Ecclefechan Butter Tart

January 21, 2022

So woweee! Look-y here! If it isn’t an Ecclefechan Butter Tart! This rich, scrumptious delight is reminiscent of a pecan pie, but has so much more than just nuts. It is bursting with warm cinnamon spiced fruit which is enrobed in a rich buttery whisky caramel. Yup. You heard me. Whisky caramel!

But what is up with the name you might ask. This tasty treat hails from the Scottish border town of Ecclefechan (Scottish Gaelic: Eaglais Fheichein – pronounced Ekel – feck – an) in Dumfries and Galloway. I must admit I love the name. It sounds a bit like the butter tart has somehow annoyed me and I’m cursing and blinding at it!

And today is perfect timing for a Scottish recipe. That’s right- January 25th, which is coming soon, is the birthday of Robert Burns. Robert Burns was born in 1759 and is regarded as the National Poet of Scotland. On January 25th folks throughout the world, though especially in Scotland, will be remembering him with a Burns Night Supper. Indeed, this Ecclefechan Butter Tart would be a very welcome addition to any Burns Night Supper. I’ve actually posted quite a few tasty Burns Night dishes in the past. Last year there was this gorgeous Cock-a-leekie Pie:

And remember my  Steak Auld Reekie served over Crispy Tatties & Neeps:

Or how about these Scottish Pies with Mushy Peas? This post is really fun because it is one of my travel postings telling you all about a fun trip (remember when we used to be able to travel…) we took to Glasgow a few years ago.

And if you are intrigued by Scottish travel – just take a look at these Scottish Oat Cakes which are featured in my post about our journey to Lerwick in the Shetland Islands for their annual Up Helly Aa celebration, which is a Viking Fire Festival. How exciting it that?!! (Sadly, yet understandably, Up Helly Aa 2021 and 2022 have been cancelled. Yup…thanks once again Covid.)

But back to more Burns Night recipes, how about some infamous Scotch Eggs:

Perhaps you would like your Scotch eggs deviled?

Or maybe nestled within a meat pie?

If pie is not your thing (and I have no idea what you’re like if it isn’t…), how about this Cock-a-leekie Soup:

which I served with delicious, crusty Struan. Struan, also known as Celtic Harvest Bread, is thought to have taken its name from a town in Western Scotland called Struanmoor, on the Isle of Skye. It was originally enjoyed once a year as a harvest bread, using whatever grains were available from the previous day’s harvest. This is my absolute favourite bread, so it is almost always available in my house. It toasts up particularly brilliantly.

And for dessert, could I possibly tempt you with Chranachan. (My Chranachan recipe has a more Irish bent, but that is easy to change. Just use a good Scottish Malt Whiskey rather than the Jamesons and skip the Bailey’s drizzle. This dessert is typically served in a tall glass, though I served it in little chocolate cordial glasses topped with raspberries once, which was quite fun.)

Or maybe you’d enjoy this Dundee Cake with Hot Whiskey Marmalade

I think you get the picture. My blog is chock full of inspirational tasty Scottish dishes! A Burns Night cornucopia if you will. And let me add another delicious tidbit with today’s offering: Good ole Ecclefechan Butter Tart! (See…sounds like you might be a bit miffed at the Butter Tart huh?)

Well there is absolutely no reason to be angry! No, instead you will be exceedingly pleased with this silky gorgeous buttery tart! And no doubt Robbie Burns would’ve been pleased as well. After all, he was familiar with the town and likely it’s tarts as well (Ha! I just had to get a tart joke in there…We all know Robbie Burns was quite the ladies’ man). He did pen The Lass O’ Ecclefechan, a polite adaptation of the traditional bawdy song “O Gat Ye Me Wi’ Naething“. I wouldn’t be surprised if that Ecclefechan Lass he was talking about could bake up a tasty version of this Tart!

Easy to make, you can serve it slightly warm or at room temperature. It is absolutely fantastic all on its own, but is over the top with a big dollop of Whisky Whipped Cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

So on January 25th I hope you will make some of these fine Scottish dishes that I shared with you today and join me in raising a wee dram and toast to Robert Burns, Scotlands favorite son.

  • Servings: 11 inch tart
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe from: The Sugar Boat via The Scotsman Food & Drink

Ingredients:

For the Sweet Pastry:

  • 250 gram All-purpose Flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50 gram Icing or Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 15 gram Cornstarch
  • 125 gram Unsalted Butter, Cold
  • 1 Whole Egg

For the Tart Filling:

  • 200 grams Dried Currents
  • 100 grams Raisins
  • 100 grams Golden Raisins
  • 50 grams Mixed Peel
  • 100 grams Chopped Walnuts
  • 15 grams Mixed Spice (a good substitute for folks in the States is Pumpkin Pie Spice)
  • 35 grams Breadcrumbs
  • 200 grams Butter
  • 200 grams Dark Brown Sugar
  • 60 grams Golden Syrup
  • 50 grams Whisky (The type with no “e” in it. Whiskey is Irish, like Jameson for instance. Whisky is Scotch.)
  • 4 whole Eggs

Directions:

For the Pastry:

Preheat the oven to 170°C or 325°F.

Place dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.

Scatter butter cubes over flour mixture and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand.

Add the egg to the mixture and pulse until a dough begins to form. Turn out onto your clean workspace and knead the dough just enough to form a ball. Take care not to overwork the dough. Flatten the ball into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours.

Once the pastry has rested, remove from the fridge and roll out to a 12″ diameter circle. Place the dough into an 11″ tart pan, pressing down into the corners to make sure there are no cracks. The dough should crest 1/2″ above the rim of the pan. Cover tart pan with aluminum foil and place back in the fridge to chill, about 1/2 hour.

Remove the tart pan from the fridge, pull back the aluminum foil and pierce the dough everywhere with a fork. Replace the foil and add pie weights or chain. Place in preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove the weights and foil and place back in the oven to bake for another 7 – 10 minutes, or until the crust is a warm golden brown. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack. While pastry is still warm, brush it with a beaten egg yolk to seal any small cracks.

For the Filling:

Place the Currents, Raisins, Golden Raisins, Mixed Peel, Mixed Spice, Walnuts and Breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.

Place butter, brown sugar and golden syrup in a sauce pan over medium low heat. Stir until butter and sugar are melted. Whisk to ensure the sugar has melted and the butter is emulsified. Add whisky. It will bubble up when you do this, just keep whisking.

Pour the caramel over the fruit mixture and stir well. Add the eggs one at a time and stir well after each addition.

