St Patrick’s Day Means Irish Desserts
With St. Patrick’s Day here again, we see a resurgence of Irish desserts in our favourite places. We have some traditional desserts and not so traditional ones! These include tea cakes, cheesecakes, fudge, and also soda bread. Let’s learn more about Saint Patrick himself and the foods used to honour the holiday.
Kidnapped by Irish pirates when he was 16, the young Saint Patrick was forced to work as a shepherd. He developed his relationship with God, eventually converting to Christianity, and escaping back to England. Here, he continued his religious studies before returning to Ireland and eventually converting thousands.
Saint Patrick with a shamrock representing the Holy Trinity (Richard H. Driehaus Gallery of Stained Glass Windows)
We see shamrocks everywhere during the month of March because Saint Patrick used them to demonstrate the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. That is, three persons in one God. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. On this day, we see international celebrations of all Irish-related things. We also see a variety of Irish themed food and drinks.
St Patrick’s Desserts
The most popular of all the food and drink items has to be Guinness. This is a dark Irish beer that lends itself well to a variety of desserts. Already noted in our stout desserts post, it sits in the stout and porter family. In other words, a group of beers with a low level of carbonation that helps to give an extra lift to any baked goods. The beer is useful in bringing out flavours such as chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and also caramel. This is perfect for dessert lovers. What’s more, Guinness can even be used in icings and fudges!
Another Irish drink that works perfectly with Irish desserts is Irish cream. This is a fragrant liqueur based on Irish whiskey, cream, and sometimes other flavourings. The most famous is Baileys, which is available in flavours like mint chocolate, salted caramel, and strawberries and cream. Thanks to this liquor, you can add an extra kick to your desserts. This goes for red velvet cakes, apple crumbles but also cheesecakes, parfaits, mousses and puddings. Of course, why stop there? We can even find the liqueur baked into the most widespread everyday desserts, such as fresh bundt cakes, cookies, porter cakes and scones. Look for these special desserts in your local bakeries!
Baileys cream puffs
Speaking of Irish cream, many traditional Irish desserts would feel incomplete without a special ingredient, Baileys! Among these desserts, we can find Baileys cream puffs. These delicious puffs are filled with a fluffy Baileys-flavoured whipped cream and topped with a hot fudge also made with this classic liquour. You’ll definitely feel as lucky as the Irish when you take the first bite of this decadent dessert. At Dessert Advisor, we definitely love cream puffs too, so much so that we wrote a blog dedicated to profiteroles and cream puffs.
Baileys and Guinness-doused desserts
What’s great with Irish St Patrick’s Day desserts, is that the possibilities are endless. Many beloved dessert staples can be made “Irish” thanks to a little splash of various Irish drinks in the recipe. Whether you prefer Baileys or Guinness, you can elevate your brownies, cheesecakes, cupcakes and truffles and make your St Patrick’s Day a little more wild. Many bakeries offer these special versions of classic desserts for this fun holiday.
Kerry apple cake
This one sounds simply irresistible. It is an Irish apple cake topped with a warm and hearty custard sauce, typically served on St Patrick’s Day. This traditional Irish dessert would pair wonderfully with an Irish coffee, and help make your celebration delicious and festive. It works great for all ages, whether kids are getting together and wearing green hats, or you’re having friends over for beer and dessert to watch a sports game.
Irish Soda Bread
However, Irish products are not all puddings and cakes. Another Irish food that can pops up at this time of year is soda bread. This is a type of quick bread that uses bicarb soda instead of yeast as the leavening agent. It can be flavoured with treacle, walnuts, and herbs. The traditional sweetened version includes caraway seeds and raisins. Buttermilk is another common ingredient that helps to make it moist and crumbly. However, some recipes replace the buttermilk with yogurt or, turning full circle, stout like Guinness! Guinness with the main and Guinness with the dessert suits us just fine.
Irish soda bread filled with raisins
St Patrick’s Day drinks
To help wash down these delicious treats and to add to your St. Patrick’s Day experience, there are plenty of Irish drinks available. There is the well-known Irish coffee, which is a glass of coffee mixed with whisky and with whipped cream on top.
But also, many bars offer St. Patrick-special glasses of green beer! There is also such a thing as shamrock shakes, a green mint-flavoured milkshake first invented and sold in McDonald’s restaurants during this holiday. More generally, there are plenty of other St. Patrick’s-themed drinks available. Consider going out in search of these special treats, or these lucky charms, if you will.
Respecting the old Irish proverb, “Talk doesn’t fill the stomach”, so let us direct you to some local Irish desserts this holiday. Whether you opt for one of the traditional desserts, or something newer, Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig dhuit or St. Patrick’s Day blessings to you (in Irish)!