GingerBread Man / House

A seasonal favorite... and not just for Christmas

You can have great fun with your family making gingerbread men (women, children and pets too) and of course a gingerbread house.

If you are making a house, do a plan before hand so you don't end up with four sides and no roof!

For the dough:-

  • 200g butter
  • 200g dark muscavado sugar
  • 7 table spoons golden syrup
  • 600g plan flour
  • 2 tea spoons bread soda
  • 4 tea spoons ground ginger
  • 2 tea spoons ground cinnamon

For the icing:-

  • 2 egg whites
  • 500g icing sugar

To decorate:-

  • Selection of sweets and jellies - M&Ms are good for color.  An essential part of the decorations in at least a few children let loose to decorate as they see fit.

Heat the oven to 180c.  Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a heavy pan.  Remove from the heat and while it is cooling (only slightly) mix together the flour, bread soda and spices in a separate bowl.  Stir all together to make a dough.  Roll out onto sheet of greaseproof paper to a thickness of about 5mm.

If you are making a house, follow your plan and cut out the sides and roof - cut out your doors and windows. Place the gingerbread shapes on a tray into the freezer for about five minutes - this helps them keep their shape as they cook.

For the Ginger Bread Man / Woman / Children - cut out the shapes and place flat a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.

Cook for between 15 and 20 minutes until it has turned darker brown.

Make the icing by whisking the egg white and sugar together until firm.  Once completely coled, decorate your cookies with icing, sweets and jellies.

For the house, use the icing to glue the walls together and to keep the roof on.  Dab the sweets with icing to make them stick to the walls.

Eat & enjoy.

One minute Meringue Cake

Eton Mess stacks

From the hallowed halls of Eton (a prestigious private school in England) comes Eton Mess - a scrumy dessert but this one is ready in a jiffy.

For the Meringue
  • 1 Egg white
  • 12oz Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp crushed cardamon seeds
For the toppings
  • 142ml Double cream
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 10oz Raspberries
Whisk the egg white and add the sugar and seeds. You should have a firm icing. Roll the icing into 8 golf ball size balls. Place two balls on a piece of greased baking paper at opposite ends of your microwave. Cook on full power for 30-40 seconds until quadrupled in size. Lift off the paper and allow to cool.

Whip the cream with the lemon juice. Crush half the raspberries and fold through the whipped cream.

To serve, place a little cream in the centre of the plate and settle one meringue on top (the cream on the plate stops the stack from sliding around too much). Add more raspberry cream on top and then another meringue. Finish with more cream and some whole raspberries. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Traditional Eton Mess has the above just all bunged together in a "mess".

Sweetcorn & Seafood Chowder

A real winter warmer!

One thinks of Chowder as a winter food, welcoming and warm on a cold day, a respite from the harsh elements. True, but you can eat (yes, you eat soup) this at any time.

The seafood you add is up to you; best to use what's readily available or failing that something from the freezer but not battered or breadcrumbed.

  • Knob of butter
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 12oz Potatoes,cubed
  • 18 fl oz Milk
  • 5oz Sweetcorn
  • For the fish I use:-
    • 10oz Smoked Haddock
    • 5oz Prawns
Heat the butter in a large saucepan and add the onion and cook until soft. Pour over the milk and add the cubed potatoes. Bring to the boil but drop the temperature immediately to the mixture just simmers - you do not want the milk boiling vigorously. Simmer for about 10 minutes - the potatoes should not be cooked fully but should be getting there.

Add the fish and the sweetcorn and simmer for another 5 minutes. Scatter with parsley and serve with crusty bread.

  • You can add a few slices of bacon (chopped) with the onions - not suitable for vegetarians.
  • Try adding some frozen peas for colour, texture and taste; similarly some chopped sun-dried tomatoes!

Lemon Semi-Fredo

Not ice cream nor sorbet... it's Semi-Fredo

Ideally served in slices so you'll need a loaf tin for this one... ice cream from a baking tin!

6 Egg yolks
150g Castor sugar
150ml Lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
375ml Cream, lightly whipped

Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and zest in a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Keep whisking and as the mixture heats up it swell in volume. Keep going until it is approximately double in size and light and fluffy. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool giving the odd whisk every now and again.

When the mixture is fully cold, fold in the whipped cream.

