recipe was very easy to make, which is encouraging, since it was so delicious, especially with Lisa’s own homemade peach jam. The recipe even comes with a video for extra encouragement!
Sophia’s Chocolate Guinness Cake
My friend Paula’s sister makes her a chocolate Guinness cake every year for her birthday and I always wanted to try one. I shouldn’t have made it into layers though – it is supposed to just be a single cake with the cream cheese icing, in order to look like a pint of Guinness. Oh well – it is still lovely and moist. Thanks Nigella for this recipe.
Gerri’s Heritage Cupcakes
Gerri is a baker with flair. Not only is the recipe one that she has been making since she was small, but we all loved the addition of the wee Irish proverbs, including “Never bolt your door with a cooked carrot,” and “If you want praise, die. If you want blame, marry.”
From Gerri: You can tell it’s from the ‘50’s as it has jello in it!!!
Grease two 8” layer tins and heat oven to 350F
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 3 oz package lime jello powder
Beat well in 2 eggs
Add 1 tablespoon lime zest
Combine 2 ¼ cups flour with 2 ½ tsp baking powder & 1 tsp salt
Add alternately to the butter/egg mixture with 1 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
Put in layer pans or in cupcake holders
Bake until cake taster comes out clean
Make a paste with 5 tablespoons flour and 1 cup of milk
Beat lumps out until smooth and cook over med heat until mixture is “boiling” (it will be very thick but make sure flour is well cooked so there is no taste of flour left)
After it is cooked, dump the paste in a piece of plastic wrap, wrap up tightly and chill in fridge until cold all the way through – very important. I usually leave it overnight.
Cream 1 cup butter with
1 cup icing sugar
1 3 oz pkg of lime jello powder
1 tsp lime zest
Beat until very smooth with an electric mixer and then add the paste mixture from the fridge slowly so it incorporates well and is smooth. Beat all until light and fluffy.
Jean gets a gold baking star for her tenacity in the face of the terrible trio: a difficult recipe, a broken oven and a rain storm. Since making these, Jean reports another success with coffee-flavoured cookies with a mocha filling, made for a friend who was under the weather. Nom!
1 1/4c. almond meal
1 3/4c. icing sugar
Combine these in a food processor and sift out any larger lumps.
4 large egg whites (I used commercial egg whites)
1/2c. granulated sugar
1/2 t. cream of tartar
1/8 t. peppermint extract
Green food colour
Whip the egg whites ,sugar, cream of tartar until soft peaks. Adding the sugar gradually. Add extract and food colour and whip to very stiff peaks.
Fold the almond mixture into the egg whites-folding no more than 40 times. Pipe onto parchment paper in circles about 1-1 1/2 inches.(I drew circles on the underside of the parchment to use as templates) ((I used my piping bag with no attachment to get a nice smooth circle)) Bang the cookie sheets on the counter a couple of times-this breaks any air bubbles inside the cookies.
NOW VERY IMPORTANT: allow the cookies to rest on the counter for at least 20 minutes-can be more if you’re doing multiple sheets. Bake in an oven 300′ for 20 minutes( turn the sheet 1/2 way through) Cool on a wire rack about 5-10 minutes and then lift off. They will keep for several days in an airtight container or freeze for later use.
200g. semi-sweet chocolate
100g. heavy cream.
Heat the cream to light simmer and pour over chocolate to melt it. Let sit on the counter to cool. Spoon filling on the bottom of one cookie and top with a second cookie. (I didn’t put any flavouring in ganache)
I loved this, served with homemade sour cherry jelly. The tart reminded me of my great-grandmother’s cheesecake, which was made with quark. Similar texture and light flavour. Comfort food and great with a cup of strong tea.
From Kim: This is an old Gaelic recipe. It looks like there are lot of steps but not really.
I made the crust one day and completed the pie the next day. I found pressed cottage cheese, made in Grand Forks, at Quality Greens in Penticton. This is a nice light “cheese” cake.
1 ¼ cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into small chunks
about ¼ cup cold water
2 cups pressed cottage cheese
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼ teaspoon salt if the pressed cheese is unsalted (mine was)
1 whole lemon, zested
3 large eggs, separated
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons flour
Pie Crust: Mix together flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter with your fingertips. Add 3 tablespoons of cold water. Stir to moisten – you may have to add more water. Knead briefly on a lightly floured surface. Shape into a flat disk, slip into a plastic bag and refrigerate while you make the filling.
