Irish Soda Bread Pudding (booze not optional)

I was raised in a house that takes Saint Patrick’s Day very seriously. VERY seriously. Come March 17th every surface is covered with green paraphernalia, the bag pipe music is blasting through the rooms, the BIG stock pot gets dusted off and filled with corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes, the cabbage leaves are proudly adorned on our heads, and, most recently, the oven is consistently churning out my mother’s (award winning) Irish Soda Bread.

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oh, and lots of Guinness

She gave me a loaf to take home a day or 2 before the whole fam got together to celebrate the holiday (a few days early). This got me thinking,  a whole loaf of bread for 2 little people is a lot of bread, could there be anything else I could do with this fabulous carb fest? A quick internet search confirmed: Irish Soda Bread Pudding. (lightning bolt to the brain guys, seriously)

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I would describe this recipe as easy as making corned beef and cabbage is (hint you can successfully do both while drinking). A little advanced planning is required as the bread needs a few hours to soak up the custard deliciousness. I would say the advanced planning is well worth it. This dessert was amazing, texture, taste, undertones of Jameson. Perfection.

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Irish Soda Bread Pudding with Jameson Caramel Sauce

Irish Soda Bread Pudding

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ Tsp. ground cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbs. melted butter (slightly cooled)
  • 3 Tbsp. Jameson’s Irish whiskey (as I always say, generous tablespoons)
  • Drizzle of Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • A generous 6 cups of 3/4-inch cubed Irish Soda Bread

1.  In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, spices and salt. Whisk in the milk, continuing until all the ingredients are well-combined and the sugar is dissolved. Whisk the Jameson and melted butter until just combined. Add the cubed bread, pressing down to submerge it into the milk mixture, and set aside to soak for around 30-40 minutes (minimum). By that point, most of the liquid should be absorbed.

2.  Preheat an oven to 350°F (175°C).

3.  Grease a 9″x9″ baking pan.

4.  Pour the bread cube/custard mixture into the prepared pan.

5.  Drizzle Bailey’s Irish cream over bread mixture right before entering the oven.

6.  Place in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Best served warm with Jameson caramel sauce and an Irish coffee.

Jameson Caramel Sauce

  • 1 ½ cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. Irish whiskey
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1/2 Tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk, divided

1. Combine sugar and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat. Heat until sugar is dissolved.

2. Turn heat up and allow the sugar to boil. DO NOT stir if you can help it – swirl the pot around a bit. Boil for about 5-7 minutes until caramel turns a deep bronze. This happens very quickly and goes from caramel to burnt in a matter of seconds.

3. Shut off the heat and carefully add the vanilla, 1/3 cup milk, and whiskey. It will bubble up violently, so stand back!

4. Turn heat back on to medium and let boil, stirring occasionally until the caramel is smooth. Add the remaining milk and stir to combine. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

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Pear-fict Mini Rustic Tarts

One of my new years resolutions is to tackle (and maybe master) rustic tarts. I’m talking ground up. From that amazing crumbly buttery crust to the delectable filling.

My first attempt of the year was a rustic bourbon pear tart. If anyone is craving some pure earthy rustic goodness (with a little smokey bourbon kick) make this today.

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As for my first attempt at a tart crust I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t perfect, but I wasn’t that far from my goal of tart crust heaven. The recipe (CRUST ONLY) was thanks to Sweet Fine Day. I will confess I have never made scratch crust before. The horror stories of the complication of a pie crust left me running for the refrigerator section poking that famous giggling dough boy.  Unfortunately our favorite sugar-rushed cartoon doesn’t make the crumbly, heavenly crust I’m determined to master. As far as I know scratch is the only way to go.  Do not be afraid to try this recipe. If you can manage your way around a typical scratch recipe you can handle this.

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As for the filling, I found this absolutely scrumptious rustic bourbon pear filling thanks to Design Sponge (FILLING ONLY).
For those that know me I doubled the bourbon, other than that minor change follow the directions as listed. Assemble the pie (lay out the pear slices pretty if you feel so inclined) bake as directed and enjoy a pure rustic symphony of flavor. These tarts actually get better a day or 2 after baking. The flavors really meld and intensify making for a truly earthy treat.

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Booze Cakes: Champagne Cupcakes

Stuck for a unique and heart filled wedding present especially for foodies? Looking to give a little more than the traditional moola? Trying to come up with a new dessert twist for New Years? This ladies and gents is the recipe you’ve been looking for! I actually brought these as a gift for a wedding I was a date to. Figured I could bring something even though frankly I didn’t know the bride and groom at all. My only warning is make sure someone knows the box you brought is perishable. No one wants to return from their honeymoon to rotten moldy booze cakes. If you know the hotel the bride and groom will be “wedding nighting” it in, ask the front desk to leave it in their room. I’m sure they’ll be overjoyed to happen upon a late night snack after all that partying.

Recipe was found at “yum sugar” and I didn’t stray far from it. I made a butter cream rather than a cream cheese frosting. I think this recipe would be best with a glaze rather than a heavy butter cream. Next wedding I’ll be sure to try it. And of course, as always, add as much booze as you’d like to the frosting to give it a scrumptious kick.

super bowl treats – saint’s sazerac cupcakes

Dessert number 2 for the big game was a New Orleans original. Apparently this town is so cool it has an official cocktail called a Sazerac. It’s rumored to be one of the oldest cocktails created in the US. After reading a brief history on the cocktail and the glorious praises it received I decided there was no other choice for a super bowl treat…Sazerac Cupcakes with chocolate filigree fleur de lis it is! Recipe @ the modern day pirates. After tasting this little baby I may have a new favorite drink. The Sazerac if anything like the cupcakes is unbelievable.

The Fleur de Lis were an alteration to a Martha Stewart valentines treat (chocolate filigree hearts). They were super super easy. All you need is parchment paper, melted chocolate (I used milk chocolate but I think dark would work way better) a fleur de lis tracer under the parchment (or whatever you want to create out of chocolate) and a parchment pastry bag. Add melted chocolate to bag and trace. Then let harden in the fridge. So easy and so so classy.

appletini cupcakes

So I’ve been on a “booze cakes” kick recently and decided for a friends birthday to once again make a “special” present. Found out that my fabulous friend Jason’s favorite drink is an appletini and went to work. I found a recipe online for caramel appletini cupcakes but because Jason said nothing about caramel I altered the recipe…a lot, and it came out great! Recipe is posted at The Modern Day Pirates. My one major worry was how liquidy the batter was, but they turned out perfect and were extra spongy. Very tasty and as usual a huge hit.