Line the loaf tin with cling film (saran wrap for you Americans out there) so that you can lift the semi-fredo out when set. Freeze until solid, a few hours or so should do it.

Slice and serve.

PS. I use the "spare" egg whites from this recipe to make meringues... they go great together.

Sweet & Sour Sauce Recipe

Surprisingly Easy Sweet & Sour

You have to use Rice Vinegar for the real authentic taste;white vinegar is OK but if you're going to try this for the first time then do use Rice Vinegar.... you won't be disappointed.

  • 1/3 cup white or rice vinegar (Note: rice vinegar gives better results)
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 4 teaspoons water


Mix the vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce together and bring to a boil in a small pot. Mix together the cornstarch and water, add to the other ingredients and stir to thicken.

(If desired, you can add 1 green pepper, cut into chunks, and pineapple chunks as desired after adding the cornstarch. For a thicker sauce, increase the cornstarch to 4 teaspoons while keeping the water constant.)

Simple Guacamole

Easy, Quick & Tasty

Everyone loves guacamole and why not; it's very morish once you start with those tortillas. This is an easy one to impress your friends with.

2 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1 medium tomato deseeded and roughl chopped
1 jalapeno chili chopped [add more or less your personal desire for heat!]
1/2 small onion finely chopped [you can use a red onion for extra colour]
Juice of 1 lime

The easy bit... mash everything together with a fork; transfer to a small bowl and serve with tortilla chips! Add salt and pepper to taste.

Strawbery Glaze

How to save a sunken cake...

This will turn an ordinary failed sunken cake into a divine dessert! Sometimes the best laid plans and all that... cakes collapse and you're left with something which know tastes pretty good but doesn't look at that great. Here's rescue remedy; fill the hole with this easy to make glaze.

Of course, you could just make the glaze for an ordinary cake too!
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and halved, divided
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier (or other orange-flavored liqueur) optional
Mash 1 cup of the strawberries. Combine mashed and unmashed strawberries, sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in Grand Marnier. Cover and chill. Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

Ice-cream varieties

Follow the basic rasberry ice-cream and replace the rasberries with:-

  • Strawberries
  • Bananna
  • In fact whatever takes your fancy....


Rasberry Ice-cream

No hassle, no nonsense ice-cream

This is a very quick and easy method to make delicious ice-cream. No need for a fancy list of ingedients or complicated instructions... gone too is the need for an ice-cream maker!

125g Rasberries
250ml Greek yoghurt
250ml Cream
100g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essense

Mash the rasberries in a bowl, don't dream of throwing away the juice. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Transfer to a plastic container and freeze. After a few hours, remove from the freezer and mix again; repeat a few times until the ice-cream is ready. Don't leave it too long in the freezer (ie serve and eat just as soon as it's ready, say 12 hours) as it will get icy.

The Irish Baker Button

Proud to be green

Not a regular post, for me at least, but Blog Buttons seem to be all the rage so I've made one for this blog. What do you think?

If you'd like to include this button on your site, then copy the HTML below and paste it into your website or blog.

Of course, you can't be an real Irish Site without a mini Shamrock so here it is, you can also put this on your website with the HTML below.

And of course there's the minature shamrock I use as a bullet.


Tom doesn't believe who we are!

We are the Irish Bakers, so there! Yes, I know that's it hard to believe but it's true.

S and C

Tomato & Coriander Salad (Salsa)

Quick & easy to make Salsa

Regular readers will notice that I have a lot of recipes with Tomatoes. True, I like tomatoes and they are good for you - a real bonus. This could be referred to as a Salsa or a Salad.

This quick side-salad is also good with cheese on crackers or toasted bread. It looks just as good as it tastes. Adjust the hot ingredients to your own liking.

5 or 6 medium tomatoes, diced [ I often use cherry tomatoes for this especially in the summer when they are just full of sweetness, about a dozen or so]
1/2 cup of roughly chopped [fresh] coriander leaves
1 Red onion, diced
Juice from 1/2 a lime
1/2 a red chilli and 1 tbs of Olive Oil - or - 1 Tablespoon of chilli dipping sauce [adjust according to how much heat you like]

Mix everything together and allow the flavours to infuse for at least 30 minutes before eating. The Chilli Dipping Sauce adds sweetness and heat (along with a touch of garlic); I tend to use it in preference to a chilli but that's a matter of taste.

