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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

03/13/2012 - An Irish Celebration

Join the Slow Living crew as we celebrate our Irish ancestry and many of the wonderful things the Irish have brought to our doors - amazing cheeses, the  best stouts, corned beef, soda bread and much more!

Our regular guest chef, Bob Hurley, a Gaelic-blooded man himself, tells us the secrets behind corned beef, cabbage, Irish Stew, Dublin Crab Cakes and more of the delectable Irish items on his "St Paddy's Day" menu.

The cheese crew from Whole Foods, Annie Smith and Sara Quintana, will fill us in on Irish cheeses and trips exploring Irish dairies. 

And our own in-house wine host, Scott Lewis, of  Irish birth, will give us all we need to know about Guinness........and being Irish!

But from me (Sally), a St Patrick Day's gift - the recipe for my Irish Guinness and Whisky Cake!

You can soak the fruit in sherry or whisky - depends on how much 'bam' you want from the fruit!


1 pound mixed dried fruit (raisins, currants, prunes, blond raisins, cranberries)
1 cup sherry or whisky
½ pound butter
2 cups brown sugar
grated rind of 1 orange
2 tablespoons treacle (or golden syrup)
300ml warm GUINNESS
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
4 eggs
4 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon each nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon
3 ounces diced candied ginger or peel
2 tablespoons whisky

Cover fruit with sherry or whisky and allow to macerate overnight. Drain well, reserving a few tablespoons of the liquid if it’s whisky.

Preheat oven to 335°C. Grease and line a 9 or 10 inch cake tin with brown paper or parchment.

Using electric beaters, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the rind and treacle and beat again until incorporated. In a separate large bowl, Combine the Guinness with the soda and carefully beat in the eggs.  Sift the flour and spices together, and gently fold a quarter into the creamed butter and sugar. Add a third of the Guinness mixture, and continue to add remainder of flour and Guinness alternately, ending with flour.  Stir in the macerated dried fruit and the ginger, and mix well.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, then reduce oven to low then cook for a further 1 - 1/ 2 hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Take out of oven, immediately sprinkle with the whisky, cover top with a sheet of parchment and then wrap a layer of newspaper and a towel.  Allow to cool like this.  (This cake is best stored for at least 1 week before eating to allow flavours to develop and will get even better after a month.  Store in a sealed container in a cool spot for up to 3 months.)

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