Shamrock Shots

Whenever St. Patrick’s Day comes around I often think fondly back to my youth when March signaled the sale of the Shamrock Shake.

Now as an adult I’m more aware of all the fat and calories that can be found in one so in recent years I have started making them at home with my kids using low fat milk, frozen yogurt, mint extract and a bit of green food colouring for nostalgia’s sake.

This year we decided to do a St. Patrick’s Day inspired dinner party. The theme was green, the decor was shamrocks and I decided to take my Shamrock-esque shake recipe and make it a drink that my adult dinner guest could enjoy as a shot while I made my regular version for my under 18 guests.

Ingredients (from left): Irish cream, green food colouring, mint extract, and frozen vanilla yogurt.

Ingredients (from left): Irish cream, green food colouring, mint extract, and frozen vanilla yogurt.

For the adults at my dinner I used Irish Cream in lieu of the low fat 1% milk I would normally use.

Yogurt in the blender.

Yogurt in the blender.

I didn’t really get a good chance to measure my scoops, as my ice cream scoop died a painful death a few months ago and I haven’t found one to replace it yet, but I would estimate it at about 5 scoops.

Irish Cream, green food colouring and mint extract.

Irish Cream, green food colouring and mint extract.

After scooping the frozen yogurt I add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Finished shot - Ready to Serve

Finished shot – Ready to Serve

Pour into shot glasses and recite your favourite Irish Blessing.

Shamrock Shots

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day

Ingredients:

  • 5 scoops of Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups of Irish Cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon of green food colouring
  • 1/8 teaspoon mint extract

Preparation:

  1. Put the 5 scoops of frozen yogurt in to a blender.
  2. Add the Irish Cream, green food colouring and mint extract.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour into shot glasses and enjoy!

For your under 18 family members:

A (Lighter) Shamrock Shake

Ingredients:

  • 5 scoops frozen yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups of 1% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon green food colouring
  • 1/8 teaspoon mint extract

Preparation:

  1. Put the 5 scoops of frozen yogurt in the blender.
  2. Add milk, green food colouring, and mint extract.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour into glasses and enjoy!
Advertisements

Chocolate + Irish Cream = Yummy Cake

I want to start this blog saying that I am thrilled to be featured for this recipe at The Chocoholics’ Buffet¬† today. This amazing event takes place on April 20th, 2013 at The Gates on Roblin and proceeds raised will benefit The United Way of Winnipeg.

I, personally, can’t think of a better way to help out a great cause. Be sure to wear your loose pants and pick up your tickets here.

Chocolate. They say that just eating is enough to stroke the pleasure sensors in your brain and create good feelings.

Irish Cream. Something I enjoy in my coffee or on ice but not something I’ve ever worked with beyond a nip in my evening cappuccino every so often.

I’m not so completely out of the loop that I don’t know that the makers of Bailey’s Irish Cream have recipes featured on their website but while I’ve browsed I’ve never made any of them.

However, into my hot little hands this week came a bottle of White Chocolate Irish Cream from Shannon’s and I was reflecting on my Triple Chocolate Bribe brownies about getting more than one version of chocolate into a recipe and decided that I would do the liqueur proud and use it in a chocolate cake.

When I was younger I had managed to bake the perfect (in my dad’s opinion) chocolate cake. It was so moist and I’ve never been able to attain it with any cake I had tried since then.

Until yesterday.

I went back to that old recipe, from Home Ec in the late 1980’s, and made a couple of changes based on the kitchen knowledge I have learned over the years:

1) I decided to use buttermilk. I’ve been using it in items such as muffins, quick breads, pancakes and french toast for a while.

2) I put in a cup of coffee. I like how coffee can add to the overall flavour of chocolate as evidenced by the mochachino.

Cake ingredients left to right: Bowl of dry ingredients for sifting including: 2 cups flour, 1 3/4 cups sugar, 3/4 cup cocoa, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon baking soda.

Cake ingredients (from left): Bowl of dry ingredients for sifting including: flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, and baking soda. Then Shannon’s White Chocolate Irish Cream, coffee, oil, egg and buttermilk.

