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


Baileys Dream Bars

March 14, 2021

I will not disappoint you on day 4 of my St. Patrick’s Day countdown. Nope, not at all. These Baileys Dream Bars are just exquisite! Decadent, creamy, dreamy, fluffy AND boozy! Be still my heart!

So let me break it down for you. What we’ve got here is a buttery shortbread crust, topped with a layer of creamy Baileys cheesecake, which is topped with a layer of dreamy Baileys chocolate pudding which is then crowned with a fluffy layer of Baileys whipped cream. Get. Out.

And there is no baking involved. Nope. None. Now, that being said, there is a lot of different layers to make, so unless you have multiple stand mixers, you’ll be doing a bit of washing up. But oh…you won’t mind at all once these indulgent little darlings come together and you get that first bite…

Followed by another…and another…and so on.

Baileys Dream Bars

recipe from: 365 Days of Baking

Ingredients:

For the Shortbread Crust:

  • 10 ounces Shortbread cookies – Like Walkers or Keebler Sandies
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter

For the Baileys Chocolate Pudding:

  • 1 box (3.9 oz) Instant Chocolate Pudding
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 Cup Baileys Irish Cream

For the Irish Cream Cheesecake Layer;

  • 8 ounces cream cheese – room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract – I prefer to use vanilla paste

For the Whipped Cream Topping

  • 4 ounces cream cheese – room temperature
  • 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract – or vanilla paste
  • 1 cup heavy cream

For the decorative topping:

Chocolate curls, chocolate pearls, jimmies – whatever your prefer

Directions:

Line an 8″x8″ baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

For the Shortbread Layer:

Place Shortbread Cookies in a food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl.

Melt butter and pour over cookie crumbs. Mix until combined.

Pat crumb/butter mixture into the prepared pan. Place pan into the freezer for 30 minutes to set.

For the Chocolate Pudding:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the pudding mix, milk and Baileys. Mix until combined. Transfer to a bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 20 minutes.

For the Whipped Cream:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the cream cheese, confectioners sugar, Baileys and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside.

Once you have cleaned the stand mixer bowl, using the whisk attachment, beat the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.

Add the creamed cheese mixture to the bowl. Beat on low until it is distributed, then beat on medium high until stiff peaks have formed.

For the Baileys Cheesecake:

Place 8 ounces of cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix using the paddle attachment until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the confectioners sugar, Baileys and vanilla. Mix until combined

Gently fold 1 cup of the whipped cream into the cream cheese/sugar/Baileys mixture and mix until uniform.

Assembly:

Spread the Baileys cheesecake layer evenly over the chilled crust.

Dollop the Baileys Chocolate pudding over the Baileys Cheesecake layer and spread evenly over the top.

Next, cover the Baileys Chocolate Pudding with the remaining whipped cream mixture.

Refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours prior to serving. Keep refrigerated between servings.

Garnish with chocolate curls, or topping of your choice.

Enjoy!

Links for Helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Baileys Dream Bars:

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer


Black Velvet

March 13, 2021

Here is a great cocktail for your St. Patrick’s Day festivities…or really anytime for that matter – The Black Velvet. This lovely libation is made with a combination of Stout beer and Champagne or sparkling wine. If you pour it very carefully you can create this lovely layered appearance by floating one beverage on top of the other.

I could never find any reference as to whether the stout should go into the glass first or the champagne. I chose the Guinness to go in first because I figured stout beer was heavier than champagne, so it would be easier to float the champagne on top. It took me several tries to pull this off and so sadly, not to be wasteful, I had to drink up all the “mistakes”. The Husband, on the other hand, poured it perfectly on his first go!

This combination of bubbles and brew not only looks good but also tastes great!

Black Velvet

Ingredients:

  • Guinness Stout – chilled (you can of course use the stout of your choosing)
  • Champagne – chilled ( any Prosecco or Cava will do)

Directions:

Gather your ingredients and the cocktail glass you wish to use. I have seen Black Velvets done in champagne flutes, pint glasses, wine glasses – you name it.

