Hearty Irish Comfort Food With Poetry and Stories

 Those who drink to forget, please pay in advance.
click to expand image - take a deep breath of green

Traditionally, in Ireland, the largest meal of the day was eaten at lunchtime, and was called dinner. 

Of course the Irish are famous for their substantial breakfasts as well. 

Tea was had at our dinnertime, in the late afternoon or early evening, and would commonly have been a light meal of bread, soup, tea, and cake. 

Supper is what the Irish call a late night snack.

Green Food 
& Some Irish-Themed Healthy Recipes
All About Chlorophyll
Grow Your Own Wheatgrass 
Make Your Own Wheatgrass Juice Concentrate


Guinness Brown Bread
450g coarse wholemeal flour
2 level t. bread soda
25g pinhead oatmeal
4 T. demerara sugar
50g butter
1 T. treacle (or molasses)
400 ml Guinness
Preheat oven to 190C and lightly oil a 2lb loaf tin. Put margarine and treacle in a saucepan and allow butter to melt, meanwhile put wholemeal, oatmeal and sugar into bowl. Sieve in bread soda and mix well. When butter has melted, add Guinness and stir. Add liquid to dry ingredients and mix gently. Transfer mixture to the baking tin and bake for about 40-50 minutes until risen. Wrap in a clean cloth and allow to cool.

Brown Butter Soda Bread
1/4 c (1/2 stick) butter
3+ 1/2 c wholemeal flour
1/2 c old-fashioned oats
1 T. demerara sugar
1 T. chopped fresh rosemary
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
3/4 t. ground black pepper plus additional for topping
1+ 3/4 c buttermilk
1 egg white, beaten to blend

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Stir butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until melted and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir flour, oats, sugar, rosemary, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in large bowl to blend. Pour buttermilk and melted browned butter over flour mixture; stir with fork until flour mixture is moistened. Turn dough out onto floured work surface. Knead gently until dough comes together, about 7 turns. Divide in half. Shape each half into ball; flatten each into 6-inch round. Place rounds on un-oiled baking sheet, spacing 5 inches apart. Brush tops with beaten egg white. Sprinkle lightly with ground black pepper. Using small sharp knife, cut 1/2-inch-deep X in top of each dough round. Bake breads until deep golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool breads on rack at least 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Spotted Dog/ Freckled Bread
3+ 1/2 c wholemeal flour
2 T. cornstarch
3 T. demerara sugar
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. cream of tartar
1 1/2 t. salt
3 T. butter
1 1/2 c buttermilk
1 c raisins

If you do not have buttermilk on hand, just add 1 1/2 T. of lemon juice or white vinegar to your milk and let it sit for 5 minutes, or use plain yogurt. Preheat oven to 400F. Whisk the flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt in a large bowl. Mix it well. Work the softened butter into the dry ingredient with a fork or your fingertips. Do this until the texture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and stir with a fork just until the dough begins to come together. If you are adding raisins stir them in now.

Add buttermilk and stir with a fork just until the dough begins to come together.
Turn the dough out onto a flour-coated work surface. Knead until the dough just about comes together, about 10 turns; do not over-work the dough. Pat the dough into a roundish shape about 2-3 inches thick.

Place on a oiled or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Score the dough by cutting a cross shape on the top of the loaf. Bake until loaf is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool on a wire rack to room temperature, 30-40 minutes. 

Brotchan Folchep 
Leek and Oatmeal Soup 
3 leeks
1 oz butter
3 oz flake (rolled oats)
2+ 1/2 c vegetable or chicken stock
1+ 1/4 milk
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of mace
parsley, chopped
2 T. cream 
Wash the leeks thoroughly and chop into chunks. (Save one chunk and slice into rings as a garnish, if liked: put these aside until the soup is done.) Melt the butter gently in a saucepan, not allowing it to brown. Add the oatmeal and fry it in the butter, stirring until golden brown. Still stirring, pour in the stock and milk. Add the chopped leeks, salt, pepper and mace. Bring to a boil; then lower heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the broth is thick. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly, and then either blitz the soup in a blender or with an immersion mixer or push it through a sieve. Reheat gently without allowing it to boil again. Stir in parsley: serve and garnish with a swirl of cream and / or the previously sliced bits of leek (or stir the cream in when the parsley is added)

