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Homemade Chocolate, Coffee & Baileys Cream Truffles

Reposted on 31/1/2019

With Valentines Day just around the corner, I thought I'd share a very simple yet delicious recipe, that you can make easily at home with the kids or for that special person in your life! Taking the time and effort to make this yummy Valentine treat is a lovely way to show someone just how much you really care!

Cooking something yummy for the One you Love can bring more happiness than buying it! 

These little home-made Chocolate Truffles are so easy to make. Beautifully balanced with a hint of bitter coffee and sweet Irish Baileys Cream, these rich little delicacies melt in your mouth. They taste divine and the secret ingredient is simply that big dollop of Tender Loving Care!

My Ingredients:
600g 70% Dark Chocolate broken in small pieces
75g   Cocoa Powder
35ml Cold Espresso or strong coffee
35ml Baileys Cream Liqueur
250ml Fresh Cream

Cocoa Powder, grated Coconut, ground Almonds or any nuts, or Cake crumbs etc, for coating.

My Method:

1. Melt chocolate together with the cream. You can do this in a bowl sitting over a pot of simmering water. Don't let any water get into your chocolate or it will go into a masse from which there is no return! You can also melt the chocolate, very slowly, in the microwave. Give it 30 seconds and then stir, 30 seconds and then stir... until it is melted. Don't let it burn!

Make sure the bowl sits above the water level
2. Take the chocolate off the heat. Mix together the cocoa powder, cold coffee and Baileys and quickly stir this liquid mixture into the melted chocolate.

3. You have just made what is known as a "Chocolate Ganache" (if you were to let this cool a little, at this stage, it could be used for pouring over a cake as a covering.)

4. Cover the bowl with cling film and put it in the fridge until cold. This will take 1 hour or so. You can leave it overnight if you wish as you long as everyone can avoid the temptation to steal little spoonfuls!

Dip the spoon in hot water and dry it, before scooping out the ganache 
5. Give the mix a good stir with a wooden spoon before you start to measure it out with a warm teaspoon. Dip the spoon in hot water and always dry it before scooping out the mix. When you have them all done, roll them with your hands, into little balls and refrigerate again for 1 hour.


Simply and tasty - Chocolate & Baileys Cream Truffles

6. Finally roll your Truffles in the coatings of your choice. This is best done by having your crumbs, cocoa, almonds or whatever all sitting in separate soup bowls so you can literally 'roll' the ball around in the coating.

Simple, yummy, great to make with the kids if you have some and gone before you know it!

Happy Valentines Day
Zack

Kelly's Butchers Vegetarian White Pudding

Kelly’s Butchers, in Newport, County Mayo, are well known for their award winning black and white puddings and for their sausages.

They recently launched two new products - Kelly’s Vegetarian High Protein Pudding and Kelly’s Hazlett. Both products were prize winners at the Blás na hÉireann Irish Food Awards.


Why would a butcher make a vegetarian breakfast pudding? "It’s simple really," says Master Butcher Sean Kelly, "Our customers kept asking for it!"

Kelly’s Vegetarian High Protein Pudding

A cooked breakfast is a tasty treat and a great start to the day. However the vegetarian breakfast plate has looked a little empty in the pudding department, but now Kelly’s Butchers have the answer – the delicious Kelly’s Vegetarian High Protein Pudding.


Kelly’s have used their years of practice to create a clever combination of spices with a soya base which gives a great texture and an exceptional flavour experience. No wonder it was a Silver Award Winner at the Blás na hÉireann Irish Food Awards!

Kelly’s Vegetarian High Protein Pudding is available in 280g pack (known as chubbs in the trade) which is exactly the same size as Kelly’s traditional Black and White Puddings.

Kelly’s Hazlett 

It’s been quite a while since I tasted "Hazlett", an old-fashioned traditional pork meatloaf. Kelly’s Butchers are always on the lookout for something different and have decided to reintroduce this family recipe. Fresh leeks, fresh carrots and a secret blend of spices have put a modern extra bite into this old favourite.


Hazlett was traditionally used as a sandwich filling, or cut into chunks and served in a salad or with pickles and cheese or you can cut it thick and grill or fry it like a pudding. It's also packaged in 280g chubbs.

Kelly’s Vegetarian High Protein Pudding and Kelly’s Hazlett are available in Kelly’s Butchers Shop, Newport, Co. Mayo and via the website along with many other products that can be purchased online at www.kellysbutchers.com.

re-posted 14/1/2019
Zack

Make your own Home-made Haggis for Burns' Night!