You can pour either the stout in first or the champagne first, your choice. Either way, you are going to use equal amounts of both beverage. So fill the glass halfway.

Now for the tricky part. SLOWLY pour the second beverage into the glass. It helps to pour it over the back of a spoon which both slows the pour and disperses the top liquid. You should end up with a lovely layered cocktail.

Sláinte!

Links for helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Black Velvet Cocktails:

Guinness Pour Spoon – Now you don’t need a special spoon to pour layered cocktails, but this spoon is supposed to make the whole process go a bit easier. If you are interested in the gorgeous hand crafted spoon seen in my pictures above, it is made by my friends at Crafty Celts. You can order just this spoon or a whole silverware set as well as historically inspired bronze and silver jewelry. You might recognize some of their jewelry as it was featured in the Vikings television show.

La Rochere Champagne Flutes – You don’t need these glasses to make a Black Velvet either, but if you are interested in them, here they are!


Spiced Beef Sandwiches

March 12, 2021

Spiced beef is more of a Christmas/New Years tradition in Ireland, but I thought it would be fun to include here. I mean, I don’t think there are any Spiced Beef Police who would take you into custody if they saw you serving it on St. Patrick’s Day. It is always served cold, cut in thin slices, and often accompanied by brown bread & mustard or chutney. Here I’m serving it as little two bite, quartered sandwiches on that Honey-Oat Pain de Mie I just told you about, slathered with spicy mustard.

So what, you may ask, is spiced beef? Spiced Beef, or Mairteoil Spíosraithe in Irish, is sort of the cousin of Corned Beef or Pastrami I suppose. Basically it is beef which has been marinated for a week, or perhaps longer, in spices such as juniper berry, allspice, brown sugar and pepper and cured with some kosher salt and Sel Rose or curing salt. Many older recipes call for salt petre to do the curing, but that may be difficult to obtain due to its use in explosives. The Sel Rose or Prague Powder as it is sometimes called is what gives the finished beef such a rosy pink color. This spice marinated beef is then cooked in Guinness or a similar stout. In Ireland, come the Holiday season, you will see Spiced Beef in many butcher shop windows. Now a days it is not often cured at home, but purchased ready to cook. Each butcher’s recipe for the spice mixture/curing time is slightly different, which results in a lively debate about exactly whose is the best.

There is also a bit of a debate about where this dish originated. The author of the cookbook I cite below claims it is a Dublin tradition, (I believe he is from Dublin) whereas I was always told it was a Cork tradition (I went to university in Cork), so I’m not sure. But Chef Armstrong does mention that he remembers eating these spiced beef sandwiches on white bread with spicy English mustard after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. I had just baked a gorgeous loaf of Honey-Oat Pain de Mie, which I told you about a couple of days ago and it worked out perfectly.

I think these sandwiches would do nicely along with a pint or two…And just think, maybe next year we can actually go out for some St. Patrick’s Day parades and festivities. You could whip these up ahead of time and have them waiting for when you stumble back home. Or perhaps you can serve them at Christmas. You’ll have plenty of time to gather your ingredients. Keep these tasty nibbles in mind for whichever Holiday strikes your fancy.

Spiced Beef Sandwiches

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy - but remember to allow yourself enough time for the beef to marinate
  • Print

recipe from: My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland & Restaurant Eve by Cathal Armstrong & David Hagedorn

Ingredients:

  • 2 packed Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Dublin Spice (see below)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons pink curing salt, such as Sel Rose or Insta Cure #1
  • 3 lb. eye of round roast
  • 1 bottle Guinness
  • Pain de Mie or Sandwich Bread of your choice
  • English Mustard for serving

Directions:

Season the beef:

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, spices, kosher salt and curing salt. With your hands, rub the spice mix all over the meat, creating a thick coating. Place the meat in a 2 gallon zip-top bag. Refrigerate for 1 week, rolling the meat around in the accumulated juices once per day.