Tomato Relish

Sweet yet Spicy

A superb home-made relish to use as as an accompaniment with cold meat and salad or on sandwiches. Best made from home grown tomatoes to really bring out the tomato flavour.


4 kg ripe tomatoes
1½ kg onions
½ kg apples, peeled and cored
½ kg sweet peppers (red and yellow look best) diced
A couple of fiery hot chillies, or the contents of a jar of pickled chillies
1 kg sugar
3 level tablespoons hot curry powder
4½ level tablespoons mustard powder
¾ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1.7 L white vinegar
1 tablespoon cornflour

  1. Peel and dice tomatoes, onions, peppers and apples.
  2. Place in a large pot and cover with vinegar.
  3. Add the sugar and bring the mixture to the boil. Boil rapidly for five minutes.
  4. Combine all the spices and stir into the relish mixture.
  5. Boil gently for one hour, removing scum progressively and stirring frequently.
  6. To thicken the relish, add the corn flour to a little water and mix to a smooth paste.
  7. Add a little of the hot liquid from the relish mixture until the paste is the consistency of thin cream.
  8. Add the paste to the relish mixture and stir continuously for around 5 minutes until it thickens.
  9. Bottle into hot, sterilised jars and seal when cold. Makes approximately 12 medium sized jars.


Tomatoes are much easier to peel if you drop them into boiling water for a minute or two. If relish mixture appears to be too watery during cooking reduce it down by leaving the lid off the pot. This relish will keep for up to 12 months in a cool cupboard.

Scale down the ingredients to make a smaller batch. Works best with fresh tomatoes; may work with tinned tomatoes but haven't tried it, do let me know how it works out if you do try.

Much Better Granola

Part of the healthy yet tasty series!

I recently reviewed my Granola recipe and realised that I've changed how I make Granola! I'm not great at following recipes in the first place, I tend to use it as a guideline and then adjust according to how I'm feeling, what's in the cupboard and how it tastes as I go along.

At any rate, my much improved Granola is detailed below. Significantly there is no SALT in this, not even sure why there was salt in the original as I rarely use salt. I also found Flax seeds in my local store - these are very good for you. I use maple syrup and honey interchangeably.

2 cups of rolled oats
1/2 cup of wheatgerm
1/2 cup of mixed seeds [sunflower, flax, sesame, poppy]
1/4 cup of unsweetened dessicated coconut
1/2 cup of dried fruit [raisins, mixed peel etc]
1/3 cup of honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup of oil
Splash of water

Pre-heat your oven to 100c/220f.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, except the dried fruit. Combine the honey, water and oil and pop into the microwave for 1 minute - don't worry too much about the exact measurements but you should have about 3/4 of a cup of liquid. The mixture is much easier to handle when it's warm and the honey is a lot less sticky.

Mix the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir well until everything is well coated.

Spread out on a baking tray and pop into the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and stir in the dried fruit; give it a good mix. Another 15 minutes in the oven before removing for another stir around - make sure it's browning evenly. Pop back for a final 15/20 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool before storing in an air-tight jar; as it cools it will get crunchy. It should hold for quite a while but I'll bet it doesn't last that long.

Enjoy with natural yoghurt.

Use 1/4 cup of apple juice instead of the water and reduce the honey to 1/4 cup.

Easy Choclate Cake

Decadent & fool-proof - a rare combination

Chocolate cake is always a real crowd pleaser but may cooks are put off by the complicated steps, masses of ingredients and time it takes. Now, a really easy cake to make but with fantastic results. A rich dark fudgy taste.

It took me less than 1/2 an hour to make; it will probably take even less to polish it off!

240g Butter
270g Dark chocolate
6 eggs, separated
250 g sugar
120g flour (sieved)

Preheat he over to 180c. Prepare a spring-bake cake tin by buttering and dusting with flour - this stops the cake sticking to the tin.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water; allow the chocolate to melt slowly without the glass bowl touching the water. Meanwhile, whisk the 6 eggs yolks with the sugar until thick. Also, whisk the 6 egg whites until frothy with soft white peaks.

When the butter and chocolate and fully melted, add to the egg yolks and sugar and mix well. Fold in the sieved flour and when fully mixed fold in the egg whites.

If you're feeling extra decadent, add some broken chocolate pieces to the mixture before pouring into the prepared tin.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the sides are set. Allow to cool before removing from the tin; dust with icing sugar. It will hold for a few days and in fact will taste better the day after it's made - if you wan wait that long!