Barm Brak 
Irish Fruit Cake 
20 calamata figs
1/2 lb dried cherries
1/4 lb dried pineapple
2+ 1/2 c walnuts
1 c wholemeal flour
1 t. salt
1+ 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 c butter
1+ 1/2 c demerara sugar
5 eggs, separated
2 oz. baking chocolate, melted
4 T. brandy (or water from the soaking fruit)
1+ 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
1 t.  almond extract
Butter a 6 x 10 x 3-inch loaf pan. Line with parchment paper and butter generously again. Set oven for 250 degrees F. Cover figs and cherries with boiled water (do not soak the pineapple), and let stand 10 minutes. Drain. With scissors, snip stems off figs

Then cut figs, cherries and pineapple into tiny bits. Add chopped nuts and half the sifted flour. Mix together lightly. Sift remaining flour with salt, baking powder and spices. Cream butter, sugar, egg yolks and melted chocolate. Whip egg whites until very light. Combine all ingredients until just mixed. Place in baking pan. Garnish with slivered almonds and a sprinkle of demerara sugar (optional). Bake in slow oven (250 F) for about 3 to 4 hours. Place pan of hot water in bottom of oven. 

St Brigid’s Cloak

The King of Leinster at that time was not particularly generous, and St. Brigid found it not easy to make him contribute in a respectable fashion to her many charities.

One day when he proved more than usually niggardly, she at last said, as it were in jest: "Well, at least grant me as much land as I can cover with my cloak;" and to get rid of her importunity he consented. They were at the time standing on the highest point of ground of the Curragh, and she directed four of her sisters to spread out the cloak preparatory to her taking possession. They accordingly took up the garment, but instead of laying it flat on the turf, each virgin, with face turned to a different point of the compass, began to run swiftly, the cloth expanding at their wish in all directions. Other pious ladies, as the border enlarged, seized portions of it to preserve something of a circular shape, and the elastic extension continued till the breadth was a mile at least.

"Oh, St. Brigid!" said the frighted king, "what are you about?" "I am, or rather my cloak is about covering your whole province to punish you for your stinginess to the poor." "Oh, come, come, this won't do. Call your maidens back. I will give you a decent plot of ground, and be more liberal for the future."

The saint was easily persuaded. She obtained some acres, and if the king held his purse-strings tight on any future occasion she had only to allude to her cloak's India-rubber qualities to bring him to reason.

Traditionally, the brat bhríde, or Brigid’s Cloak, was laid outside before sunset on the eve of Brigid’s Feast day (Imbolc), 1st February, and brought back in before sunrise. Blessed by Brigid, ancient Spring goddess and saint, the dew which fell that night imbued the cloth with powers of healing and protection which lasted throughout the year. It would then be kept in a special place in the house and brought out as needed when illness occurred. It could be wrapped around the head to cure a headache; it was widely used by midwives to help women in childbirth, for Brigid was especially known as being the patron of healers and midwives. It was used on sick animals also, especially cows and sheep for which Brigid had a special affinity.

Brigid (Naomh Brid in Irish) was a fifth century slave girl from Kildare and is one of Ireland's patron saints.  She became an Abbess and the founder of several monasteries. These monasteries were centres of religion, learning and art, ruled by a double line of Abbot/Bishops and Abbesses.

The flesh of an Irish potato is a creamy white, and it is covered with a white to cream-colored skin which may be mottled with black flecks or marks. Irish potatoes are classified as waxy, which means that they are ideally suited to boiling, as they will hold their shape well. 

They can also be roasted, broiled, or turned into potato salads, and fried potatoes. They are less suitable for things like mashed potatoes, as they tend to turn gluey and dense when they are mashed. 

In Ireland, the russet potato with its' dry flesh and rough brown skin, is favoured for baking, mashes, and frying. After they have been cooked, their skins break open and it is told that they are smiling.

Irish Potato Salad 
Colcannon was traditionally used for predicting marriage on Halloween. Charms were hidden in the Colcannon and any unmarried girl who found one would place socks with spoonfuls of Colcannon and the charms on their front door handle. The first man to enter the house was their intended.