Now on reflection of my ingredients I’m thinking about the next time I make this cake using Half Pints Brewing Stir Stick Stout in lieu of the cup of coffee I put in. Stout is known for adding very deep flavour to chocolate desserts and I think would play well with the Irish Cream. I can’t wait to experiment with this idea in future.

Dry ingredients. Sifted and ready to go.

Dry ingredients. Sifted and ready to go.

Sifting is one of my favourite parts of baking. It is simple, effective and doesn’t require a lot to get good results from it. All you need is a metal sieve and to shake the ingredients through until finished. Here you are wanting to sift through all your dry ingredients.

Wet ingredients whisked together and ready to go.

Wet ingredients whisked together and ready to go.

Getting the wet ingredients ready provided a good learning moment for my 9 year old son. Earlier yesterday he made eggs for the first time and while I was instructing him I discussed with him the value of cracking an egg into a cup so you can check it for blood spots. He managed to make 6 eggs with no issue (for himself, his brother, his sister and for me) but when I cracked the egg for this cake there was a good example to teach him what he was looking for and a talk about how if I had just cracked it into the bowl of wet ingredients that I would have had to start over again because my whole wet component would have been tainted.

Batter finished and ready to be baked.

Batter finished and ready to be baked.

Adding wet to dry I whisked the batter together. I like to use my whisk when my hands are up for the task because I feel like I can get at the sides of the bowl a bit easier. I used my spring form pan for this cake because once you take the collar off it can be ready to be iced almost as is. I will confess that idea I got from reading online.

Finished cake.

Finished cake.

Into the oven and after about 40 minutes I’ve gotten a cake that comes out clean when I check it. However, as you can see I’ve lived up to my name as something is not completely right with my centre. As I was going through my ingredient list for the photo I noticed that I failed to use 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Instead I only used 1 teaspoon.

In the end it didn’t cause any issues with the overall end product but I can’t help but wonder if it would have at least been more esthetically pleasing.

So let me take a moment to say…it pays to not rush and to really read before measuring out those dry ingredients. Luckily despite this mishap the flavour held up well and once iced the cake looked great.

Ingredients for the icing (from left): Heavy whipping cream, Shannon's White Chocolate Irish Cream and powdered (icing) sugar.

Ingredients for the icing (from left): Heavy whipping cream, Shannon’s White Chocolate Irish Cream and powdered (icing) sugar.

I got the idea for this frosting from my aunt. She tops a gingerbread cake she makes with a nice dollop of whipped cream and I decided to go with that inspiration.

A very simple combination of ingredients make up this frosting. The cake itself is very rich and a heavy frosting would make it too much. In my opinion, sometimes with frosting less is more.

This ended up being almost like the whipped cream on top of your hot chocolate.

Finished frosting.

Finished frosting.

I also love the simplicity of this frosting. You put all your ingredients together in the bowl and use your electric mixer until you have stiff peaks. It works well in a piping bag or in the decorator from Tupperware that I have mentioned before.

Finished cake!

Finished cake!

As you can see….dimple in the middle is wonderfully hidden by my frosting. I also decided to play a bit with the frosting and use a star tip.

I have come to the realization that I do need to work on frosting skills in the future :D.

Double Chocolate Irish Cream Cake with White Chocolate Irish Cream Frosting

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Irish Cream (I used Shannon’s White Chocolate)
  • 1 cup strong black coffee (of you could use a stout I recommend Half Pints Stir Stick)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup Irish Cream (I used Shannon’s White Chocolate)

Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda.
  3. Whisk together egg, oil, buttermilk, 1/4 cup Irish Cream and coffee.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until everything is combined. Be sure to scrape the side of the bowl as you are whisking.
  5. Pour into greased 10 inch spring form pan
  6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean in the centre
  7. Set aside to cool.
  8. While cake cools combine 2 cups whipping cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and 1/4 Irish Cream in a bowl. Use your hand mixer to beat them until it forms stiff peaks.
  9. Once the cake is cool, remove the collar from the cake pan.
  10. Frost with the whipped cream frosting.

Again if you are in Winnipeg on April 20th be sure to get your tickets for The Chocoholics’ Buffet.