Once all the eggs are mixed in add the Filling to the tart pan and bake at 170°C or 325°F for 25 minutes.

Once cooked the tart should have a very very slight wobble. Allow to cool fully before trimming and portioning the tart.

Ideally overnight. Dust with confectioners sugar if you desire. Serve it room temperature or slightly warm with whisky whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy!

Links for Helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Ecclefechan Butter Tart:

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Cuisinart Pro-Classic Food Processor

Nickel Plated Brass Pie Weight Chain

English Mixed Spice


Salted Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

January 11, 2022

Ok, so while we’re talking cookies…like you know, those cookie recipes that I wanted to share before the Christmas holiday, ‘cept didn’t….Today I have a truly tasty treat to share with you. And I guess the good news is that although I often bake them for Christmas, just like my Vermont Maple Shortbread, these darlings are delicious year round. So, drum roll please… may I present: Salted Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies! Packed full of three different types of chocolate chips and topped with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt, these chocolate chip cookies are crisp and chewy, sweet and salty perfection!

Now I know some of you are rolling your eyes around in your head and thinking ‘Good Lord Woman, we know how to make a chocolate chip cookie!” I’d wager you are correct. But hear me out – You don’t know how to make these chocolate chip cookies and let me tell you, they are da bomb!

Well, I guess you might know how to make them, that being said. This recipe is from the New York Times originally. I really just decided to add a blend of chocolate chips to the mix rather than the solely 60% dark chocolate that they indicated. I also decided to change the size. The Times had recommended making really large cookies, batter scooped out in the size of large golf balls! That makes for one big cookie. Not a skillet cookie mind you, but still…I use a medium cookie scoop for these little gems.

These cookies are pretty easy to make but do require a bit of planning both time wise and ingredient wise. You do have to keep in mind that there is an overnight (24 hour) chill involved and instead of good ole all purpose flour you use a combination of cake and bread flours. But believe me, the effort is so worth it. And another fun thing you can do with this recipe is keep that 24 hour rested dough in the fridge for up to 72 hours. This will let you scoop out dough for batches of fresh baked cookies over several days. Hold on. I said, Fresh baked cookies. Every day. I bet everyone will want to weekend at your place once the news of your hospitality gets out!

Salted Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 48 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe adapted from: New York Times

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour 
  • 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt 
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter 
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar 
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar 
  • 2 large eggs , room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
  • 6 oz. dark chocolate chips
  • 5 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 5 oz. white chocolate chips
  • Flaky Sea salt for sprinkling over top

Directions:

Sift the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until very light. This will take about 5 -6 minutes and please do not cut this time short. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Add the flour mixture to the bowl. Mix on low speed until just combined. Seriously, as soon as the four is just combined turn the mixer off. This should only take 5 – 8 seconds. Mix the blend of three chocolate chips into the dough.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a medium sized cookie scoop, scoop out dough balls and place them on the prepared cookie sheet. (For instructions for larger cookies, see below) You do not need to leave any space between them. Sprinkle the dough balls with flaky sea salt. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 -36 hours. (If you would rather not scoop out the dough balls ahead of time, you can just press plastic wrap onto the dough and pop the whole bowl into the fridge. Then when you are ready to bake you can portion the dough. I prefer to scoop while the dough is at room temperature. Once it is refrigerated it is definitely a bit more of a challenge to scoop.)

Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the chilled cookie dough to the baking sheet, leaving about 1″ between cookies. Bake until golden brown, about 8 – 11 minutes.

Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

***I will sometimes make up a batch of the dough and once it has chilled in the refrigerator for 24 hours, I remove the dough balls and place them in gallon freezer bags. The dough keeps well for 1 – 2 months. When ready to bake, remove the desired amount of dough balls and bake as usual. You may need to add 1 minute or two to the baking time if baking from frozen.

***If you would like to make big cookies, scoop our 3.5 oz of dough, the size of a large golf ball. When ready to bake, make sure you give them plenty of room to spread out on the baking sheet, probably only getting 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Links for helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Salted Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop

Chiptastic Chocolate Chip Blend – King Arthur Baking has a ready made blend of chocolate chips which includes milk, semisweet and white. I make my own blend which is white, semisweet and dark chocolate. Love dark chocolate around here. But I thought you might want to know about this time saver.


Vermont Maple Shortbread

January 6, 2022

Happy New Year ya’ll! Hope it has gotten off to a great start for everyone. How are those resolutions going so far? Well I’m here to tempt you with a fantastic recipe for Vermont Maple Shortbread! Who doesn’t love the decadent taste of buttery shortbread? And this shortbread adds the irresistible flavor of maple into the mix. Yup it is just bursting with maple goodness! Maple sugar has replaced regular granulated sugar in this recipe and the finished cookies are also brushed with a slick of maple syrup once they are hot out of the oven for good measure. Maple lovers will go wild I tell you!

And this shortbread doesn’t only taste amazing, it isn’t too hard on the eyes either. How adorable are these little snowflakes?

Now I had hoped to share this recipe with you before Christmas. I actually made several batches of this shortbread with my usual round of Christmas cookies. Alas time got away from me, so I figured it would be better to go ahead and share it right now, you know when folks were trying to lay off the sweets. I just want to see how strong your dieting commitments are. Just kidding! Although I often bake this shortbread around Christmas, it is delicious year round. I usually bake it in an adorable Nordic Ware snowflake pan (check out the links below – King Arthur Baking has a big sale on this pan right now!), but you can also simply bake it in a 8″ round cake pan. It won’t have the fancy embossed snowflakes on it, but it will taste just as good. So without further ado, here you go!

Vermont Maple Shortbread

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe from: King Arthur Baking Company

Ingredients:

  • 16 Tablespoons (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature, at least 65°F
  • 3/4 cup (117 grams) maple sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple flavor, optional, for enhanced flavor
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla-butternut flavor, optional, for enhanced flavor
  • 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) All-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (113 grams) chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
  • scant 2 tablespoons (28 grams) maple syrup

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Melt a tablespoon of butter and brush it onto the bottom and sides of a shortbread pan. Alternatively rub soft butter onto the bottom and sides of an 8″ round pan.

Beat together the remaining 15 tablespoons butter, maple sugar, salt, and flavors until well blended.

Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Mix in the flour to form a smooth, cohesive dough. The dough will be crumbly at first, but will come together as it’s mixed.

Fold in the chopped nuts.

Divide the dough in half. Wrap one half in plastic and set aside. Press the second half into the prepared pan.