In 1801, some five years after the famous Scottish poet, Robert (Robbie) Burns' death, nine of his friends sat down to dinner, to celebrate his extraordinary life and to gave thanks for his friendship. Little did they know that this remembrance would resonate down through the centuries and span all across the world. Over the years, the informal theme from that evening has developed into the ritual known internationally known as Burns Night.

Presenting and Toasting the Haggis have become part of the ritual of a Burns Night event!


Here in Donegal, with the historic association of many Donegal people with Scotland and Scottish traditions, we have long been enjoying the lightly spiced and peppery flavours of this famous dish. Haggis is traditionally eaten on Burns Night which falls on the 25th January which is the birthday of the Scottish poet. Many venues celebrate Burns Night on the weekend closest to the 25th. One of the longest established and most famous Burns Night events held in the republic of Ireland has been the Annual Burns Supper & Ceilidh at Harvey's Point Hotel, in County Donegal (see HarveysPoint.com/BurnsNight).

Robert Burns - Celebrating the poets birthday has made the Haggis world famous!
The Haggis, which tastes a little like our Irish black and white puddings mixed together, is a very old traditional dish that combines meats, spices and oatmeal.  A traditional Scottish recipe for haggis would involve the boiled and minced liver, lungs and heart of a sheep mixed with chopped onions, toasted oatmeal, salt, pepper, and spices.

The mixture would then be stuffed into the cleaned sheep’s stomach, sewn up and then boiled gently for several hours! The dish is usually served with "neeps (mashed buttered turnip) and tatties (potatoes)", a whiskey sauce, a few readings of some poetry, along with copious amounts of whiskey to toast the Haggis!



A Traditional Haggis with Neeps (Turnips) and Tatties (Potatoes) & a Wee Dram of Whiskey!

Creating a Burns Night event at your home or restaurant is a splendid reason to go out to eat and drink with friends in January! Although the traditional date is the 25th January, most restaurants and hotels celebrate a Burns Night event on the Friday or Saturday closest to that date.

That's me when I was asked to assist with a Burn's Supper put on recently by members of the local Ulster-Scots community. It was an honour to be asked and a sign of the changes being achieved in Irish historical relationships.

Here is my modern version of an old Haggis recipe where instead of the sheep’s stomach you cook the Haggis in a casserole dish.


My Ingredients:
500g minced lamb
500g minced beef
125g suet (beef or vegetable)
500g beef liver
100g of porridge oats
300ml of  meat stock (strain this from your boiled beef and lamb - see method)
250g finely chopped onions
½ tsp grated nutmeg
¼ tsp ground mace
½ tsp of cayenne pepper
¼ tsp ground coriander
butter for greasing
a few twists of sea salt
a few twists of ground black pepper


My Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
2. Cover the roughly-cut liver with cold water, bring to a boil and cook for five minutes. Strain and dump away this liquid and then chop the cooked liver with the onion, in a blender or on a board.
3. Cover the lamb & beef mince with water and bring to the boil in a large pot. Cook out for approximately 30 minutes. Keep 300ml stock from this cooked meat and pour away the rest.
4. Give the porridge oats a rough chop and toast them on a hot pan, shaking occasionally to make sure they don't burn.
5. Now mix all the ingredients together with the meat stock and transfer this mix to a well greased casserole dish. Cover and seal with a layer of tin-foil.
6. Place the casserole dish in a bain marie (a water bath - where you place your dish inside another bigger roasting tray) and pour boiled water around it, to come half way up the dish.
7. Cook for about 2 hours. Check water level from time to time and top up if necessary.
8. Meanwhile cook and mash some Turnips with real butter, white pepper and a drizzle of honey. Cook and mash some potatoes with real butter and white pepper.


Invite your friends around and make your own home-made Haggis for a Burns' Night Supper!

For the Whiskey sauce:
500ml cream
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 shot of whiskey
sea salt
ground white pepper
3 tbls chopped scallions

To make the whiskey sauce, heat the cream in a pan over a medium heat. Add the wholegrain mustard, Dijon mustard, scallions and whiskey and stir with a small whisk. Increase the heat until the mixture is simmering and cook for 1-2 minutes until it reduces and thickens up a little. Remove the pan from the heat and season with salt and ground white pepper.

To serve:
Spoon out the Haggis, accompanied with mashed turnips and potatoes and drizzle with the whiskey sauce. I like to stack the Haggis, using a serving ring (see pic above) for presentation and then drizzle the sauce around it!