When scallions are added to the potatoes it is also called Champ.

1 1/2 lb russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2  curly kale, chopped (or Spring cabbage if kale not available))
1/2 c scallions/spring onions, roughly chopped
1/4 c spring onions, finely chopped
1/2 c hot milk
1 stick (100g)  butter
salt and pepper

Simmer the potatoes in lightly salted water until cooked - when pierced with a sharp knife the potato is soft in the middle.
Blanch the curly kale in boiling water for one minute. Drain and reserve. 

Chop half of the spring onions roughly and the other half finely. Add the roughly chopped scallions/ spring onions to the drained kale and pulse in a blender for 10 seconds. 

Drain the potatoes and add the butter. When the butter has melted, mash the potatoes until smooth and creamy. Add the kale mixture and mix. Finally, add the finely chopped scallions and season to taste. 

Boxty is a traditional Irish potato cake that can be made in a variety of ways – by simply adjusting the ingredients. Originating in the northern region of Ireland, boxty varies from traditional potato pancakes in that it contains either a mix of raw and mashed potatoes or only raw potatoes, whereas potato pancakes typically only contain mashed potatoes. The use of raw potatoes heightens the potato flavor of these little cakes. It’s important to use a high-starch variety, as the russets used in the recipe below. While there are recipes that use mashed potatoes, eggs, etc. in their recipes, I prefer the much simpler recipe that uses only raw, peeled potatoes as it is faster and much easier, especially due to the use of a food processor to puree the potatoes. 
Boxty can also be made as thin or as thick as you prefer. The thinner boxty are made like crepes and can be rolled around a variety of fillings. Thicker, more pancake like, boxty are great to serve as a hearty main dish with a variety of toppings or made smaller and used as a side dish. Serving suggestions for boxty include a variety of fillings, sauces and accompaniments such as apple sauce, butter, sour cream, cabbage braised with bacon, fried eggs, sautéed leeks, smoked fish, chicken or lean sliced beef. For this recipe, I've included a chicken and mushroom sauce. As restaurants add boxty to their menus in Ireland, garlic and other herbs and spices are being added to the boxty batter for even greater culinary creativity.

2 lbs russet potatoes
1⁄2  c flour
1⁄4 c milk
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
Pepper to taste
Butter for frying

Peel and chop potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Place in food processor and pulse on high until the potatoes are pureed. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. In a mixing bowl, mix pureed potatoes with the flour, milk, salt and pepper.  Add approximately 1⁄2 tablespoon of butter to the warm skillet and once melted, pour batter into the skillet spreading the batter to make a six-inch pancake, approximately 1⁄4 inch thick. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side until the boxty/pancakes are brown and crispy. Yields 6 to 8 pancakes. 

Chicken and Mushroom Filling/Topping for Boxty
This thick chicken and mushroom sauce makes a great topping or filling for the crispy boxty.  It’s also good served on toasted bread or over creamy polenta.
Sauté 2 tbs minced shallot in 3 tbs butter with Salt and pepper to taste. Add 4 oz of sliced mushrooms and cook until they release their moisture.

Then add 1 cup cooked chicken. Deglaze with white wine or chicken broth. Mix in: 2-3 tbs flour and cook until browned about 3-4 minutes.

Whisk in 1⁄2 pint heavy cream, 1 cup milk, and continuously stir until thickened. Finish with 1⁄4 tsp ground
nutmeg. Yields 2 cups sauce

On the side: Cabbage and Bacon
Fry 3 strips of bacon, in a large sauté pan, until partially browned and crispy.  Slice 2-3 pounds of green cabbage into 1⁄4 inch thick shreds and add to bacon in pan.  Continue cooking over medium-high heat until bacon is completely browned and cabbage is wilted and soft.    