Thank you Anna Coleshaw-Echols of Lunchfor1.com for the opportunity to be featured today.

Using Leftovers – Strawberry Mousse

Earlier this week, also the subject of my previous blog post, I made an easy Strawberry Mousse that I was directed to via Pinterest. I had quite a bit left and started turning my thoughts to ways I could use the remainder and wondered if there was a way I could use it for my contribution to a housewarming we were invited to yesterday.

The first thought of using this mousse as our contribution came when I was talking about the school bake sale and one of the hosts for last night’s event said I should bring the mousse because it sounded great.

However, I didn’t want to make something for an adult evening that I would make for a kids’ bake sale so I decided to figure out a way to make it more suited for a celebration.

Thus yesterday in my kitchen Strawberry Mousse Dessert Shots with Drunken Strawberry Puree was created. The really great thing about this recipe is that you can hold back the alcohol when making the puree and this instantly becomes a family friendly item.

Ingredients: Double batch prepared strawberry mousse, Bailey's Irish Cream, and 2 cups pureed fresh strawberries.

Ingredients: Double batch prepared strawberry mousse, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and 2 cups pureed fresh strawberries.

When I originally conceived of the idea for this dessert shot I was going to use coconut rum and put the alcohol in the mousse itself. While discussing the logistics with Kevin he pointed out that the addition of the alcohol could thin the mousse out and cause it to loose the texture that would be expected with the term mousse.

So I turned my attention to my strawberry puree and Kevin told me to feel free to use a bit of his Bailey’s Irish Cream. So to my two cups of pureed fresh strawberries I added 2 teaspoons of white sugar to enhance their sweetness and 10 tablespoons of Irish Cream to achieve my drunken status.

Puree and Bailey's

Puree and Bailey’s

Kevin suggested that we run the puree through the blender after adding the Bailey’s to ensure that the mixture was smooth and he wasn’t wrong. After being run through the blender it was a great consistency.

Using the same 2 ounce plastic shot glasses from my Jell-O Magic Mousse I put 1 tablespoon of the puree into the bottom of each cup. Then taking my Tupperware decorator and filling it with my strawberry mousse I put enough mousse on top of the puree  to cover it completely and when I looked from the side I had good visible layers.

Finished Shot

Finished Shot

I got 30 of these in total. If I had gone with 1 ounce shot glasses I may have been able to double them but in the end I had enough.

After piping I took advantage of Kevin’s suggestion to put them in the deep freeze for the hour before we had to leave so that they would stay firm and cold even though we had other things to do prior to getting to the party and another fridge to keep them in. This was a great idea and my dessert shots set up every well and transported even better. One got knocked in transit and it didn’t run out from the cup as it was nice and firm.

I got many compliments on the shots. I was mostly proud of the fact that I managed to jazz up some leftovers in a way folks completely enjoyed.

Strawberry Mousse Dessert Shots with Drunken Strawberry Puree

Concept and presentation were mine.

Mousse recipe from Cookies and Cups

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temp (half a brick of cream cheese)
  • 1 cup Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup chopped strawberries, plus more for garnish *optional
  • 2 cups pureed fresh strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
  • 150 mls (10 tablespoons) of Bailey’s Irish Cream

Preparation:

  1. With your electric mixer beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth, about 30 seconds. Carefully stir in your Cool Whip. When combined fold in your chopped strawberries.
  2. Place bowl in refrigerator to chill for 2 hours.
  3. Clean and hull 1.5lbs of fresh strawberries. I put them through the mini chopper to get them nice and small. In the end I had 2 – ish cups of puree.
  4. Add two teaspoons of sugar to the strawberries and stir until well combined. You can adjust this to your preference and to the sweetness of the berries you started with.
  5. Add 10 tablespoons of Bailey’s Irish Cream. Stir to combine.
  6. Take the puree mixture and run it through the blender until smooth. This is will thicken the puree up a bit as well.
  7. Using 2 ounce plastic shot glasses, place 1 tablespoon of puree in the bottom of the glass.
  8. Pipe strawberry mousse until you have a nice layer on top of the puree.
  9. Refrigerate until ready to serve.