Cook the beef:

Transfer the meat to a pot. Do not rinse the spices off. Pour the bottle of Guinness over it and add enough water that the meat is covered. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium, cover the pot and simmer for 3 hours, or until fork tender, but not completely falling apart. Remove the beef fro the heat and let it cool completely in its cooking liquid. Drain the meat and place in a clean storage container. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Tightly wrapped beef can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Serve the dish: Spread the bread slices with mustard and make sandwiches with the thinly sliced beef.

Enjoy!

***Dublin Spice: In a spice grinder, grind 2 Tablespoons of juniper berries into a fine powder. Transfer to a small bowl and combine with 3 Tablespoons ground black pepper, 2 Tablespoons ground allspice and 2 Tablespoons ground cloves. This will make about 1/2 cup – more than you need for this recipe. It can be stored in an airtight container for us to 3 months.

Links for helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Spiced Beef Sandwiches:

Pure Prague Powder #1

Coleman’s Original English Mustard

Cuisinart Spice & Nut Grinder

My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland and Restaurant Eve


Golden Potato Cake

March 11, 2021

Woohoo! Here we go. Time to kick off my annual St. Patrick’s Day blog-a-thon. I will be posting one Irish-y recipe a day all the way up to March 17th – the big day! Now I think managing to publish one recipe daily for seven days is a pretty impressive feat. But, a few years ago I was completely mad and used to start on March 1st and do a new recipe each day until March 17th. That is why you can find over 100 delicious St. Patrick’s Day recipes on my blog. If you’d like to take a peek at my past St. Patrick’s Day posts, you can click Runcible Eat/Recipes up at the top navigation bar and scroll down to the St. Patrick’s Day category. That’s where you’ll find them! And stay tuned here for my latest additions this year. I’m going to kick this whole thing off with this fantastic recipe for Golden Potato Cake.

Although the potato is not native to Ireland, Sir Walter Raleigh introduced it there in 1585, when one thinks of Irish cuisine, the good old spud comes quickly to mind. The potato is very nutritious, calorie dense and chock full of minerals and vitamins. It grew very well in Ireland, until it didn’t that is. The Great Famine occurred when the potato crop failed several years in a row starting in 1845. The result was that over 1 million people in Ireland starved to death. Just before the blight took hold, the average adult male in Ireland ate 13 pounds of potatoes a day! Thirteen pounds is around 65 potatoes. That is a whole lot of potatoes. Keep in mind, they didn’t just sit down to a plate of 65 boiled potatoes. They were eating potatoes in some form, ie. in soups, bread, etc., for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I do love spuds, but wow!

But back to this Golden Potato Cake. You won’t find a lot of special ingredients here – just potatoes, butter, salt and pepper. It is the preparation and presentation that makes it memorable. The potatoes are sliced thinly and layered in a cast iron pan with lashings of butter, salt and pepper. The result when you turn it out of the pan is a beautiful golden brown cake. Crispy on the outside with a soft buttery tender middle. Simple & delicious. Perfect as a side to any main you might be cooking up. So there you have it! One recipe down – six more delicious Irish inspired recipes to go in this count down to St. Patrick’s Day. Remember to check back every day until the 17th for the latest!

Golden Potato Cake

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Bon Appétit

Ingredients:

  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter or 6 Tablespoon ghee
  • 2 pounds small russet potatoes, peeled, very thinly sliced
  • Flaky sea Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°. If using unsalted butter, heat in a small saucepan over medium, skimming off white foam that rises to the surface, until butter is melted and milk solids have settled to the bottom of the pan. Spoon clear (clarified) butter into a small bowl. Discard milk solids.

