As many of you know, I am Irish and English on my mum and dad’s side respectively. So I consider St. Patrick’s Day to be an celebration of BOTH sides of my heritage because, did you know? St. Patrick was ENGLISH, not Irish as many people believe. He was enslaved in Ireland in his early teens and after being freed and returned to England, went back to Ireland as a missionary. He is best know for having driven serpents from Ireland, but that is under serious suspicion as the climate in Ireland is not exactly conducive to mass serpent population.
And being from Massachusetts I get a charge out of the fact that a full 24% of people in Massachusetts claim Irish heritage, a number I am sure is temporarily inflated in the Irish saturated community of South Boston – known colloquially as “Southie” – where the most “lively” St. Patrick’s Day celebrations take place. In fact, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade of historical note took place in New York City. We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, the recorded date of St. Patrick’s death in 461 AD.
Now, being of Irish descent I consider it an obligation to participate in some of the culinary traditions of St. Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately, I am not a fan of corned beef OR cabbage so I make up for my transgressions by making sure I consume an extra helping of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey and an extra large piece of my “famous” Guinness Tweed Cake. In case you would like to share in my version of the festivities, here’s the recipe for this delicious and adults-only treat.
Guinness Tweed Cake
Prepare your favorite chocolate cake mix (hey, I never said this was a “gourmet” recipe!) using Guinness instead of water. I like to bake mine in a sheet pan because A) you get a better tweed effect and B) it’s easier to get an additional serving if you are “affected” by the first serving.
When the cake is hot (not right out of the oven but too hot to frost), melt 1/2 stick of butter and mix in 1/3 cup Jameson’s Irish Whiskey and 1 cup of powdered sugar. Poke holes all over the surface of the cake and pour the glaze over the cake.
Mix your frosting; 1 stick of room temperature butter, one pinch of salt (skip or cut down if using salter butter), 4 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup plus Bailey’s Irish Cream Liquer. Mix the butter, salt and sugar at medium speed until a stiff icing forms. Add the Bailey’s and mix on low speed until incorporate (unless you want a Bailey’s shower); turn mixer to high and beat until frosting becomes fluffy. Taste OFTEN and add more Bailey’s until icing is delicious and very fluffy.
While cake is still barely warm, frost with icing. The reason I named this a “tweed” cake is because if you
screw up the temperature of the cake like I did the first time frost the cake while it is still slightly warm fine crumbs of the cake will mix into the frosting and take on the resemblance of one of those lovely Irish wool sweaters.
And here’s a little Stampin’ limerick for you:
When I am creating I am one happy camper,
My guests I sure do love to pamper,
Being covered in ink,
Is our happy link,
For we are all at heart Up All Night Stampers!
May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks. May your heart be as light as a song. May each day bring you bright, happy hours that stay with you all the year long.