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Mar 11, 2011 12:42 PM

Great Irish Dessert?

I'm coming up short for St.Patrick's Day this year. My favorite is Roscommon Rhubarb Pie in Darina Allen's Irish Traditional Cooking, but rhubarb has not hit the local supermarkets yet. I'd love some good suggestions.

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  1. Does it need to be authentically Irish or could it be Irish themed? If the latter, here's an earlier thread with some fun/tasty looking ideas:

      1. - Guinness cake (or the famous GT Stout Gingerbread)
        - Bailey's Irish Cream cheesecake or mousse pie
        - Irish whiskey pie
        - chocolate whiskey tart
        - Irish coffee cake
        - Barmbrack (fruit cake)
        - tea cake

        1 Reply
        1. Someone just suggested sticky toffee pudding in my thread requesting a dessert idea for our neighborhood Irish progressive dinner. Last year, I did chocolate Guiness cake, and Guiness ice cream...both were fabulous.

          10 Replies
          1. re: girlwonder88

            My first taste of Sticky Toffee Pudding was at a guest house in Ireland, if that helps with the authenticity. I begged, and begged for the recipe, which the owner finally did send me, and I make it every Christmas to rave reviews. It's a fabulous dessert.

            1. re: roxlet

              Sticky toffee pudding is now ubiquitous throughout Britain and Ireland.

              The version that you now generally see is usually accepted as being created in 1960 at the Sharrow Bay Hotel, in the north west England. I've eaten it at several restaurants and there's been none finer than Sharrow Bay. Here's a link to Francis Coulson's original recipe:

              1. re: Harters

                I'm really happy with the recipe I have, and I love the unusual use of tea to soak the dates, which I think adds a really subtle taste.


                For the cake
8 ounces (225g/generous 1 cup) chopped dates

                ½ pint (300ml/1¼ cups) brewed tea

                4 ozs. (110g/1 stick) unsalted butter

                6 ozs. (170g/scant 1 cup) castor (superfine) sugar

                3 eggs

                8 ozs. (225g/scant 1½ cups) self-rising flour

                1 rounded teaspoon bread soda (baking soda)

                1 teaspoon vanilla essence

                1 teaspoon Espresso coffee or 2-3 teaspoons instant espresso
                Hot toffee sauce

                4 ozs. (100g/1 stick) butter

                6 ozs. (170g/3/4 cup) dark brown sugar

                4 ozs. (110g/generous ½ cup) granulated sugar

                10 ozs (285g/3/4 cup) golden syrup

                8 fl. ozs. (225 ml/1 cup) heavy cream

                ½ teaspoon vanilla essence

                8-inch (20.5cm) spring form tin with removable base.
Set the oven to 350 degrees.
                Soak the dates in hot tea for 15 minutes. Brush the cake tin with oil, flour, then put oiled parchment on the base.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then mix in the sifted flour. Add the baking soda, vanilla essence and coffee to the date tea and stir this into the flour mixture. Pour into prepared pan, and cook for 1-1½ hours or until a cake tester comes out clean.
To make the sauce, put the butter, sugars and golden syrup into a heavy bottomed saucepan and melt gently on a low heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes, remove from heat, and gradually stir in the cream and vanilla. Put back on the heat for 2-3 minutes until the sauce is absolutely smooth.
To serve, pour some hot sauce around the cake and pour some additional sauce over the top. Put the remainder in a sauceboat, and serve with the pudding as well as softly whipped cream.

                1. re: roxlet

                  I am going to try this, it looks interesting.
                  This is the recipe I've been using.

                  1. re: wekick

                    tried to search this but website is either down or gone although there is a link for home page, no recipes that I see

                      1. re: wekick

                        wow that's it! Scotland here I come....wish.......
                        thanks for posting........
                        I was leery to look this up originally because I thought the pudding's claim to fame was perhaps beer in there somehow.
                        seems to me like an important ingredient in a moist gooey pudding is an abundance of dates.

              2. re: roxlet

                I ended up making this recipe last night for our dinner:

                It was very, very good. I haven't had such a unanimously happy reception to any dessert in a long time. I made two for our crowd of 8 adults and 6 kids, and had about half of one leftover. I did add some salt to both the cake and the topping, as I think it's an essential part of that toffee/caramel flavor.

                1. re: girlwonder88

                  That was the first thing to come to mind!

                2. Chocolate-Mint Brownies?
                  Pistachio Cake?

                  Not traditionally Irish but thought I'd mention those. Also, Nigella has a recipe for a chocolate stout cake since stout was mentioned.

                  6 Replies
                    1. re: tweetie

                      Banoffee pie is as English as desserts come - dating all the way back to its invention in East Sussex in 1972.

                      I struggle to think of desserts which are distinctly Irish, not really appearing in other parts of the British Isles. There's obviously such a great historical cross-over between the various parts of our lands and, of course, climate and produce are similar.

                      You could adopt one fo ideas above, incorporating a distinctively Irish ingredient such stout into an otherwise more familiar product. Or go for something more generally seasonal and relevent. In the ordinary course of events, I'd suggest rhubarb which is just starting to become available here bit if it is still not available where you are, I'd go for something with apple - maybe a crumble. Whatever it is, you'll want to pour a lot of cream over it.

                      1. re: Harters

                        Harters, isn't Carageenan pudding specifically Irish? 'Cause I just told someone it was, and if it's not I want to let them know! Thanks!

                        1. re: mamachef

                          Ah, so it is, to be sure. Dunno how easily available the seaweed might be - I wouldnt know where to start looking here.

                          1. re: Harters

                            I thought maybe, just maybe, Penzey's or Whole Foods might be worth a peek or a call.
                            Personally, I dislike the stuff intensely.

                            1. re: mamachef

                              Last time we were over in Wales, I bought a tin of Laver (another type of seaweed). A traditional use is with cockles and bacon for breakfast. It's still sat in the cupboard whilst I summon up courage to get in touch with the ancestral roots.