Use a fork to prick the dough all over; this allows any steam to escape, and prevents the shortbread from bubbling as it bakes.

Bake the shortbread for 25 to 30 minutes, until the surface is a light golden brown, and the edges are a darker golden brown.

Remove the shortbread from the oven, and immediately turn it out onto a clean work surface. Gently brush the shortbread with the maple syrup (you want to be careful not to brush away the pattern if you used a shortbread pan).

Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut the shortbread while still warm into 8 equal wedges and transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Repeat the bake with the remaining half of dough.

Store the shortbread, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Enjoy!

Links for helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Vermont Maple Shortbread:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Le Creuset Silicon Pastry Brush

Nordic Ware Snowflake Shortbread Pan Ya’ll! As of today (1/6/22) King Arthur Flour has this Snowflake Shortbread Pan on sale for $9.99! What a steal!

Pure Vermont Maple Sugar

Cooks Maple Extract

LorAnn Vanilla Butternut flavor


Fireball Cinnamon Apple Jelly

December 21, 2021

Ok ya’ll, here it is almost Christmas. But not yet, not yet! It certainly doesn’t feel like Christmas as far as the temperature goes. It has actually been pretty balmy recently. Maybe like early Fall or even Spring. So I’m going to take this opportunity to give you one last lovely Autumn recipe for this year – Fireball Cinnamon Apple Jelly. I am giving folks a jar of this for Christmas, so it is not like you can only eat this scrumptious jelly in the Fall. No indeed! It is fantastic all year round.

I adapted this recipe from my friend Theresa Storey’s cookbook Fruit on the Table: Seasonal recipes from the Green Apron kitchen.

Theresa runs The Green Apron, which is an artisan preserve and tea company located in Ireland. She grows much of the fruit and vegetables that she uses in her preserves at her family’s orchards at Derryclough and in the walled vegetable garden at her parents 18th Century castle, Glenwilliam.

In her best selling cookbook, Theresa follows the seasons and tells you how best to keep fruit on your table all year round. It is an absolute treasure trove, filled not only with her family recipes for jams, jellies and chutneys but it also runs the full gambit of meals, including recipes for cocktails, snacks , mains and going all the way through to desserts. And it doesn’t stop with the mouthwateringly delicious recipes, Fruit on the Table also gives you the low down on growing your own fruit, the ins and outs of preserving, tips on foraging as well as drying fruit.

I have shared several recipes from her book over the years. Like this one for her Prize-winning Scones with Strawberry Jam and Clotted Cream.

I’m telling you, she does know her way around a jam jar! You will love her Cinnamon Apple Jelly too I wager. I’m the one who went and added that Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey into the mix. I couldn’t resist. You know me, if I can add booze to a recipe, I pretty much will.

I slather this jelly on toast, add a dollop atop my oatmeal or even swirl it into yogurt. Absolutely delish!

There are quite a few steps involved in this recipe, but I am telling you it is worth it! If you love that cinnamony apple flavor, you will be over the moon with this jelly! It’s like bottling up a little bit of autumn, you know…with some whiskey thrown in for good measure!

Fireball Cinnamon Apple Jelly

  • Servings: makes roughly 52 oz. - how every you would like to divide it between jars. Personally I think the little 4 oz jars are perfect for jelly.
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe adapted from: Fruit on the Table: Seasonal recipes from the Green Apron kitchen by Theresa Storey

Ingredients:

  • 6 lb apples, washed (I used HoneyCrisps. Use your favorite, or a blend of sweet and tart varieties)
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 ounces Fireball cinnamon whiskey, plus a bit extra

Directions:

Place a saucer into the refrigerator to chill

Roughly chop the unpeeled and uncored apples and place them in a large preserving pan. Add enough water to just cover them.Throw in the two cinnamon quills.

Cook over medium hight heat for about 45 minutes or until the flesh has turned to pulp and the skin has started to disintegrate.

Remove the cinnamon quills and thrown away. Put the apple pulp in a clean rinsed jelly bag placed over a large bowl. Leave it to drain for at least an hour, but it would be better to leave it overnight.

Measure the juice. Pour it into a clean preserving pan with 450 grams (1 lb) of sugar for every 600 ml. of juice. Stir in the 1/4 cup of lemon juice. The mixture will appear cloudy, but once you add the sugar and begin heating, it will magically become clear.

Cook over high heat. It may take anywhere from 20 -40 minutes until it reaches the setting point.

Spoon a little of the boiling preserve onto the cold saucer. Let it cool and then push it with your finger. If it has reached setting point, the top of the blob of jelly will wrinkle.

Once it has reached setting point, remove from heat. Stir in the two teaspoons of cinnamon. Mix well. Then add 60 ml (2 fl oz) of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey to the pan and stir to combine. It will bubble a bit but settle down quickly.

Pour into warm, sterilized jars to within 6 mm (1/4″) from the top. Splash a little bit of Fireball whiskey on the top of the jelly. Folks will love the whiff of boozy cinnamon goodness they get when they open a jar!

Wipe any drips off the rims of the jars to make sure there is a good seal between the jar and lid. A dampened paper towel works well for this. Place the lids on and seal.

If your plan is to scarf down all of this cinnamon apple jelly immediately, just put the lids on and place the jars in the refrigerator. If you would like to keep it for longer, screw rims onto jam jars. Using tongs, pick up the full jam jars and submerge them into a boiling water bath for 8 minutes.

After 8 minutes, remove the jars from the water bath and place them on the towel. As they cool, you should hear a ping type noise which tells you the jam jars are sealed. When you push down in the center of the top of the jar, there should be no click noise. Once the jars have cooled, make sure the rings are sealed tightly.

Enjoy!

Links for helpful kitchen tools & ingredients for Fireball Cinnamon Apple Jelly:

Fruit on the Table: Seasonal Recipes from the Green Apron Kitchen

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Kilner Stainless Steel Jam Pan

Ball Mason 4 oz quilted jelly jars

Canning Magnetic Lid Wand

Norpro 600 Jar Lifter

Ball Canning Funnel


Apple Dumpling Slices

November 24, 2021

Woohoo! Here it is the day before Thanksgiving! I bet everyone is as busy as little bees in their kitchens today, either that or out there braving the grocery stores (Boo!) Well, whatever it is you are doing, I’m sure you’re crunched for time. That is simply how it is come holiday time. Let this recipe for Apple Dumpling Slices can come to your rescue! Sweet, gooey, apple-y autumn perfection! And…(insert drum roll please) super-duper quick and easy to make!

