Step Up Your St Pattys Day Meal with Authentic Irish Cuisine

When thinking of St. Patty’s Day celebrations my thoughts drift somewhere toward Green Beer and Corned Beef and Cabbage.  It seems to be the staple feast of the classic Irish-Wannabe.  This year, why not step it up a notch and plan your celebration around some authentic (and delicious) Irish cuisine.

This delicious recipe uses two traditional Irish drinks in one scrumptious dessert, as featured in Margaret Johnson’s newest cookbook Flavors of Ireland.

Guinness Toffee Puddings with Irish Cream Sauce

Serves 10

Photo courtesy of (Bord Bia) Irish Food Board.

These “puddings” are a favorite of both the English and the Irish. More like a cake than a pudding, the dessert gets most of its richness from the toffee sauce—this one enhanced with Irish Cream liqueur. For added decadence, this recipe adds Guinness to the date puddings along with raisins and walnuts. Prepare the sauce while the puddings are baking, as they’re most delicious when the sauce is poured over the warm little cakes. You can also make them a day ahead, leave the pudding at room temperature, and reheat the sauce in a microwave.

Ingredients:

1 cup Guinness Stout
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dates, chopped
1 tbsp. baking soda
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
3 medium eggs
2 cups self-rising flour

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the Guinness, raisins, walnuts, and dates. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool completely, and then stir in the baking soda.
2. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Generously grease ten 8 oz. ramekins.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and then fold in the flour and date mixture.
4. Spoon the batter into the prepared dishes and bake for 20–25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
5. To serve, remove the puddings from the oven and run a knife around the sides to loosen. Invert the puddings onto serving plates and return to upright. Spoon the toffee sauce over the warm puddings.

Irish Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
4 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. Irish cream liqueur

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, brown sugar, and butter. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer, without stirring, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the Irish cream.

MARGARET JOHNSON, Author of “Flavors of Ireland: Celebrating Grand Places & Glorious Food”

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