Heat 1 Tbsp. clarified butter (or ghee) in a medium skillet, preferably ovenproof nonstick or cast iron (you will need to cover it; use a baking sheet if you don’t have a lid), over medium-high and add half of potatoes, tossing to separate slices and coat in butter. Cook, tossing often, until some of the slices are browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with another 1 Tbsp. butter and remaining potatoes; transfer to same bowl. Let cool slightly.

Arrange some potato slices in an overlapping pattern in a single layer in bottom of skillet. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with some of the remaining clarified butter. Repeat with remaining potatoes, building a layer at a time, seasoning with salt and pepper and drizzling with clarified butter as you go. When you are finished layering the potatoes, pour any remaining clarified butter over top and cover skillet.

Cook potatoes over low heat until barely tender, 10–15 minutes. Uncover skillet and transfer to oven. Bake until potatoes are very tender in the middle (if you have a cake tester, that’s a good way to check, or use the tip of a paring knife) and browned and crisp around the edges, 25–30 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Slide a rubber spatula underneath potato cake to loosen, then invert onto a platter. Season with more salt

Do Ahead: Potato cake can be made 3 hours ahead. Leave in skillet at room temperature. Reheat at 350° for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!


St. Patrick’s Day Recipe Roundup!

March 10, 2021

Oh my goodness ya’ll…St. Patrick’s Day is only 7 days away. Tomorrow I will be starting my annual St. Patrick’s Day blog-a-thon. Yup, I’ll be sharing one lovely Irish-y recipe everyday with you, right up to the big day Wednesday March 17th! Now I think managing to publish one recipe daily for seven days straight is a pretty impressive feat. But, a few years ago I was completely mad and used to start on March 1st and do a new recipe each day until March 17th. That is why you can find over 100 delicious St. Patrick’s Day recipes on my blog. If you’d like to take a peek at my past St. Patrick’s Day posts, you can click Runcible Eat/Recipes up at the top navigation bar and scroll down to the St. Patrick’s Day category. That’s where you’ll find them! And stay tuned here for my latest additions this year. Today I thought I might inspire you with some of my favorite St. Patrick’s Day dishes from years past. We’ll start it off with some bread:

And here are some drool worthy mains:

I wouldn’t want to forget the sides:

And take a peek at these decadent desserts:

And last but not least…something to wash it all down with:

Is your mouth watering yet? Quite the galleries of goodies if I do say so myself. And there are many more recipes to be found on my blog as well as seven new ones starting tomorrow! Don’t miss out!

P.S. I tried to get links to the recipe added to the pictures, but with my limited skills, was unable to make it work. You can find links to the pictured recipes in the gallery captions. Sorry ’bout that!


Spooky Ghost Cupcakes

October 31, 2020

Yay! It’s Halloween! And to celebrate the day, I have baked up a batch of these delightfully spooky Ghost Cupcakes! What we’ve got here is a dark as your soul chocolate chip filled fudge cupcake frosted with a silky pale as moonlight vanilla buttercream frosting. I adorned half of the cupcakes that I baked with marbled chocolate curls and the other with black sanding sugar (yeah, I know for some reason it looks green – just think of it as graveyard grass). Next, I topped them with an oh so scary, yet very delicious, little meringue spirits. Yeah, I do realize that these little ghouls lean more towards cute than creepy, but considering all that has gone on this year, I’m ready to take a big ole helping of cute.

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! Sadly, this year is definitely going to be a bit different. Don’t get me wrong – there is a whole bunch of downright scary, some would say absolutely terrifying, things lurking about out there. Things you definitely do not want to encounter. Not that we are venturing out. Like everything else so far in 2020, nearly all social Halloween events have been pretty much cancelled. Rightfully so, yet nevertheless disappointing. So, I’ll be staying in with the Husband and we’ll be dressing weird (actually we’ll likely be in our quarantine clothes…i.e. pajamas), boozing it up and binging on candy, all on our lonesomes.

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

Roasty Toasty 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 last year a had a howling good time making these little rascals:

Reese Cup Werewolf Cupcakes

Which brings me to this year’s offering: Spooky Ghost Cupcakes!

