Margaret M. Johnson"> Baking for St. Patrick’s Celebrations | Arts & Leisure | Irish Echo
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Baking for St. Patrick’s Celebrations

March 19, 2021

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Coole Swan White Chocolate Cheesecake.

 

Recipes / By Margaret M. Johnson

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 26 years since my Cooking with Irish Spirits cookbook was first published in Dublin and 15 years since it was revised as The Irish Spirit and published in San Francisco. The recipes are as popular as ever, especially during the St. Patrick’s “season” when everyone wants to add a touch of Irish to their baking. These recipes, which include some standards made with Guinness, won’t disappoint! 

GUINNESS CUPCAKES WITH IRISH CREAM ICING

MAKES 18 TO 24

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Depending on who’s baking, this recipe has many variations — some more boozy than others — but these cupcakes seem to have just the right amount of the black stuff for a subtle, sweet flavor. Filling the cups about two thirds full should yield between 18 and 24 cupcakes.

For the cupcakes

8 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup Guinness
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream 

For the icing 

4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 to 5 tablespoons Irish cream

Whole walnut, for topping

1. Make cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together butter and Guinness; whisk in cocoa until smooth.

3. In another large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, soda and salt.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat eggs and sour cream on medium speed until smooth. Slowly beat in chocolate mixture; beat in flour mixture in two additions. With a cookie dough scoop, fill cupcake papers two-thirds full.

5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven; let cool completely on a wire rack. 

6. Make icing. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat butter until smooth. Slowly beat in confectioners’ sugar and 3 tablespoons Irish cream, adding more if needed for spreading consistency.

7. Spread or pipe icing onto cupcakes; top with walnut. Let icing firm for about 1 hour.

GUINNESS OATMEAL CAKE WITH NUT TOPPING

SERVES 10 TO 12

The origin of this cake is mysterious at best, but it possibly originated as an oatmeal pudding. The crunchy coconut-pecan-toffee topping adds an element of surprise and a modern touch to an otherwise traditional cake.

For the cake

1 cup quick-cooking (not instant) Irish oatmeal, such as Flahavan’s or McCann’s brand 

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup Guinness

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 ounces butter, at room temperature

1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

For the topping

3 ounces butter

1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1. Make cake. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick baking spray with flour. 

2. In a medium bowl, combine oatmeal, water, and Guinness; let stand for 20 minutes. In another medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in flour mixture; stir in oatmeal mixture. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into center comes out clean.

Remove from oven; let cool on a wire rack (leave cake in pan).

5. Make topping. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, brown sugar and cream. Bring slowly to a boil; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in pecans and coconut until blended; spread over top of cake.

6. Preheat broiler. Put cake on a rack 4 inches from heat source and broil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until topping is browned and bubbling. Remove from heat and let cool for 1 to 2 hours, or until topping is set. To serve, release sides of pan; cut cake into slices. 

 

 

 

APPLE CRUMBLE WITH WHISKEY CREAM

SERVES 6 TO 8

Apples have always played an important part in Irish folklore, tradition and diet, so it’s no surprise to find apple desserts in great supply and variety. This apple dessert, sometimes called “apple crunch” when the apples are first cooked to soften them, is flavored with a respectable dose of Irish whiskey and topped with a buttery oatmeal crumble. Serve it with the Irish whiskey cream sauce for a holiday tread. 

For the filling

1/3 cup water

2 tablespoons Irish whiskey

1/2 cup golden raisins

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 to 5 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

For the topping

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar

3 ounces Kerrygold Irish butter

1 cup quick-cooking (not instant) Irish oatmeal, such as Flahavan’s or McCann’s brand 

For the whiskey cream 

1 cup heavy (whipping) cream

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons Irish whiskey

1. Make filling. in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring water and whiskey to a boil; stir in raisins and vanilla. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour, or until raisins have absorbed most of the liquid.

2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter an 8- or 9-inch square glass baking dish. In a large bowl, toss apples with sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Stir in raisins and cooking liquid; arrange in prepared pan.

3. Make topping. Combine flour, brown sugar and butter in a food processor; pulse 4 to 5 times to form coarse crumbs. Stir in oats. Sprinkle mixture over fruit.

4. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until topping is golden and apples are tender. 

5. Make cream. In a deep bowl, beat cream with an electric mixer on high until soft peaks form. Dissolve the honey in whiskey; fold into whipped cream. Serve crisp warm or at room temperature with whiskey cream.

 

COOLE SWAN WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

SERVES 12 TO 14

For chocolate lovers who are really chocolate lovers, this triple threat dessert takes it to a new level. The cheesecake combines melted white chocolate with Coole Swan, a unique, luxury Irish cream made with single malt Irish whiskey, fresh cream and Belgian white chocolate and tops the cake with white chocolate sauce. Indulge as is, or add fresh berries if you wish.

For the crust

2 cups digestive biscuits crumbs, such as McVitie’s brand

2 ounces unsalted butter, melted 

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

For the filling

6 ounces white chocolate

2 tablespoons heavy whipping) cream

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup Coole Swan liqueur

For the sauce

2/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream

4 ounces butter

8 ounces white chocolate

1. Make crust. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with butter flavored nonstick cooking spray. Wrap pan with aluminum foil.

2. In a medium bowl, combine crumbs, butter and brown sugar. Press mixture evenly onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan; bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; let cool on wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. 

3. Make filling. In a glass bowl, microwave chocolate and cream on HIGH for 1 minute; stir once. Return to microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool for about 5 minutes. 

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat cream cheese and sugar with and electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in chocolate mixture and Coole Swan, beating just until blended (do not overbeat). Pour filling over crust; place pan on baking sheet.

5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until center is almost set and firm to touch. Remove from oven; let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around sides of pan; release sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

6. Make sauce. In a small saucepan, bring cream and butter to a gentle boil. Remove from heat; stir in white chocolate until melted and smooth.

Margaret Johnson’s “Recipes” page expands this year to “Ireland Hopping: Adventures in Food, Drink, and Travel.” For further details on her work, or to order her cookbooks, visit irishcook.com.

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