Now I love some good old fashioned dumplings for sure. I’ve told you all about how my Mom makes Pop-pop Roy’s Old fashioned Apple Dumplings every Thanksgiving. And they are so amazing!

So this is not what I will be making for dessert tomorrow. Can’t compete with Pop-pop Roy’s dumpling gems. I’ve got something else in the works. But I’m just thinking of you. If you’ve got some extra time on your hands, by all means give Pop-pop Roy’s a whirl. But if you are sick to death of being in the kitchen already and the day hasn’t even arrived, this might be the dessert for you! These Apple Dumpling Slices are altogether a totally different thing. They are kind of a cross between an apple dumpling, a cobbler, a cinnamon roll and a pie, if you can imagine that. And sooooo easy to make. You’ll have ’em done, your feet up and a glass of wine poured before you know it!

I highly recommend using the boiled apple cider, but if you don’t have it today, no problem. The recipe will guide you along without it. Though seriously, do get some. It is like a magic elixir! I will also say, when you pour that syrup over the dumpling slices, you might freak out, thinking it is way too much liquid. But don’t despair! It will cook down to a gorgeous gooey perfection of a syrup. Just spoon any left in the bottom of the pan over the dumpling slice and top it with a bit of ice cream. Keep this recipe in your bag of tricks, I’m telling you. Great for Thanksgiving, but very welcome anytime you need a scrumptious old time-y dessert. Folks will think you slaved over this dish all day. And me? I promise, I won’t say a word.

Apple Dumpling Slices

  • Servings: 16 small servings
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recipe from: King Arthur Baking

Ingredients:

For the syrup:

  • 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups (227g to 340g) water* (see tips below)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups (198g to 298g) sugar* (see tips below)
  • 1/2 cup (170g) boiled cider – optional* (see tips below)

For the Filling:

  • 2 cups (255g) peeled, diced apple (from about 2 medium apples)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Dough:

  • 2 cups (227g) Self Rising Flour (King Arthur flour is the way to go!)
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup (113g) milk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt the 4 tablespoons butter for the syrup in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish; glass or ceramic is preferable. Set the dish aside.

To make the syrup: In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the water and sugar until the sugar melts. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the boiled cider. Set aside.

To make the filling: Mix together the cinnamon and apples. Set aside.

To make the dough: Combine the flour and butter in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Work the butter into the flour with a mixer, your fingers, a pastry blender, or pastry fork, (I used my food processor to make quick work of it) until the mixture is crumbly.

Stir in the milk, and mix until the dough just comes together and leaves the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it gently, until it’s somewhat cohesive.

Roll the dough out gently until it’s a rectangle about 10″ x 15″; rolling the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper is helpful here. Scatter the apples evenly over the surface of the dough.

Starting with a long side, gently roll the dough into a log, pinching the edges together to seal. It may tear, but don’t worry; just mend it as best you can. If you’ve rolled the dough out on parchment paper, it can help prevent the tearing.

With a bench knife or serrated knife, cut the log into 16 slices, starting in the middle and moving out towards the edges.

Arrange the slices atop the melted butter in the baking dish as artfully as possible. The slices may want to fall apart, but again, not to worry. The finished product will look just fine.

Pour the syrup over the apple dumpling slices and carefully transfer the pan to the oven.

Bake the dumplings for 40 to 45 minutes, until the biscuits are lightly browned on top, and the syrup is bubbling. Be careful moving the pan, as the hot liquid can slosh from one end of the the pan to the other very easily.

Let the dumpling slices cool a bit, then serve them with syrup spooned over the top. Annnnd….probably a little ice cream as well!

Store, loosely covered, at room temperature for a day or so. Freeze for longer storage.

Tips:

King Arthur recommends using boiled cider for more pronounced apple flavor. If omitting the boiled cider, or you like your dumplings extra sweet and syrupy, use 1 1/2 cups each sugar and water. If using boiled cider, and you want dumplings that are a little less sweet but still sticky and gooey, use 1 cup each sugar and water.

Enjoy!

Links for helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Apple Dumpling Slices:

Cuisinart Pro-Classic Food Processor

Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Silicone Pastry Dough Rolling Mat

Boiled Cider – I absolutely love this stuff! It really intensifies that fresh apple flavor in recipes. I also use it in baked oatmeal and have been known to drizzle a bit over ice cream. Highly recommended!


Malted Chocolate Devil Cupcakes

October 31, 2021

Oh my, oh my! Would you just look at these little devils! Happy Halloween ya’ll! I know, I have been completely missing in action since back in early April. I have a good excuse this time…well kinda. You see, I actually didn’t have a functional kitchen from mid-April until the beginning of September! Get out, right?!! I might be exaggerating a bit there, but I promise I will explain in detail a bit later. Stay posted! But even once my kitchen was back in working order, the Husband and I went off to Iceland again. Yup, trip number 12, which I will also tell you all about it a short while. But today I’d like to share this recipe for these adorable little devils. Here you have malted chocolate cupcakes which are so moist and rich and are piled high with smooth, silky Swiss meringue buttercream frosting. Without a doubt they are sinfully delicious!

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I mean, think about it…You get to dress weird, drink booze and eat candy for dinner. In fact, all of that fun stuff is encouraged. How could you go wrong on such a day! Our modern holiday of Halloween, actually has Irish origins. Today’s celebrations are derived from the Celtic holiday of Samhain. Samhain was Celtic New Year. It was a harvest festival which marked the dying of the sun-god and a turning to the colder, dormant half of the year. On this night, the Celts believed the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its lowest point. The dead could more easily travel back over to our side, and if we weren’t careful, we could accidentally wander over in to their world and be trapped-a good reason to stay close to home and bonfires, no doubt! This belief likely gave rise to our Halloween legends of ghosts, ghouls and witches wandering about on this night in particular. I’ve posted some great Halloween recipes in past years ranging from the historically based traditional recipes such as:

Soul Cakes (Traditional Halloween/ Samhain)

Yeasted Irish Barmbrack Bread (traditional Halloween/Samhain)

Irish Tea Barmbrack with a Whiskey Honey Glaze (traditional Halloween/Samhain)

To the more whimsical offerings such as:

White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels

Halloween Cookies & Cream Owl Cupcakes

Mini Mummy Brownie Bite Cupcakes

As well as some wonderful boozy libations to kick your celebrations into high gear:

Fireball Cider Cocktail

A few year’s ago I managed to combined whimsical and boozy altogether in my Halloween treats with these adorable – I mean terribly frightening Itsy-Bitsy Tipsy Spider Cupcakes.