Oh! and here is my version of what a live Haggis animal may look like!


Reposted on 6 January 2019
Zack.

Make Your Own Christmas Pudding and Whiskey Custard

Christmas pudding is also known as plum pudding because of the abundance of prunes in it! This rich tasty pudding is made of a mixture of fresh or dried fruit, nuts and suet (beef or mutton fat) and traditionally boiled or steamed. Vegetarian suet may also be used.

The pudding is dark and can be saturated with whiskey or brandy, dark beer, or other alcohols. They used to be boiled in a "pudding cloth," but today they are usually made in pudding bowls.



People have always stirred lucky charms into their Christmas pudding mixture for good luck, similar to those in Halloween Barmbracks. These charms included silver coins (for wealth), tiny silver wishbones (for good luck), a silver thimble (for thrift), a gold ring (for marriage) or an anchor (for safe harbour) and whoever got the lucky serving, would keep the charm!

Ready-made and cooked puddings are available in the shops but they will never compete with the pleasure that comes with making your own Christmas Pudding!

So, here's my easy to make Christmas Pudding recipe with a whiskey (or brandy) custard cream too!

My Ingredients:
125g ready-to-eat prunes, chopped
225g raisins
225g currants
225g sultanas
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
50g chopped almonds
1 cooking apple, peeled, cored and grated
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
225g demerara sugar
225g suet (I use vegetable suet rather than beef suet)
125g fresh white breadcrumbs
125g plain flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
3 eggs
150ml Stout
1 tbsp black treacle
35ml Irish Whiskey

It sounds like a lot of work - but the Christmas Pudding is very easy to make!
My Method:
1. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.

2. Whisk the eggs, stout, whiskey or brandy and black treacle together and stir into the mixture.

3. Cover and leave to stand overnight in a cool place.

4. Butter three x 600ml pudding bowls and put a circle of grease-proof paper in the base.

5. Pack the mixture into the bowls and smooth the top. Leave about 2.5 cm space to the top of the bowl.

6. Cut a double layer of grease-proof paper into a 30cm circle. Cover each pudding with the paper and tie with string around the edge. Tie another piece of string across the top of the pudding so that it can be easily lifted in and out of the pan.

7. Put the bowls into a heavy-based saucepan (placing an up-turned plate in the bottom of the pot first, to raise the pudding bowls off the bottom of the pot). Pour boiling water around the edge until it comes two-thirds of the way up the sides of the bowls. Cover with a lid and simmer for 3 hours. Top up the pot with boiling water to the starting level every hour.

8. Lift out the puddings after 3 hours and let them cool. Put on a new grease-proof or parchment cover and then cover tightly with foil.

9. Store in a cool dark place until Christmas. The puddings will keep for up to six months.

10. To serve cut into portion sizes and heat in a microwave, on full power, for 1 minute until piping hot. Warm two tablespoons of whiskey or brandy in a small saucepan. Set alight and carefully pour over the pudding. Serve with my flavoured custard cream (see recipe below).

Christmas Pudding with a Brandy Custard Cream!
Whiskey Custard Cream
This is a very simple and tasty Christmas cream that I prefer to serve with my Christmas Pudding more than anything else!..

Whip 250ml cream until it holds a figure eight shape and stir it into 250ml of cold custard. You can make this yourself or buy it pre-made. Pour in 35ml (one shot) of Irish Whiskey (or brandy) and add a pinch of grated nutmeg and stir until smooth.

This can also be served over warmed mince pies for a delightful change to the usual! Enjoy!

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The Irish Food Guide is...

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The Irish Food Guide Blog www.IrishFoodGuide.ie includes news, foodie chat, recipes, award results, links and other general information on the Food & Tourism Industry in Ireland.

It is written & curated by Zack C. Gallagher, Donegal Town, Co Donegal, Ireland.

“My Blog is a slice of the Irish Food ‘Network’. I’m a Chef with over 30 years experience and also have a background in media. I’m passionate about Irish Food Tourism and I believe that a rising tide really can lift all boats!”

Supporting Irish Food created by passionate producers and encouraging the Irish food & hospitality industry to use modern social media methods to increase their business.

Zack is building a Food Tourism Network, with food tourism partners all over the island of Ireland, to connect guests with artisan Irish food producers, so they can experience the provenance and personality behind our Irish food Visit https://www.IrishFoodTours.ie