Serve with Baileys whipped cream and a few raspberries... or just eat it!

Originally from Domini Kemp's tweaked recipe from Alice Waters.

Quick Pea Soup

Pea Soup In a Snap

Making soup doesn't have to be complicated... as this recipe shows. It's adapted from Nigella; adapted in that I saw her TV show but can't remember exactly what she did so made it up a little as I went along. Turns out nice though; and As this uses frozen peas there is even less work to do.


  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Half a clove of garlic (grated) & a dash of olive oil
  • 3 cups frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Cream

Heat the olive oil and gently fry the garlic in a saucepan. Add the stock and warm over medium heat. Add the peas; cook until tender. Transfer peas and stock to a blender [or blend in situ with a hand blender], and process until smooth, adding the balsamic vinegar toward the end.

Pour in a bowl, season with salt and black pepper, and pour a little cream on top.


Doesn't get much easier than that!

Slow Roasted Tomoatoes

Oven baked, Not Sun Dried

Another easy one and tasty too ! I've always liked tomatoes and it helps that they are good for you [here's why]. I was recently browsing Kalyn Denny's excellent blog and came across her version of Slow Roasted Tomatoes. I've played with it a little so here's my version (and her picture which links back to her version).

  • Tomatoes (of course)
  • Mixed herbs (dried are fine in this recipe)
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar


I didn't give amounts in the recipe, use your own judgement and what you like to eat. I like lots of garlic but not everyone does.

Roughly chop the tomatoes and garlic and toss with the the mixed herbs and oil making sure the tomatoes have been evenly coated. Place into a baking tray and put into a warm (125c) oven for between three and six hours.

Tip: The smaller the pieces of tomato the quicker they will cook so keep an eye on proceeding. Cherry tomatoes can be used, put cut down the cooking time considerably.
Tip: If you want just a hint of garlic add the whole clove and allow to cook with the tomatoes but remove it at the end.

I tend to remove from the oven every hour or so and give it a stir making sure no edges are burning. The tomatoes will shrivel and as they do the flavour concentrates.

Drizzle over the Balsamic Vinegar for the last half hour or so.

Remove, allow to cool and store in an airtight jar in the fridge, or.., put straight onto a cracker and enjoy warm!

Use anywhere that calls for Sun Dried Tomatoes.

Thick & Creamy Yoghurt

Tip for thickening home-made yoghurt

Home-made yoghurt, yum, it's so easy and good for you. I have already written and instructions on how to make you own yoghurt. Sometimes, though, it's not as thick as store bought yoghurt. Fear not! Don't panic if your yoghurt is a tad thin or runny - use this easy tip to thicken your home made yoghurt.

Very simply, the yoghurt can be thickened by draining off some of the excess liquid. Line a strainer with muslin (or strong kitchen paper [if you use kitchen paper, don't use one with colours or scents]) and pour the yoghurt in. Allow to sit for about an hour - the excess liquid will drain through the muslin leaving a thicker yoghurt behind.

The longer you leave it, the thicker it will get. When you have your desired thickness, spoon the yoghurt into an airtight container and return to the fridge.

I'm not sure, yet, what you do with the liquid that has drained off. I'm sure there must be a use for it, and will post again when I've found one. Leave a comment if you have a suggestion.

NOTE: Whilst I've concentrated on thickening home-made yoghurt, this will work just as well with any shop-bought rubbish :)

Eggs from Caged Hens

Go Free Range!

Lots of media coverage recently in this part of the world on Chicken meat and eggs, and in particular on the conditions under which they are produced. Real eye-opening stuff and no self-respecting cook would look twice at produce which is produced under anything less than humane conditions.

Eggs in this part of the world (eh.. Ireland) now have to carry a notice if they have come from caged hens aka. battery hens. The notice may be small but it is there and worth checking for. Look at this picture and tell that you're happy to eat eggs produced like this?

And it gets worse, these poor hens spend their entire lives in one cage and are deemed spent after about a year or so and are killed [using by electrocution]. In comparison a free range hen can on to lay eggs for upto 10 years!

Barn hens, have a slightly better live but still not great. Best of all [from the hens point of view of course, and your taste buds] is Free Range.

Go on, make a stand and buy Free Range eggs. You'll feel better and know what, you're food will taste better too!