Filling: Separate eggs and beat the egg whites until fairly stiff. By hand, beat together cottage cheese, sugar, butter, salt and lemon zest. Stir in egg yolks. Fold in egg whites.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to a 10 inch round and lay it in tart pan and do whatever you do to crimp the edges. Brush pastry shell with beaten egg and refrigerate. Melt butter for topping. Mix remaining beaten egg with melted butter, sugar and flour.
Pour filling into pastry shell. Don’t worry if it seems pretty full – it doesn’t rise much. Starting in the centre of the tart, pour topping in a spiralling circle moving outward to the edge of the shell. Don’t worry if the topping doesn’t reach the edge. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden. Cool. Serve with fresh fruit or fruit preserves.
Does anything sound more comforting on a cold night than this? This recipe comes all the way from Jan’s cousin in Ireland!
Have slices of bread buttered place buttered side downwards in a pyrex dish, sprinkle currents & raisins or one of them over the bread.
Then place another layer of buttered bread over the fruit buttered side up again a layer of dried fruit followed by a layer of buttered bread buttered side up. Depending on size of dish this should be sufficient.
Now beat two eggs and add hot milk to eggs, add sugar and pour this over the bread. It should be nice and moist. Place dish in hot oven and bake it comes out golden brown. Serve with Custard
Laura’s Current Squares
Three cheers for Laura for heading straight to her kitchen to bake even though she had just returned home from California. She whipped this together using simple ingredients, proving that a stubborn baker will drag deliciousness out from wherever it is hiding, no matter the circumstances. Unfortunately I was so excited with all the cake arriving, I didn’t get a proper close-up! But you can see them on the left side of the above photo.
Apparently these are also sometimes called “Fly graveyards.” Luckily, they don’t taste like it! Click here for the recipe.
Jan’s Potato Biscuits (Fadge)
Jan brought some Roger’s Syrup as a sweetener for these, but I loved them just as they are. Potatoes are awesome, and these Moorish little biscuits prove it.
1 cup mashed potato
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon of baking powder
Mix well. Pat down to ½ inch. Cut with small glass. Bake 400 F til golden.
Jan’s notes: This is a good way to use leftover mashed potatoes, but I used (4 or 5) boiled, peeled potatoes and added a fourth tablespoon of butter. I put everything in the food processor, progressively mixing in the order listed above. I also used a gluten free flour mixture to keep the biscuits celiac friendly. Serve sweet or savory.
Chantelle’s Chocolate Grasshopper Cheesecake
Apparently, a dangerous part of making this cheesecake is that the crust does not require the entire box of cookies, and so it is necessary to “assist” the process of emptying the packet while the cake is baking. Your secret is safe with us, Chantelle. Oh, wait – this is a public blog. Oops.
30 fudge mint cookies, crushed (about 1 3/4 cups)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
4 oz semisweet baking chocolate
3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup green crème de menthe liqueur*
Topping and Garnish, if desired
Sweetened whipped cream
Crème de menthe thin rectangular candies for garnish, unwrapped, cut in half diagonally
- Heat oven to 300°F. Wrap foil around bottom and side of ungreased 9-inch springform pan. In large bowl, mix crust ingredients with fork until crumbly. Press in bottom and 1 inch up side of pan. Bake 12 minutes. Cool 30 minutes.
- In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate on High 45 to 60 seconds, stirring once halfway through microwaving, until melted. If necessary, continue to microwave on High in 15-second increments, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
- In large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed, scraping bowl frequently, until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Stir in liqueur. Pour filling evenly over crust.
- Drop 8 to 10 tablespoonfuls melted chocolate randomly onto filling, allowing chocolate to sink into filling. With table knife or small spatula, cut through chocolate and filling to swirl for marbled design.
- Bake 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes or until set 2 inches from edge of pan. Remove from oven; run knife around side of cheesecake to loosen. Return to oven; turn oven off and open door slightly. Cool cheesecake in oven 1 hour. Remove from oven to cooling rack; cool at room temperature 1 hour. Refrigerate 3 hours.
- To serve, remove side of pan. Spoon whipped cream into decorating bag with large star tip; squeeze bag to pipe cream around top edge of cheesecake. Garnish with candies.
*One teaspoon peppermint extract and 4 to 6 drops green food color can be substituted for the crème de menthe liqueur.
*This decadent dessert is the perfect do-ahead because it needs to be chilled at least 3 hours before serving.
*For easy cutting, dip your knife into hot water.
Irish Tea Cake
Both Wendy and Leah made traditional Irish Tea Cakes, but they were both slightly different. Here is the recipe for Leah’s.
Leah’s Irish Tea Cake