Black Velvet Frankenstein Cupcakes

And a couple of years ago, I had a howling good time making these little rascals:

Reese Cup Werewolf Cupcakes

And last year’s offering was Spooky Ghost Cupcakes!

So that brings us to Halloween 2021: Malted Chocolate Devil Cupcakes!

Some of you might notice that I used this same recipe from Joanne Chang for that amazing Malted Chocolate Easter Cake that I posted about back in April. I sure did. You might just say I am obsessed with (or maybe possessed by – these are little devils after all…) it. Seriously, this malted chocolate cake is shamefully delicious. And my go to frosting is pretty much always Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I just adapted the recipe to make these little fiends for Halloween!

I will say that although I do love the Wilton Gel food colors, I really wasn’t able to get that deep red colored frosting I was hoping for, so I thought the sanding sugar worked out well here. You can add it or leave it out as you wish. Diabolically pink little devils can be fun as well.

There’s still time to whip up a batch of the naughty little indulgences before the sun goes down on this Halloween. So what are you waiting for? Get baking! Happy Halloween!!!

Malted Chocolate Devil Cupcakes

  • Servings: 18 cupcakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Pastry Love by Joanne Chang

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:

  • 210 grams (1 1/2 cups) malted milk powder
  • 175 grams (1 1/4 cups) all purpose flour
  • 60 grams (1/2 cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted after measuring
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 200 grams ( 1 cup) sugar
  • 2 large eggs ( about 100 grams) at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk (about 20 grams) at room temperature
  • 110 grams (1/2 cup) vegetable oil (such as canola)
  • 240 grams (1 cup) whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Malted Milk Frosting (recipe noted below)

Vanilla Syrup (recipe noted below)

Black Fondant for horns and tails

Red sanding sugar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325° F and place a rack in the center of the oven. Line the bottoms of two regular cake pans with red foil cupcake liners. Spray the sides lightly with pan spray or very lightly brush with vegetable oil. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the malted milk powder, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the sugar, whole eggs and egg yolk on medium hight speed until the mixture falls back onto itself in ribbons when you lift the whisk up. Turn the mixer to low and slowly drizzle in the oil. Turn off the mixer and add about one third of the flour mixture. Turn the mixer on to the lowest speed and mix just until most of the flour mixture has been incorporated into the eggs, about 10 seconds. Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the whisk. Add about half the milk along with the vanilla and turn the mixer back onto the lowest speed. Gently combine until most of the milk is mixed into the batter. stop the mixer and again scrape the bowl and the whisk. Add half the remaining flour mixture; mix on low until it’s mostly mixed in, then stop and scrape. Add the rest of the milk and mix again on low util it is mostly mixed in. Remove the bowl from the mixer , add the last of the flour mixture, and gently fold by hand with a rubber spatula until all of it is incorporated into the batter. Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake tins.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans midway through the baking time, until the cupcakes spring back when you poke them in the middle and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when you insert it into the middle of the cake. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let cool in the baking pans on a wire rack.

While the cupcakes are baking and cooling, make the frosting and vanilla syrup and set them aside.

Once the cupcakes are completely cool, remove them from the tins. Using a pastry brush, paint and soak the tops of the cupcakes with the vanilla syrup.

Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip and fill it with the frosting. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. Once all the cupcakes have been frosted, sprinkle with red sanding sugar if you desire and add the fondant horns and tails.

The frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Vanilla Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 120 grams (1/2 cup) water
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with the water and bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool before using.

The syrup can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge indefinitely.

Black Fondant Horns & Tails

Ingredients:

  • One 4.4 oz package of black fondant

Directions:

Lay out a piece of parchment paper. Shape the fondant into 2 horns and one tail for each cupcake. 

Malted Milk Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 135 grams (2/3 cup) superfine sugar
  • 2 large egg whites ( about 1/4 cup or 60 grams) at room temperature
  • 455 grams (2 cups or 4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 420 grams(3 1/2 cups) confectioners sugar
  • 105 grams (3/4 cup) malted milk powder
  • 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • Wilton Red gel food color

Directions:

In a medium metal of heatproof glass bowl, whisk together the superfine sugar and egg whites to make a thick slurry. Place the bowl over a small pot of simmering water, make sure the pot is small enough the the bowl sits above the water and not directly touching it, or you may end up with scrambled egg whites. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is hot to the touch, 6 to 8 minutes.

Pour the sugar-egg white mixture into a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium high for 4 to 6 minutes, until the mixture cools. Add the butter bit by bit and whip on medium until the butter is thoroughly incorporated. Add the confectioners’ sugar, malted milk powder, milk, vanilla, and salt and whip on medium until the frosting is smooth and satiny. Add red food gel color and mix until your desired shade of red is achieved.

The frosting can be store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Before using, let it sit out at room temperature for at least 6 hours or ideally overnight. Place the frosting in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until it smooths out again. It will look broken (curdled and very lumpy, possibly even separated with some liquid seeping out) for a while until it warms up, but don’t panic – just keep beating it and be patient.

Enjoy!

Links for helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Malted Chocolate Easter Cake:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Ateco disposable piping bags

King Arthur Bensdorp Dutch Process Cocoa Powder

Carnation Malted Milk Powder or King Arthur Malted Milk Powder

Vanilla Bean Paste

Wilton Icing Colors – Gel will not thin icing

Pastry Love by Joanne Chang – LOVE this cookbook!

Black Fondant

Red Sanding Sugar


Malted Chocolate Easter Cake

April 2, 2021

Woah! Here it is nearly Easter already! It is Good Friday to be specific. So anyone who knows me, knows that today I am baking my Apple Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns.

They are so tasty and if you bake them on Good Friday, they actually have some magical properties. With the year we’ve had, I need all the magic I can get! But let me focus on today’s recipe. And ya’ll…it is soooo amazing! I give you Malted Chocolate Easter Cake!

This cake has got it all. Most importantly it is absolutely delicious, but it is also not too hard on the eyes either! The malted chocolate cake is so rich and moist.

The frosting, which is my favorite Swiss Meringue Buttercream, is so silky and creamy.

But it doesn’t stop there, no. It is adorned with my one of my favorite Easter treats, Robin Eggs, which are malted milk balls dressed up to look like, well… Robin Eggs.

And taking a cue from them, the cake itself is reminiscent of a robin’s egg with it’s pale blue frosting bespeckled with cocoa. Good looks and great taste!

