The ten best St Patrick’s Day cakes

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I have a feeling that time is going to have run away this year and I won’t get round to making a stout cake, or it will be a last minute affair later today. If you’re like me, then perhaps you could do with some inspiration for today, or advance planning for next year. So here’s 10 amazing ones that I found on Pinterest.

 

Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake with Baileys Irish Cream Cheese Icing

 

First up, a classic, Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake with Baileys Irish Cream Cheese Icing from Love Swah.

 

Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake

 

For something more like dessert, then how about the Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake from Eats Well with Others?

 

St Patrick's Day Mint Chocolate Cake

 

Mixing up the flavours and colours, try the St Patrick’s Day Mint Chocolate Cake from Created by Diane.

 

Leprechaun's Hat Cake

 

Look for your own crock of gold with this Leprechaun’s Hat Cake created by Heather Baird of Sprinkle Bake for Betty Crocker.

 

Kit Kat Shamrock Cake

 

You might be able to make this Kit Kat Shamrock cake from Michelle at CraftyMorning.com with younger cooks, definitely a chocolate lover’s delight.

 

St Patrick's Day Green Petal Cake

 

I’m not sure this beautiful Green Petal Cake from Blog Lovin’ is really the sort of thing you’re going to knock up before tea time today, but it is stunning.

 

St Patrick's Day Bundt Cake

 

I love a great bundt cake, and love this green and white version from LoveFromTheOven.com.

 

Green Velvet Cheesecake

 

Who says velvet has to be red? Try this green velvet cheesecake from B.Lovely Events.

 

Peek a Boo St Patrick's Day Pound Cake

 

Surprise them with the shamrock on the inside with this peek-a-boo pound cake from CraftMorning.com.

 

Leprechaun Candy Bark

 

For something quick, fun, possibly everyone can get involved in making, then try the Leprechaun bark from Simply Being Mommy. Then devour.

So lots of possible options to still make a celebration of today. Failing that, I’ve still got an emergency can of Guinness in the fridge. Party for one.

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Happy St Patrick’s Day! The best of Irish food & drink

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Celebrate with good food & good friends

 

It seems that wherever you go in the world, everyone is happy to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, whilst the other national saints barely get a look in even in their home countries! But lets not get all partisan about it, lets just get on with some eating and drinking!

1. Ok, you can’t really start St Patrick’s Day without a glass of Guinness. Possibly two or three. There again, loyalties are divided in Ireland, and so perhaps you should order in some Murphys. Or some of each, and decide for yourself.

2. A drop of the hard stuff? Well, there’s plenty of Irish whiskey companies willing to help you out with that! Bushmills and Jameson are probably the best known, but you could work your way through some smaller producers, and try something like Connemara, from the Cooley distillery. This is Ireland’s only independent distillery, and its newest, and the whiskey has been winning awards. Worth a try.

3. Taken the pledge? Ah, will  you have a cup of tea then? Go on, go on, go on. Swap your regular brew for something like Bewley’s Dublin Morning tea. Then there’s Barry’s Tea, which has everything from a classic blend to a gold blend, and a long history of good brews.

4. What appears in our supermarkets as Irish sausage is a poor excuse for a sausage. If you want the real thing then try Jane Russell’s Original Irish Handmade Sausages. These are high meat content sausages as they should be made, with only prime cuts and, as they say, no short cuts. Not only are there traditional pork sausages, but you could also try the beef and Guinness ones.

5. Should you be making a trip (and you may have to, as struggling to find a retail stockist) then it sounds like it is well worth checking out the Drumgooland Smokehouse in Co. Down. The hot smoked salmon has won awards, and they also have some interesting combinations such as gin marinated wild mackerel and smoked salmon fishcakes with lemongrass and coriander.

6. If you want to try a hamper full of Irish goodies, then check out the Irish Gourmet. For those with a sweet tooth, try the Battle of the Biscuits, which will give you not all biscuits but also cakes, honey and tea. For more all round tastes, then try A Taste of the Organic, which has smoked salmon, air dried ham, oatcakes and cheese.

7. Talking of oatcakes, I really like the Smoked Oatcakes from Dittys Home Bakery, for an added dimension to cheese and biscuits. You’ll find these in many places across the UK: I know I bought them first at Waitrose and you can find them everywhere from Forman & Field to Fortnum & Mason.

So, I’m sure there is a whole heap more you could explore, so probably best to get a flight and make a start. Dublin is an obvious choice, but my favourite is Galway. No need to wait until the Oyster Festival in September, there’s good eating and drinking all year round. If you want the rock star approach, you could stay at the G or for more pampering then try the Radisson Blu with the Spirit One Spa. Or I hear great things about the resurgence of Belfast, and especially about The Merchant Hotel, both for its restaurant and its bar. In fact, the bar has been voted Best Hotel Bar in the World, not to mention Best Cocktail Menu. If that’s not a good reason to go, then I’m not sure what other reason you need.

Sláinte!

Photo courtesy of biskuit over on Flickr.

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