Just look at these ghastly little ghouls! The cupcakes are rich, fudgy and shot through with chocolate chips. They get their dark sinister shade from the black dutch process cocoa that I used. This cocoa gives baked items a REALLY dark chocolate flavor. To tame it down a bit, mix a little of it in with regular dutch process cocoa. That way you will get a deeper darker shade, but less of the bold, intense flavor.

The frosting is a fluffy vanilla buttercream which I have adorned with some marbled chocolate curls for some of the treats and with black sanding sugar on the rest. And finally, those adorable…ahem…frightful fiends perched on top are made from meringue.

Making meringue is pretty easy if you follow some helpful tips. Firstly the bowl and whisk that you use must be super clean. It can have no oily residue or the egg whites simply will refuse to whip up properly. To ensure it is grease free, you can put a bit of vinegar on a paper towel and wipe the inside of the bowl. The egg whites need to be at room temperature when you start to mix them. Begin at a low speed and slowly increase until you reach medium to medium high. Once the egg whites reach soft peak stage, start to slowly add the superfine sugar to the bowl. Stop mixing when you reach the stiff peak stage. Use a piping bag fitted with a round tip to make your ghosts. Once they are completely cooled you can add the eyes and mouth with a food marker, decorating icing or mini chocolate chips. The mini chocolate chips were pretty easy to use. I just gently pushed the pointy end of the chip into the dry meringue. I must say these meringue cookies are pretty fun as well as tasty. If you are short on time, you could even skip the cupcakes and just make a batch of ghost meringue cookies.

I will warn you that humidity is a terrible thing for meringues! They will absorb any moisture in the air and go from delightfully crisp and airy to sticky and chewy abominations! I had quite an issue with this in steamy old Virginia! The regular day to day weather here is not ideal, but I had the adding difficulty of making these meringues while enduring torrential rains from a hurricane that was passing by! I still managed to make it work, but I would be lying if I said no “colorful” language was heard on the day. So for those of you in cooler and drier climes, this should be easy peasy. But to be safe, once your meringues are cool, put them directly into an airtight container and put that container in a cool place out of any direct sunlight. I would recommend not placing the ghosts atop the cupcakes until right before you are ready to serve.

So what are you waiting for? These spooky specters are just perfect for any Halloween gathering. Ooops! Yeah, that’s not happening. But, I have no doubt that your family or quarantine pod will be delighted to be haunted by these little apparitions. Next year you’ll be ahead of the game and can unleash these unearthly revenants on the rest of society. Happy Halloween ya’ll!

Spooky Ghost Cupcakes

  • Servings: 24 cupcakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: King Arthur Flour for the Bake Sale Fudge cupcakes and Buttercream frosting. Inspired by Baking Addiction for the Ghost Meringue Cookies.

For the Cupcakes:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (85 grams) Dutch-process Cocoa
  • 2 1/3 cups (283 grams) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 2/3 cups (354 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional but tasty
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (255 grams) chocolate chips
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (340 grams) milk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar, cider or white
  • 1/2 cup (99 grams) vegetable oil (can substitute 1/2 cup butter if you prefer)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper or silicone muffin cups, and grease the cups.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking powder, espresso powder, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips. Set aside.

In a large measuring cup or medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, oil, and vinegar. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing until everything is well combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling the cups about 3/4 full. I always use a 1/4 cup muffin scoop for this.

Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of one of the middle cupcakes comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and as soon as you can handle them, remove them from the pan, and transfer to a rack to cool. Store cooled cupcakes airtight.

For the Fluffy Buttercream frosting:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (149 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (if you use unsalted butter)
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) boiling water
  • 1/4 cup (28 grams) meringue powder
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) vanilla extract
  • 4 cups (454 grams) sifted confectioners’ sugar or glazing sugar
  • 32 tablespoons (454 grams) unsalted butter
  • black sanding sugar or marbled chocolate curls for the top of the cupcakes (you could also use chocolate jimmies)

Directions:

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 the confectioners’ or glazing sugar.