In past years, I have been on a roll (ha ha – you’ll get it with the next few words) making Easter Breads (get it? roll…bread…) from around the world. Last year I gave you Polish Babka.

And the year before was Cozonac – Romanian Easter Bread.

Don’t forget my  Italian Easter Bread:

Or that amazing Tsoureki from Greece:

There was the Slovak Paska:

And then quite a few years ago, I tried my hand at this impressive Russian Kulich:

That is a whole lot of Easter bread huh? But ya’ll this Malted Chocolate Cake tempted me to stray from my chosen Easter bread path! It all started when good friends of ours (shout out to Stephen & Julie – thank you so much!) gave us Joanne Chang’s new cookbook, Pastry Love: A Baker’s Journal of Favorite Recipes. Chef Chang is the owner of Flour Bakery as well as a James Beard award winner for Outstanding Baker. In her new book, she shares her best-loved cookies, cakes and confections from Flour Bakery and Cafe. It is chock full of gorgeous photos and very approachable recipes. She is able to eloquently explain some of the more difficult baking techniques in an easy to follow, friendly manner. You should definitely check it out. It was here that I first saw this Malted Chocolate Cake and instantly knew that we were destined for one another.

Seriously, I cannot get enough of that roasted, caramelized malted flavor!

This cake does require quite a few steps, but you can easily break them up over the span of several days. The vanilla syrup and chocolate speckle can be made days in advance. The cakes can be baked on another. The frosting on the next, you get it. Then there is just assembly on the day you want to serve it.

I will say that speckle took a bit of practice to get down. Use an old fashioned, bristle pastry brush rather than a silicone one. But overall it was pretty dang easy and believe you me, soooo worth it!

The husband isn’t usually one for chocolate desserts. But even he could not resist this Malted Chocolate Easter Cake and has already had a couple of pieces! That is high praise indeed! I hope everyone has a very Happy Easter!

Malted Chocolate Easter Cake

  • Servings: one 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Pastry Love by Joanne Chang

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 210 grams (1 1/2 cups) malted milk powder
  • 175 grams (1 1/4 cups) all purpose flour
  • 60 grams (1/2 cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted after measuring
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 200 grams ( 1 cup) sugar
  • 2 large eggs ( about 100 grams) at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk (about 20 grams) at room temperature
  • 110 grams (1/2 cup) vegetable oil (such as canola)
  • 240 grams (1 cup) whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Malted Milk Frosting (recipe noted below)

Vanilla Syrup (recipe noted below)

Chocolate Speckle (recipe noted below)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325° F and place a rack in the center of the oven. Line the bottoms of two 8″ cake pans with parchment paper circles. Spray the sides lightly with pan spray or very lightly brush with vegetable oil. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the malted milk powder, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the sugar, whole eggs and egg yolk on medium hight speed until the mixture falls back onto itself in ribbons when you lift the whisk up. Turn the mixer to low and slowly drizzle in the oil. Turn off the mixer and add about one third of the flour mixture. Turn the mixer on to the lowest speed and mix just until most of the flour mixture has been incorporated into the eggs, about 10 seconds. Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the whisk. Add about half the milk along with the vanilla and turn the mixer back onto the lowest speed. Gently combine until most of the milk is mixed into the batter. stop the mixer and again scrape the bowl and the whisk. Add half the remaining flour mixture; mix on low until it’s mostly mixed in, then stop and scrape. Add the rest of the milk and mix again on low util it is mostly mixed in. Remove the bowl from the mixer , add the last of the flour mixture, and gently fold by hand with a rubber spatula until all of it is incorporated into the batter. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pans midway through the baking time, until the cakes spring back when you poke them in the middle and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when you insert it into the middle of the cake. Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool in the baking pans on a wire rack.

While the cakes are baking and cooling, make the frosting and vanilla syrup and set them aside.

Once the cakes are completely cool, run a small paring knife around the edges of the cakes and remove them from the pans. Peel off the parchment circles. trim the tops of the cakes to level them (they will have rounded a bit in the oven, and the scraps are your reward for your hard work so far). Place one cake on a large flat plate or serving platter or a rotating cake stand and use a pastry brush to brush and soak the cake with about half the vanilla syrup. Spoon about 1 cup of the frosting on top; use an offset spatula to spread it evenly to the edges of the cake. Carefully place the second cake upside down (for even, sharp edges on the final cake) on top of the first cake and soak with the remaining vanilla syrup. Spoon another 1 cup of the frosting on top of the cake. Spread the frosting to the edges of the cake and then down the sides, smoothing it as well as you can and covering the entire cake with a thin layer of frosting. This is called a crumb coat. It will keep loose crumbs from migrating to the surface of the finished cake. Refrigerate the cake for about 15 minutes to set the crumb coat completely.

If you are making the cake for Easter and would like it to have that lovely robins egg hue, now is the time to add a few drops of food coloring to the remaining frosting. Fit a pastry bag with a star tip and fill it with all but about 1 cup of the frosting. Set aside.

Remove the cake from the fridge and spoon the remaining frosting on the cake; spread it every over the top and sides. This is the final finishing layer of frosting. Smooth the surface with an offset spatula dipped in hot water and dried off before using.

Make the chocolate speckle, if using. When you specks the cake, be sure to place the cake on a flat plate and place the on large empty work surface covered in plastic or parchment paper so cleanup is easier. Dip four fingers into the speckle and use a pastry brush to quickly and firmly flick and hit the chocolate off your fingers i the direction of the cake to create random spots, to mimic a robin’s egg. (Test this in the kitchen sink at first so you get the movement down.)

If the cake is not already on a serving platter, carefully transfer it to one. Pipe a border of frosting along the top or the bottom edge of the cake, or both. Decorate with Robin Eggs malted milk ball candy if you prefer.

The frosted cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Vanilla Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 120 grams (1/2 cup) water
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with the water and bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool before using.

The syrup can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge indefinitely.

Chocolate Speckle

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted after measuring

Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder with 2 T. of water until smooth. The speckle will be a thing paste, no runny and not thick like speckle either, but somewhere in between.

Speckle can be stored in a airtight container in the fridge indefinitely. It is easiest to use when chilled. Rewhisk before using.