Farls or Fadge
are simply potato pancakes cut into farls, or fourths
4 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cut in half 
2 T. butter, melted
1/2 c gluten-free flour like brown rice flour
1 t. salt
oil for sautéing

Place potato halves into pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender (about 20 min.). Drain the water from the pot and allow the potatoes to dry out. In a medium bowl, mash or beat the potatoes until smooth. Add the butter, flour and salt and beat until well combined. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper (or lightly floured surface). Split the dough into two equal portions. Shape each portion into a round and roll out with a rolling pin into a 9 circle. Using a pizza cutter, cut each circle into fourths. Cook the farls in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook each side for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
Makes 2 whole potato pancakes, or 8 farls, cooked with flour on the skillet.

Additional Notes:
 For a more flavorful potato farl, consider adding sauteed garlic, green onions, and/or peppers. Use leftover mashed potatoes, but increase the amount of flour used in order to compensate for any milk and/or sour cream that may be in the mashed potatoes. Make the potato farls ahead of time and then pop them into the toaster to reheat.

A Little Known Irish History

Barbary Corsair raids took place intermittently over the course of more than three hundred years from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. The majority of corsair attacks targeted shipping, both mercantile and fishing vessels, the Corsairs often gulling their victims by flying false colours before revealing their true identity only when it was too late for the unfortunate target to flee or defend itself. 

The theft of cargoes and crew, and the concomitant sale of captives into slavery, was a common peril faced by those at sea, and by those living in coastal villages. The Barbary Corsairs proved bolder than most, raiding as far and wide as Newfoundland, Iceland, Ireland, Southern England, Portugal, Spain and the Mediterranean coasts; they would often capture whole, church-going congregations, and over a million people were captured and ransomed or sold into slavery, in Africa.

The Corsairs of Salé, Morocco, known as the Salée Rovers, have a particularly fascinating history. Pirating for profit had been a way of life throughout the Mediterranean, especially once the flourishing of mercantile trade between the East and Europe meant rich pickings and easy targets, but what had been isolated and entrepreneurial soon became ideological and organized after King Phillip III set about reunifying Catholic Spain and expelled by edict all Moors from his kingdom. Many lost everything, and found themselves cast up homeless and penniless on the North Moroccan shore, harbouring a grudge against Spanish, and by extension, the Christian West.

To this day, the remains of this history are still visible in red-haired, freckled Moroccans, artistic influences, and perhaps the following potato cake recipe, a popular Moroccan street food. 

Ma'Quoda: Moroccan Potato Cakes
1 lb 5 oz potatoes
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1+ 1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. ground coriander
1 t. paprika
1/8 t. cayenne
2 T. finely chopped flat-leafed Italian parsley
2 T. finely chopped cilantro
2 eggs
oil for sautéing
Yield: 8 cakes

Peel potatoes, cut into thick slices and boil with garlic, 15-20 minutes until tender, drain and return to medium heat to evaporate excess moisture. Squeeze pulp from garlic into potatoes, then mash with spices. Add parsley, coriander and 1 egg and season to taste and mix. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and shape into cakes.  Beat remaining egg.  Dip cakes into egg and sauté at medium high heat, 2-3 minutes each side until golden.

Ballymaloe/ Stobhach Gaelach 
Traditional Irish Stew 
4 - 6 carrots
8 medium onions
4  - 6 parsnips
8 - 12 potatoes
1/2 c pearl barley
salt and freshly ground pepper
5 & 3/4 cups stock (lamb stock if possible) or water
1 sprig of thyme
1 T.  roux
1 T. freshly chopped parsley
1 T. freshly chopped chives

4 ounces (110g/1 stick) butter
4 ounces (110g/scant 1 cup) flour
Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut the lamb chops in half and trim off some of the excess fat. Set aside. Render down the fat on a gentle heat in a heavy pan (discard the rendered down pieces). Peel the onions and scrape or thinly peel the carrots and parsnips and cut them into large chunks. If the onions are small they are best left whole. Toss the meat in the hot fat on the pan until it is slightly brown. Transfer the meat into a casserole, then quickly toss the onions, parsnips, carrots and the barley in the fat. Build the meat, carrots, parsnips, onions and barley up in layers in the casserole, carefully season each layer with freshly ground pepper and salt. De-glaze the pan with lamb stock and pour into the casserole. Peel the potatoes and lay them on top of the casserole, so they will steam while the stew cooks. Season the potatoes. Add a sprig of thyme, bring to the boil on top of the stove, cover. Transfer to a moderate oven or allow to simmer on top of the stove until the stew is cooked, 1 to 1-1/2 hours approx. When the stew is cooked, pour off the cooking liquid, de-grease and reheat in another saucepan. Slightly thicken by whisking in a little roux if you like. Check seasoning, then add chopped parsley and chives. Pour over the meat and vegetables. Bring the stew back up to boiling point and serve from the pot or in a large pottery dish.