Battery Cages

In the battery system, hens are crammed into a cage so small that they cannot stretch their wings, let alone walk or peck and scratch at the ground. Under these conditions hens are prevented from performing most of their natural behaviours, such as dust bathing, perching and laying their eggs in a nest. Up to 90,000 caged hens can be crammed into one windowless shed. The cages in Europe are stacked between 4 and 9 cages high. Japan is said to have the world's highest battery cage unit, with cages stacked 18 tiers high.

There is clear scientific evidence that hens suffer in battery cages. Common sense also tells us that to keep a healthy hen in a barren wire cage, with less space than an ordinary sheet of typing paper, is bound to cause suffering. These conditions prevent the hens performing their natural behaviours and cause their bodies to degenerate through lack of exercise.

"Enriched" Cages

The European Union has agreed to ban barren battery cages from 2012. However "enriched" cages will still be allowed. "Enriched" cages must provide at least 750 cm2 per hen, of which 600 cm2 is "useable area", the rest being shared space for items such as a nest box. "Enriched" cages must be 45 cm high over most of the cage. This compares with 450 cm2 of cage space per hen in battery cages and a height of 40 cm. "Enriched" cages must also have a nest, "litter such that pecking and scratching are possible", 15 cm of perch space per hen, and a claw-shortening device.

It is claimed that "enriched" cages will be better for the hens' welfare than battery cages. However scientific and practical evidence shows that, in welfare terms, a cage is still a cage, "enriched" or not, and that birds will continue to suffer. The space and facilities provided in "enriched" cages are so inadequate that they deprive the birds of the ability to fulfil natural behaviours, leading to abnormal behaviours, frustration, suffering and body degeneration (Lymbery, in press).

Barn Systems

"Barn" eggs are produced from hens kept in loose flocks confined within a shed. Birds in this system are not caged and can roam throughout their house but are not let outside. They are provided with perches, platforms, and nestboxes and litter areas. Some barn units keep their hens in large flock sizes of up to 16,000 birds in conditions that can resemble a crowded football terrace.

Free Range Systems

Free range is a method of farming husbandry where the animals are permitted to roam freely instead of being contained in any manner. The principle is to allow the animals as much freedom as possible, to live out their instinctual behaviours in a reasonably natural way, regardless of whether or not they are eventually killed for meat. In practice, there are few regulations imposed on what can be called "free range," and the term may be used misleadingly to imply that the animal product has been produced more humanely than it actually has been.

Bread Soda (again)

How to tell if Bread Soda is active

I recently had the misfortune of a recipe not producing the expected outcome. A Brown Scone recipe from a well known source used Bread Soda and Greek Yoghurt as the raising agents. Interesting I thought, but alas it didn't work out well - the scones tasted okay but well flat & dense.

So, I was left wondering, Is my Bread Soda gone off?

I decided to test it; easier than you think and very quick. The chemical reaction we're looking for from a raising agent is air - mix the raising agents together and you should get air... bubbles to be precise. So, here's the test.

Start with a clean glass - best to use a glass as you can check exactly what's going on. Add a teaspoon of Bread Soda and a tablespoon of vinegar. If you get an instant froth then your Bread Soda is okay, if not, ditch it and buy yourself a new box.

Healthy Granola

Great tasting and good for you too!

Granola is surprisingly easy to make; if you're paying $6 for a bag of granola think again - you can make your own far cheaper, better tasting, and easier than you think. Good for you and good for your pocket.

The trick with granola is the bake it slowly in low-heat.

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats (rolled large oats are best IMHO)
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup mixed seeds & nuts (sunflower, sesame, almonds, peanuts etc)*
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 Tbs. flavorless oil, such as vegetable or canola
  • 1 Tb. water

* See variations below

Pre-heart the oven to 275F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch metal pan with cooking spray, then set aside. Mix oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt and Extra Ingredients --except dried fruit -- in a bowl. Heat the oil, water and maple syrup along with any flavourings (see variations) to simmering pint and drizzle over the oat mixture. Stir well to combine ensuring all the dry ingredients have been coated.

Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 30 minutes. Give an occasional stir during baking. Add dried fruit to the mixture and bake until golden - about another 15 minutes.

Store in an air-tight container for 2 weeks - bet it doesn't last that long though.