Add the soft butter a few tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Frost cake immediately; or store buttercream at room temperature, covered, for a few hours before using.

Once the cupcakes are frosted, add the marbled chocolate curls or sanding sugar as you prefer.

For the Ghost Meringue Cookies:

Ingredients:

  • 4 large Egg Whites (room temperature!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cream Of Tartar
  • 3/4 cup Superfine Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Clear Vanilla Extract (can be omitted)
  • mini chocolate chips, melted chocolate or black decorator’s icing for ghost eyes and mouth.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

In a large spotlessly clean bowl of a stand mixer beat egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla. Start with lowest speed and slowly increase until you reach medium speed and the whites hold a soft peak.

Gradually add in sugar and increase mixer to medium-high speed. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Spoon meringue into a piping bag fitted with a round tip.  Pipe swirls of ghost shaped meringue onto prepared baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for about 1.5 hours or until the meringues are dry and crisp to the touch. Turn off the oven and allow the meringue ghosts to continuing drying in the oven for a few hours.

Decorate meringues with ghostly eyes and mouth and then move immediately to an airtight container for storage.

Wait to top the cupcakes with the ghost meringue cookies until you are ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Spooky Ghost Cupcakes brought to you by Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links for Helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Spooky Ghost Cupcakes:

 
 
 
King Arthur Double Dutch Process Dark Cocoa Powder
 
Meringue Powder or it is a bit cheaper here: King Arthur Flour
 
Wilton Graveyard Bones
 


Beltaine Spiced Honey Cake

May 1, 2020

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Today is May 1st or May Day as it is known. Now when I say “May Day”, I am not referring to the more modern, political International Worker’s Day type thing. Or the distress call – though given the state of the world currently, I can understand why you might have thought I was calling for help. No, I am talking about the ancient festival of Spring that is/was celebrated throughout many countries. For my part, I’m going to celebrate with this Beltaine Spiced Honey Cake.

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You might be familiar with May Day celebrations held in England. There, a May Queen is crowned and you will likely see Morris Dancers and folks dancing around a Maypole. Today I am looking back in time to Irish traditions.

IMG_9947In Ireland the day is known as Lá Beltaine, which roughly means “the day of the fires of Bel” – Bel being a Celtic God. Halfway between the Spring and the Summer solstice, Beltaine celebrates the arrival of summer and the fertility of the coming year. Yellow flowers such as primrose, rowan, hawthorn, gorse , hazel and marsh marigolds were placed at windows and over doorways. A Maybush, often a hawthorn tree, was decorated with flowers, ribbon and bright shells and sacred wells were visited to pray for health.

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Photo from Facebook Page May Day – Bealtaine

This was also the time in Ireland, back in the day, when cattle were driven to their summer pastures. And quite significantly it was believed that the veil between our world and the world unseen was very thin. It was more likely that you might encounter fairies or other supernatural beings out and about at this time. That notion made folks very nervous. So lots of the Beltaine traditions were done to protect oneself, livestock and crops from any mischief or ill will. Bonfires were lit throughout the country. It was believed that flames, smoke and ashes have protective properties. Livestock were driven between the fires and people walked between them as well, Indeed they sometimes even leap over them. All fires in the house were extinguished and then relit from the communal Beltaine bonfire.