To make the roux, melt the butter and cook the flour in it for 2 minutes on a low heat, stirring occasionally. Use as required. Roux can be stored in a cool place and used as required or it can be made up on the spot if preferred. It will keep at least a fortnight in a refrigerator.
Yield: 8 servings 

Dublin Coddle
Parsley, finely chopped
5 sprigs of Thyme
2 litres of chicken stock
a splash of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
naturally harvested sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large pot sweat the onions and leeks in some butter until they have softened. Add the back bacon and cook until browned. Add the carrots, thyme, 100g of the potatoes and the sausages. Cover Coddle with the chicken stock and add more water if necessary. Bring to the boil and simmer on a low heat for 11⁄2 hour. Add the remaining potatoes and cook for a further 30 minutes until cooked through. Remove the thyme and finish with the parsley. You could remove the sausages and cut then into more presentable chunks. Adjust the seasoning and serve very hot with some buttered bread. Simply Scratch

Guinness Puddings

Guinness Stew
1 1/4 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 large garlic cloves, minced
6 c beef stock
I c of Guinness
1 c of red wine
2 T. tomato paste
1 T. demerara sugar
1 T. dried thyme
1T. Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
2 c 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
salt and pepper
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c olive oil

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. While the meat and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew in step one has simmered for one hour. Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. Oil a dome-topped dish or mold and line with a thick layer of buttery mashed potatoes. Fill with stewed meat and bake for 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Put a serving platter over dish and turn over and tap out onto the platter. Spoon vegetables and stew gravy around the mold on the platter.

Steak, Guinness and Cheese Pie
a glug of olive oil
3 medium red onions, peeled and chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
30g butter, plus extra for greasing
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
4 mushrooms, sliced
1kg brisket of beef or stewing beef, cut into cubes
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
440ml Guinness
2 heaped T. plain flour
200g freshly grated cheddar cheese
500g best-quality ready-made all-butter puff pastry
1 large free-range or organic egg, beaten

This pie is a real winner! As it uses bought puff pastry, it’s quick to prepare, and you can make the filling the day before if you want. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. In a large oven proof pan, heat olive oil on a low heat. Add the onions and fry gently for about 10 minutes – try not to color them too much. Turn the heat up, add the garlic, butter, carrots and celery and scatter in the mushrooms. Mix everything together before stirring in the beef, rosemary, a pinch of salt and a level teaspoon of pepper. Fry fast for 3 or 4 minutes, then pour in the Guinness, stir in the flour and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer, cover the pan with a lid and place in the preheated oven for about 11⁄2 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and give the stew a stir. Put it back into the oven and continue to cook it for another hour, or until the meat is very tender and the stew is rich, dark and thick. A perfect pie filling needs to be robust, so if it’s still quite liquidy, place the pan on the stove and reduce until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in half the cheese, then season carefully and leave to cool slightly. Cut about a third of the pastry off the block. Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll both pieces of pastry out evenly with a floured rolling pin to 1/8 inch thick. Butter a deep pie dish, then line with the larger sheet, leaving the edges dangling over the side. Tip the stew into your lined dish and even it out before sprinkling over the remaining cheese. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little beaten egg. Cut the other rolled sheet of pastry to fit the top of the pie dish and criss-cross it lightly with a sharp knife. Place it over the top of the pie and fold the overhanging pastry on to the pastry lid to make it look nice and rustic. Brush the top with beaten egg, then bake the pie directly on the bottom of the oven for 45 minutes, until the pastry is cooked, puffed and golden. Delicious served simply with peas. This is a Jamie Oliver recipe


Our shells clacked on the plates.
My tongue was a filling estuary,
My palate hung with starlight:
As I tasted the salty Pleides
Orion dipped his foot into the water.