1. Classic Granola
Extra Ingredients: 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/3 cup dark or golden raisins
Flavoring: 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
You can replace the 1/4 cup of maple syrup with 2 Tbs. each of maple syrup and molasses.

2. Crunchy Granola
Extra Ingredients: 1/4 cup slivered almonds, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 2 Tbs. sesame seeds, 6 Tbs. currants
Flavoring: none

3. Granola with Tropical Flavoring
Add the coconut along with the cashews and banana chips.
Extra Ingredients: 1/4 cup chopped roasted unsalted cashews, 1/4 cup chopped banana chips, 1/4 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/4 cup chopped dried pineapple
Flavoring: 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

4. Granola with Cherries and Almonds
Extra Ingredients: 1/3 cup sliced almonds, 1/3 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/3 cup dried cherries
Flavoring: 3/4 tsp. almond extract

5. Trail Mix Granola
Extra Ingredients: 1/4 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts, 1/4 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/4 cup dark or golden raisins, 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips*
Flavoring: none
*Stir chips into the granola only after it has completely cooled.

6. Orange-Berry Granola with Pecans
Extra Ingredients: 1/2 cup chopped pecans,1/4 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup dried blueberries
Flavoring: 1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest

7. Pear Granola with Hazelnuts and Vanilla
Extra Ingredients: 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, 1/4 cup chopped dried cherries, 1/4 cup chopped dried pears
Flavoring: 1 tsp. vanilla extract

8. Orange-Flavored Granola with Pistachios, Mangos and Dates
Extra Ingredients: 1/2 cup chopped roasted pistachios, 1/4 cup chopped dates, 1/4 cup chopped dried mangos
Flavoring: 1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest and 1/4 tsp. allspice

How to make an Authentic Irish Coffee

Step by step guide to a making a delicious Irish Coffee

Many people believe that an Irish Coffee is just another excuse for a drink! Well it is, of course, but there's an art to making a proper Irish Coffee. The finished product should look much like a proper Pint of Guinness - a black coffee with white collar of cream floating on top.

  • Half a cup of good quality coffee
  • 1 measure of Irish whiskey
  • 2 Spoonfuls of brown sugar
  • 20ml of fresh pouring cream

Put a tea spoon into the glass (best to use a glass with a stem) and pour some boiling water into the glass to warn it up. (the reason you put in the spoon is so that the spoon takes the heat from the water and so the glass will not crack, but be careful!).

Pour the shot of whiskey into the glass.

Pour in the coffee up to within 15mm (1.5cm) from the top.

Put in the two spoons of sugar and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.You will see if the sugar has dissolved by looking at the base of the glass. (the sugar ensures that the cream will float).

Place the spoon onto the rim of coffee, face up (ensure that the curved part of the spoon is touching the coffee, touching...not submerged) With the cream in a small jug pour it onto the spoon. The cream will flow over the edge of the spoon and rest on top of the coffee.

What you should be left with is a glass of black coffee (not cloudy and with no trace of cream) with a white collar about 10mm (1cm) deep.

It should then be served on a sideplate with NO SPOON.

If you are making a Speciality coffee with a liqueur such as Tia Maria or Baileys, follow the same steps, just remember that often no sugar is required as the liqueur contains sufficient sugar to keep the cream afloat.

A hint or tip: If you whip the cream slightly, it is easier to create the effect (but don't tell anyone you did this). Irish people do not use whipped cream, or heaven forbid the squirty-from-a-can cream - a sin in Ireland!!

Many bars and restaurants have their own speciality coffees, here are a few of the favourite other types of speciality coffee’s.
  • Highland Coffee with Scotch whisky
  • French/Napoleon/Royal Coffee with Cognac
  • Calypso Coffee with Tia Maria
  • Baileys Coffee with Baileys Irish Cream (highly recommended)
  • Russian Coffee with Vodka
  • Jamaican Coffee with Dark Rum<
  • Caribbean Coffee with Bacardi
  • Bonnie Prince Charlie Coffee with Drambuie
  • Kahlua Coffee Kahlua
  • Mexican Coffee with Tequila / Kahlua
  • Spanish Coffee with 2/3 Brandy 1/3 Tia Maria
  • Roman Coffee with Galliano
  • Monks Rope/Monastery Coffee with Benedictine
  • Keoko Coffee with Cognac and Kahlua/Crème de Caco (Dark)