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The festival was associated with fertility, not only of the land, but also the people. Just think about that Maypole…yup, symbol of fertility. In order to have a more youthful and beautiful complexion, women would wash their face in dew, preferably gathered from beneath a hawthorn tree at dawn on May 1st. I have been trying to do this for years here in Virginia, but I don’t have a hawthorn tree. I have a crab apple, which is in the hawthorn family, so that is my go to. Unfortunately, I’m not really an early riser, so the dew is almost nearly all burned off by the time I schlep on out of the house. Furthermore, I’m often quite suspicious of any wetness I do find under the tree. Anybody out there have any idea what washing your face in fox or cat urine accomplishes? But I digress…

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Maybe I should make the effort to get out of bed earlier this year…

Interestingly enough, I had originally considered doing a recipe for little fried honey cakes. I found an article online (so you know it had to be true…) that said they were made for Beltaine and left out as a gift for the fairies the night before. I really did not want to fry any dough, since that would not only use up all my oil (pandemic quarantine concerns….) but would also make my house smell like a chipper. So I reached out to some friends in Ireland to ask if they knew of any traditional Beltaine recipes. They did not, but were horrified to hear that anyone would consider leaving treats out for the fairies. As far as they are concerned, doing anything whatsoever to draw any sort of attention from the fairies was to say, at the very least, quite foolish. Having recently read The Call by Peadar O’Guilin (creepy and somewhat terrifying, Hunger Games-esque modern Irish fairy story – have you read it? You should!) I can definitely see the wisdom in that line of thought!

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So I arrived on the idea of baking, not frying, a honey cake. Honey has long been associated with Beltaine. Not surprising since it is considered to have aphrodisiac qualities and is often associated with fertility. So I figured a honey cake would be a great match for the holiday.

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Truth be told, this recipe is from Smitten Kitchen. Deb calls it the Majestic & Moist Honey Cake and she baked it for Rosh Hashannah – Jewish New Year. In Jewish tradition, honey symbolizes excitement for a sweet New Year. Hey given what 2020 has dished out so far, a “Sweet New Year” sounds really good right about now! Can we just hit reset and have a do over sans deadly pandemic?

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This Beltaine Spiced Honey Cake is quite tasty., filled with spices and incredibly moist with crispy chewy delicious caramelized crust. I used Irish Whiskey in the mix for my Beltaine nod to Ireland. This recipe does make quite a lot of cake. Although I baked it in cutesy little beehive pans, you should probably consider doing a big ole bundt! Happy Beltaine ya’ll!

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Beltaine Spiced Honey Cake

recipe very slightly adapted from: Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups (440 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  •  teaspoons (about 8 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup (235 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (340 grams) honey
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (95 grams) brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup warm (235 ml) coffee or strong tea
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) Irish whiskey (I think Jack Daniels would work well too)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray. For tube or angel food pans, line the bottom with lightly greased parchment paper, cut to fit.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice. Make a well in the center, and add oil, honey, white sugar, brown sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee or tea, orange juice and rye or whiskey, if using. (If you measure your oil before the honey, it will be easier to get all of the honey out.)

Mix on slow speed, stir together well to make a thick, well-blended batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.

Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). Place cake pan(s) on two baking sheets, stacked together (this will ensure the cakes bake properly with the bottom baking faster than the cake interior and top).

Bake until cake tests done, that is, it springs back when you gently touch the cake center. For angel and tube cake pans, this will take 60 to 75 minutes, loaf cakes, about 45 to 55 minutes. For sheet style cakes, baking time is 40 to 45 minutes.

Let cake stand fifteen minutes before removing from pan.

Enjoy!

Beltaine Spiced Honey Cake brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Useful links for Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Beltaine Spiced Honey Cake:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer
Nordic Ware Bundt Pan
Nordic Ware Bee Hive Cakelet Pan – This is the pan I used for the cakes in my pictures. However, this pan only makes 6 cakes at a time and they are pretty small. With the amount of batter this recipe makes you will be baking these for hours with just the one pan! You might also want to use a bundt pan or 9″x13″ pan in addition to this pan.
The Call by Peadar O’Guilin – creepy modern day Irish fairy store I mentioned above. Technically you do not need this to make the Beltaine Spiced Honey Cake, but it really is a good read if you like scary fairy stories, Hunger Game, Game of Thrones type things.
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman – This recipe is not actually in the book, but I have never been disappointed in a Smitten Kitchen recipe, so you might want to get a copy!

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