Malted Milk Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 135 grams (2/3 cup) superfine sugar
  • 2 large egg whites ( about 1/4 cup or 60 grams) at room temperature
  • 455 grams (2 cups or 4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 420 grams(3 1/2 cups) confectioners sugar
  • 105 grams (3/4 cup) malted milk powder
  • 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract ( I used vanilla paste & prefer it – plus the vanilla bean specks in it add to the speckled robins egg appearance)
  • pinch of kosher salt

Directions:

In a medium metal of heatproof glass bowl, whisk together the superfine sugar and egg whites to make a thick slurry. Place the bowl over a small pot of simmering water, make sure the pot is small enough the the bowl sits above the water and not directly touching it, or you may end up with scrambled egg whites. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is hot to the touch, 6 to 8 minutes.

Pour the sugar-egg white mixture into a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium high for 4 to 6 minutes, until the mixture cools. Add the butter bit by bit and whip on medium until the butter is thoroughly incorporated. Add the confectioners’ sugar, malted milk powder, milk, vanilla, and salt and whip on medium until the frosting is smooth and satiny.

The frosting can be store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Before using, let it sit out at room temperature for at least 6 hours or ideally overnight. Place the frosting in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until it smooths out again. It will look broken (curdled and very lumpy, possibly even separated with some liquid seeping out) for a while until it warms up, but don’t panic – just keep beating it and be patient.

Enjoy!

Links for helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Malted Chocolate Easter Cake:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Wilton Cake Leveler

Ateco disposable piping bags

King Arthur Bensdorp Dutch Process Cocoa Powder

Carnation Malted Milk Powder or King Arthur Malted Milk Powder

Vanilla Bean Paste

Mini Robin Eggs Candy

Wilton Icing Colors – Gel will not thin icing

Pastry Love by Joanne Chang – LOVE this cookbook!


Irish Whiskey, Ginger & Lime Cupcakes

March 17, 2021

Woo-hoo! Today is St. Patrick’s Day!!! It is here, it is here! And to finish off my annual St. Patrick’s Day recipe run I give you: Irish Whiskey, Ginger & Lime Cupcakes! These cupcakes are aaaaamazing! I mean you’ve got the smooth taste of Irish Whiskey, the sweet bite of candied ginger and a zing-y lime finish. What is not to love?!!

So I’m sure some of ya’ll are like…”hey, those ingredients sound a lot like what you get in a Jameson & Ginger ale cocktail” and the rest of you are saying “Nah, that’s an Irish Mule Cocktail”. I guess if you’re going to get technical, I actually use Ginger Beer in these delectable little nibbles, so I guess it leans more towards the Mule. But if you are a big fan of Jameson & Ginger, I”d wager you’d be quite pleased with these as well.

The cake portion of this treat is really moist and tender and I absolutely love that it is shot through with little bits of candied ginger. And the frosting…oh the frosting! I really love Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting. That is pretty much my go to. However, I came across a recipe for this frosting that uses meringue powder and I really love it. It is a bit easier than separating all those egg whites. If you like Swiss Meringue, you are going to love this frosting as well. It is super fluffy, creamy and with the addition of the Jameson Whiskey, quite boozy. Perfect for your St. Patrick’s Day festivities, even if they are still rather low key this year.

Last St. Patrick’s Day, all this pandemic stuff was pretty new. I would not have ever imagined one year later, we would still be sitting at home. No parades, no pubs. But it does look like there is light at the end of the tunnel. Can’t tell you how happy I will be when we are able to head safely back to the pubs and I take that first sip of my first post-pandemic pint! But for now, I will be content just chilling on my sofa with these tasty, boozy Irish Whiskey, Ginger & Lime Cupcakes.

I wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy holiday! Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daiobh (Happy St. Patrick’s Day)!

Irish Whiskey, Ginger & Lime Cupcakes

  • Servings: 15 cupcakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe for Buttercream Frosting from King Arthur Flour, cupcakes inspired by: Life Love & Sugar

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 6 Tablespoons (84 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups (155 grams) sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons (86 grams) sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (can substitute in vanilla extract)
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (163 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 Tablespoons (90ml) Fever-Tree Premium Ginger Beer (can use different brand – but Fever-Tree is amazing!)
  • 2 Tablespoon (30ml) Irish Whiskey (I used Jameson)
  • 2 ounces (58 grams) candied ginger, chopped finely

For the Whiskey Buttercream frosting:

  • 6 Tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (if you use unsalted butter)
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) boiling water
  • 2 Tablespoons (14 grams) meringue powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 cups (227 grams) sifted confectioners’ sugar or glazing sugar
  • 16 tablespoons (227 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 -3 Tablespoons Irish Whiskey (taste as you go)
  • lime zest for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light a fluffy. Beat for about 5 -6 minutes. Do not skimp on the time.

Add the sour cream and vanilla bean paste and mix until combined.

Add the egg whites in two batches, mixing well after each addition.

Combine the flour, baking powder, ginger and salt in a separate bowl Set aside.

Combine the Ginger Beer & Irish Whiskey in a measuring cup.

Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until well combined. Add the entire Ginger Beer/Whiskey combination to the batter and mix until incorporated. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Fold in the chopped ginger.

Fill the cupcake liners 1/2 way. I used a 1/4 cup muffin scoop for this.

Bake for 18 -20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove cupcakes from oven and cool on rack.

For the Frosting:

Dissolve the sugar (and salt, if you’re using it) in the boiling water, and cool to room temperature.

Use a mixer on low speed to beat in the meringue powder, until the powder is dissolved and the mixture is foamy.

Increase the speed and beat until soft peaks form.

Beat in the vanilla. Then add the confectioners’ sugar slowly. No more than 1/4 cup at a time, otherwise your frosting will taste gritty.

Add the soft butter a few tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, add the Irish Whiskey, one tablespoon at a time. Tasting after each addition until you reach the level of booziness that you prefer.

Frost the cupcakes immediately; using a pastry bag fitted with either a star or found tip. Garnish cupcakes with time zest.

Enjoy!

Links for Helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Irish Whiskey, Ginger & Lime Cupcakes:

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Oxo Good Grips Ice Cream Scoop

Prepworks Pocket Zester

Meringue Powder or it is a bit cheaper here: King Arthur Flour

Fever-Tree Premium Ginger Beer

Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Bean Paste


Apple Pie-Cake

March 16, 2021

Oh ya’ll…it’s almost the day. This is my penultimate (love to use that word) recipe for St. Patrick’s Day 2021 and boy is it a goodie. I give you (drum roll please) Apple-Pie Cake! Completely irresistible, it is chock-full of apples and warm comfy spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Now you might ask “Is it a Pie or a Cake”. Let me tell you – it is the best of both worlds. A perfect marriage of pie and cake. And I, for one, am just thrilled they got together!

