Many of us think of anything but desserts when we think of Ireland. This is a terrible mistake, because Ireland is home to some amazing traditional dessert options.
Here are five classic desserts in the Irish tradition for you to try.
Donegal Oatmeal Cream
The rare non-alcoholic Irish dessert, this beautiful sweetened oat dish makes for an elegant and delicious dessert option all year round. Although it is slightly labor-intensive, the results are well worth the time.
This is a pudding-like confection, made by soaking the oats in milk overnight, then adding whipped cream, an egg and some orange flavoring. Once it sets, it is served with additional whipped cream and fruit or fruit topping.
Irish Whiskey Cake
A hot whiskey is a heated whiskey toddy with lemon, cloves, and honey. It is a spectacular way to banish the chill of a winter evening. You can recreate that experience in cake form for a truly delicious and decadent dessert.
In essence you make a madeira cake–a firm cake flavored with lemons–then pour a lemon whiskey syrup over each layer, letting it soak in and soften the rather firm medeira cake. Once the layers are properly soaked in lemon whiskey syrup, you assemble them by drizzling a whiskey laced glaze over each layer. This cake is often served warmed to more fully replicate the hot whiskey.
Irish Bambrack is a form of fruitcake. This is a truly decadent and delicious variety of fruitcake, a far cry from the dry fruitcake that is so mocked around Christmas time in the States.
To begin, you soak your dried fruits in a whiskey and tea mixture overnight. This provides a moist tastiness to the cake, which is increased if you add a little of the liquid to the cake dough itself. Then you mix the soaked fruits into a basic spice cake recipe and bake. This cake is best served a couple of days after it is baked, spread with butter. It is often used as a tea cake.
These simple, delicately flavored cookies are ideal to be served with tea. They taste of butter, as the base of the recipe is butter, so we recommend some good quality butter. These cookies are a simple mix of butter, flour, salt and a small amount of sugar. They are often decorated by rolling a piece of lace or texture fabric over the top before baking, creating a delicate and beautiful pattern on the top of them.
Irish Porter Cake
The Porter cake is another variation on fruit cake, but unlike the Bambrack cake, these fruits are cooked in porter, a deep stout beer. Guinness is one choice for this recipe, but not the only one. Instead of soaking the fruit like you would for the Bambrack, you boil the fruits in the porter before mixing it into the spice cake recipe. Imagine having this amazing dessert with your coffee in Dublin. These cakes are best served at least 24 hours after the cake comes out of the oven, if not longer, as the flavors need time to meld and develop.