Alive and violated,
They lay on their bed of ice:
Bivalves; the split bulb
And the philandering sigh of ocean
Millions of them ripped and shucked and scattered.

We had driven to that coast
Through flowers and limestone
And there we were, toasting friendship,
Laying down a perfect memory
In the cool of thatch and crockery.

Over the Alps, packed deep in hay and snow,
The Romans hauled their oysters south of Rome:
I saw damp panniers disgorge
The frond-lipped, brine-stung
Glut of privilege.
And was angry that my trust could not repose
In the clear light, like poetry or freedom
Leaning in from sea. I ate the day
Deliberately, that its tang
Might quicken me into verb, pure verb. 

Seamus Heaney 
After a visit to Moran's Oyster Cottage

live link to Moran's Oyster Cottage

Garlic Grilled Oysters

The Sauce:
1 stick unsalted butter, very soft
1 pinch kosher salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1 T minced garlic
1/2 c parmesan cheese
1 pinch cayenne
1 pinch pepper
1 spritz lemon juice
1 t minced flat-leafed parsley

Whisk together all ingredients.

The Oysters:
1 dozen large freshly shucked oysters on
the half shell (preferably Chesapeake Bay
1 recipe, sauce, above
parmesan cheese to finish
minced flat-leafed parsley for garnish
lemon wedges

Mix ingredients together. Heat grill until very hot. Place the oysters on the grill and let them cook in their own juices for a few minutes, just until they start to bubble and the edges curl. Top each with a generous portion of the sauce, enough to fill up the shell. When the sauce starts to bubble and sizzle sprinkle each oyster with about a T. of Parmesan cheese. Let the Oysters go until the sauce on the edges of the shells gets nice and brown. Garnish with minced parsley. Serve while still sizzling with Lemon wedges and fresh bread.

Note: The more sauce that oozes onto the plate the better for mopping up with the bread.


Chocolate Guinness Cake
1 c Guinness
250g (8 1/2 oz) butter
75g (3oz) cocoa powder
400g (14oz) demerara sugar 
2 eggs
275g (9 1/2oz) wholemeal flour
2 t. baking soda
2/3 c sour cream

450g (1lb) Philidelphia cream cheese, softened
150g (5oz) maple syrup or honey
1/2 tub sour cream (150mL or 2/3C)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line and oil a 24cm (9in) springform cake tin. Place Guinness and butter in a saucepan and heat until melted. Stir through cocoa powder, sugar, sour cream and eggs until well combined. Add flour and soda and stir until just mixed in. Pour into prepared cake tin and bake for 45mins – 1hour or until the top feels firm and springy and a skewer inserted in comes out clean. Allow to cool in tin. 

Whip the topping ingredients together in a food processor or by hand until smooth. Spread generously over the cake. This is a Nigella Lawson recipe   

Fairy Cakes  
1/3 c crystallized ginger (1 3/4 oz), coarsely chopped
2 c wholemeal flour
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. finely grated fresh orange zest
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 c oil
3/4 cup mild honey
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 t. pure vanilla extract

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 T. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c honey or maple syrup
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. finely grated fresh orange zest
homemade candied orange zest curls

Preheat oven to 350F and prep your muffin pans with paper liners. Pulse crystallized ginger in food processor until finely ground, then add flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, zest, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and pulse until combined. (Fresh-ground spices make a difference in this recipe; I put in fresh cinnamon and it really shone through.) Whisk together oil, honey, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl, then stir in flour mixture until just combined. Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes.

Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely, 1 hour.

Beat together frosting ingredients with an electric mixer at high speed until combined well and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
Frost tops of cooled cupcakes. Garnish with orange zest curls.

Makes about 18 cupcakes

Guinness Nutritional Information
1 pint 16 oz
196 Calories
0g Total Fat
0g Cholesterol   
18g Carbohydrates
1.6g. Protein  
4.2 % Alcohol 

Guinness contains trace amounts of B3 (niacin), B6, B12, folate, riboflavin, choline, iron, pantothenic acid, flavanoids and polyphenols
Live link to Guinness Ireland                                

St. Brigid's Cloak / Marin's Quilt 

Goodnight. Sleep tight.

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