I got the recipe for this Apple-Pie Cake from one of my best friends, Theresa Storey, who just happens to also be a best selling, award winning author! A couple of years ago, Theresa published her first cookbook where you can find the recipe for this scrumptious treat along with over 100 other delicious seasonal fruit recipes. It is called Fruit on the Table: Seasonal Recipes from the Green Apron Kitchen.

Theresa runs a business, The Green Apron, which is an artisan preserve company. She grows much of the fruit and vegetables she uses in her preserves at her family’s orchards at Derryclough and in the walled vegetable garden at her parents 18th Century castle, Glenwilliam.

Her award-winning preserves are made in small batches by traditional methods using locally sourced, organic produce where possible and without artificial preservatives, colours or setting agents. The Green Apron has won 15 Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards, 7 International Great Taste awards and is listed not only in McKenna’s Guide, but also in Georgina Campbell’s Guide. The Green Apron is also now offering workshops on sustainable living, preserving and bee keeping.

Theresa’s book, Fruit on the Table is a top 10 best-selling cookbook in Ireland , has won a Gourmond award there and has been selected to compete for an International Gourmond award. In her book, Theresa follows the seasons and tells you how best to keep fruit on your table all year round. It is an absolute treasure trove, filled not only with her family recipes for jams, jellies and chutneys but it also runs the full gambit of meals, including recipes for cocktails, snacks , mains and going all the way through to desserts. And it doesn’t stop with the mouthwateringly delicious recipes, Fruit on the Table also gives you the low down on growing your own fruit, the ins and outs of preserving, tips on foraging as well as drying fruit. I’m proud to be sharing this recipe from her book. I have shared quite a few over the years, but I’m telling you, they’re only the tip of the iceberg. You’ve just gotta get ahold of this essential cookbook. And if you find yourself in Limerick, you simply must stop by the Limerick Milk Market and pay the Green Apron shop a visit!

And speaking of those Green Apron recipes that I’ve shared before, let me just remind you of a few. A couple of years ago, I kicked off my St. Patrick’s Day blog-a-thon with her Prize-Winning Scones with Strawberry Jam & Clotted Cream.

I told you about her Batley Cake

which I filled with her deletable boozy Irish Whiskey Marmalade (also used to fill these tarts.

And this year, I’m sharing her wonderful, Irish country kitchen style Apple-Pie Cake.

It was so quick and easy to make. I’d wager you already have the ingredients in your kitchen and could just whip this up in a flash.

As far as serving, it is so versatile. Warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream does nicely. Room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream. Or just as it is with a wee dusting of confectioners sugar. For dessert, for breakfast, for a snack (afternoon or midnight). I think you get it. So what are ya’ll waiting for? Get to baking this amazing Apple Pie-Cake today!

Apple Pie-Cake

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Fruit on the Table: Seasonal recipes from the Green Apron Kitchen by Theresa Storey

Ingredients:

  • 60 grams (2 oz.) butter
  • 140 grams (5 oz.) sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 110 grams (4 oz.) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 60 grams (2 oz.) chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • 2 medium eating apples (cored and diced) about 2 cups

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/Gas 4) and grease a 9″ (23 cm) pie dish.

Melt the butter and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and egg and mix with a spoon until well combined.

Mix in the rest of the ingredients. (It will look like there is way too much apple, but that’s fine.)

Spoon the batter into the pie dish and carefully flatten it out – it’s very lumpy and sticky.

Bake for 40 -45 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool and serve straight from the pie dish.

Enjoy!

Links for helpful kitchen tools & ingredients for Apple Pie-Cake:

Fruit on the Table: Seasonal recipes from the Green Apron kitchen by Theresa Storey


Irish Four Leaf Clover Rolls

March 15, 2021

Bring about the luck of the Irish when you bake up a batch of these buttery & tender Irish Four Leaf Clover Rolls.

Everyone is familiar with those old fashioned, yeast risen, pull apart Clover Leaf Rolls right? I bet you’ve seen ’em on your grandma’s table at many a meal. They are particularly awesome, because you can separate them into three pieces easily, and then slather butter on each and every piece. The more butter the better! Am I right? Here if taken a bit of an Irish riff on those oldies but goodies by adding a bit of Irish-Style Wholemeal Flour into the mix as well as giving them an extra leaf for luck.

These adorable rolls are baked in 5 – 6 ounce ramekins. But don’t despair if you don’t have those on hand. You can easily bake these in a standard muffin tin. The only difference is, due to the smaller size of the muffin tin wells, you will probably want to lose one of the leafs and just do three leaf clovers. Just divide the dough into 33 pieces and you’ll get 11 rolls. Easy-peasy.

These lovely Irish rolls will no doubt be a welcome addition to any St. Patrick’s Day feast your have planned. And just think about this. You’ll have one more leaf, not only for luck but also for providing more surface area for butter!

Irish Four Leaf Clover Rolls

  • Servings: 8 large rolls or if you would like to do 3 leaf clovers, you could make 11 rolls in a standard muffin tin
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (241 grams) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup (110 grams) King Arthur Irish-Style Wholemeal Flour (you can substitute 1 cup of whole wheat flour if you don’t have Irish Flour)
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) salt
  • 2 tablespoons (43 grams) honey
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) soft unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (227 grams) lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup (57 grams) toasted walnuts, optional
  • 1/2 cup (71 grams) currants, optional
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) melted salted butter, optional; for a glossy finish

Directions:

Mix and knead all the ingredients — by hand, stand mixer, or bread machine set to the dough cycle — until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a greased bowl or rising bucket, cover, and let it rest for 60 to 90 minutes, until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk.

Grease eight 5-ounce or 6-ounce ramekins.

Gently deflate the dough, divide it into 32 pieces, and shape each piece into a ball. It helps to first divide the dough into eight medium balls, and then further divide these into four balls each. Or just use a kitchen scale to figure out the weight each ball should be. (Mine weighed 20 grams each).

Place four balls into each of the ramekins. Cover the pans and let the rolls rise for 45 to 75 minutes, until they’ve crested over the rims of the ramekins.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, until they’re golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into their centers reads 200°F.

Brush the rolls with the melted butter, and let them cool for 5 minutes in the ramekins. Turn them out onto a rack to finish cooling. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

Enjoy!

Links for Helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Irish Four Leaf Clover Rolls:

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Thermapen Instant Read Thermometer by Thermoworks

6 Quart Dough Rising Bucket

SAF Instant Yeast

Dough Scraper

King Arthur Flour Wholemeal Irish Style Flour


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