Posts Tagged ‘Guinness Gingerbread’

Guinness Caramel Sauce Photo 2Today’s post is short and sweet!

Not so long ago, I posted a recipe for my famous {in my house, that is}  Guinness Gingerbread. Shortly thereafter I was serving the very same as a dessert to some American guests and I wanted to jazz it up a bit with something extra special. To that end, I searched until I found this recipe on Jules Food blog for Guinness Caramel Sauce.

Well, let me tell you, it was absolutely lovely! My husband thought I was crazy to make even the slightest change to this beloved dessert {God bless him} but the addition of a sprinkle of icing (powdered) sugar, fresh whipped cream, and this warm sauce got exactly the reaction I was hoping for from everyone at the table. Delicious!

One word of advice…this sauce can crystalise, so make it just before you need it or keep it warm until you’re ready to serve.

A big THANK YOU to the author(s) of Jules Food blog!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone.

Guinness Caramel Sauce

Makes 8oz


1 large bottle Guinness Extra Stout

1/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons maple syrup (might want more, but don’t hide the Guinness flavor)

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, or 1 scraped vanilla bean


1. Start with a large heavy bottom pot…large because this will bubble up quite a bit…a lot. (I have to say that mine did not do this.)

2. Add Guinness, sugars and maple syrup and put over low heat until sugar dissolves.

3. Once sugars dissolve, bring up the heat to medium and reduce, reduce, reduce the mixture, stirring constantly to prevent burning.

4. When the mixture starts to thicken, add the vanilla paste.

5. Taste and add more maple syrup, if needed.

6. Keep cooking and stirring until it coats the back of a spoon.

7. Let cool to room temperature

* Once my sauce cooled, it began to crystalise so I put it all back into a small pot and kept it warm until it was time to serve.
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“What is a traditional Irish meal for St. Patrick’s Day?”…this is the number one question I’m being asked right now at In an Irish Home. Unfortunately, to all of you who are looking for me to come back with the answer, “corned beef and cabbage with a side of boiled potatoes”, I’m sorry to disappoint. The truth is, in Ireland, there is no one particular or “traditional” meal served on Paddy’s Day.

In Ireland, despite the current trend of big parades and festivities, which are really about bringing in income for the exchequer, St. Patrick’s Day is still a holy day of obligation. The country’s bishops have urged people right across the land to remember that the faithful must attend Mass. {Personally, I think this makes for an excellent message going out from Ireland to faithful people wherever they call home. I prefer it to the message, “drink excessive amounts of green beer and get drunk in honour of our patron Saint and the ancestral homeland”…but that’s for another day.}

ShamrocksIn Ireland many will go to mass in the morning, where they may receive a clutch of blessed shamrocks, and head home before spending a few hours at their local parade. Those daring to brave the crush of revelers in Dublin will head into town for our biggest national parade, which will see people from all over the world in attendance sporting some sort of green attire and cheering for marching bands and festive floats. The pubs and bars will spill over with colourful cheer and in villages across the island homemakers will be putting a regular ol’ meal on the table for supper.

In our Irish home this year, I will be serving Shepherd’s Pie as a main course for St. Patrick’s Day, with a big green salad on the side.  I love this dish because it’s an easy-to-make casserole that I can prepare a day or two ahead of time and then pop into the oven for a short while just before we’re ready for our tea (dinner).

DSC_0288Traditionally, Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb but it is equally delicious when made with minced beef (hamburger meat) . Some people put peas and/or carrots into it…some don’t. I put beans in mine for extra texture. It’s really up to you what you do with it. I’ve even seen vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie that looks amazingly yummy {but I have yet to make one…another blog, perhaps.}.

For our pudding (dessert) I will be serving the Guinness Gingerbread my family love so. On Paddy’s Day, I will top it with a sprinkle of icing (powdered) sugar, freshly whipped cream, and a drizzle of Guinness Caramel Sauce. I promise to post the Guinness Caramel Sauce recipe later today or first thing tomorrow morning.

If you want to round this meal out and make it even more “traditional” Irish, you could serve adults a pint of Guinness with the Shepherds Pie (the children could have Rock Shandy, a non-alcoholic drink that is usually half lemon soda, half orange soda), and then serve the adults an Irish Coffee after their pudding (dessert), perhaps with a lovely selection of Irish cheeses.

No matter what you choose to serve on Saint Patrick’s Day, I offer you and yours this gentle blessing:

“May good luck be with you wherever you go…and your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow!”

Shepherd’s Pie

Serves 4-6


1 ½lbs/675g mince lamb or beef

1 large onion, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced

400g/1 can red kidney beans, drained

400g/1 can chopped tomatoes, drained but reserve the juice

1 heaping tablespoon tomato purée/paste

juice of 1/2 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

2 ½lbs/1,200grams potatoes, peeled and quartered

¾ cup/6oz milk (and a little extra if needed)

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1-2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch), if needed


1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F/180°C.

2. Place potatoes in medium saucepan; add water to just cover. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are soft and tip of paring knife inserted into potato meets no resistance, 10 to 20 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to saucepan. Place saucepan on low heat and cook, shaking pot occasionally, until any surface moisture on potatoes has evaporated, (about 1 minute). Remove pan from heat and mash potatoes well. Stir the melted butter and milk into the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more milk or melted butter if potatoes seem a bit too thick. Cover and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan (pot) over medium. Add the onion and cook for about five minutes. Add the red pepper and cook until the onion is softened slightly but the red pepper is still crunchy. (For those who wish, you can substitute carrots for the red pepper.)

4. Add the mince lamb or beef, kidney beans, drained tomatoes, tomato purée, and just enough of the reserved tomato juice to moisten well. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer until all the ingredients are cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally with a fork and break up any meat chunks. (For those who wish, now is the time to add ½ cup/2oz peas.) If your mince mixture is quite wet, add cornflour one teaspoon at a time to absorb the excess liquid. Mix well.

5. Transfer the mince lamb (or beef) mixture into a pie dish (baking dish or Dutch oven) and cover entirely with an even layer of the mashed potato. With a spoon, seal the edges of the potato to the top of the mince so it doesn’t bubble up and ruin the look of the potato while in the oven. If you’re in the mood to be fancy, score the mashed potatoes with the tip of a spoon (the back tip) to make a wavy pattern.

6. Reheat in the oven until the potato becomes crusty and golden, about 20-30 minutes. Remove and let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.


Related Articles:

A traditional Irish Saint Patrick’s Day here: https://inanirishhome.com/2012/03/14/a-traditional-irish-st-patricks-day/

Irish Coffee and Saint Patrick’s Day here: https://inanirishhome.com/2013/03/27/irish-coffee-and-saint-patricks-day/

St. Patrick’s Day Party Ideas here: https://inanirishhome.com/2012/03/16/st-patricks-day-party-ideas/

What it Really Means to be Irish here: https://inanirishhome.com/2012/03/15/what-it-means-to-really-be-irish/

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{Note: Today’s post reads better if you click on the link below, get past the ad, and let the video run while you read the rest of the post.}

You know the song Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys?

Well, not to brag or anything but…I’m pretty sure she’s singing about me!

Yep, that’s right. I said it!…“She’s just a girl and she’s on firrre”.

I am listening to the video above right now while typing {the song has been in my head since last night}…“Hotter than a fantasy…”

Yes! She’s DEFINITELY singing about me!

“She’s living in a world, and it’s on firrre, filled with catastrophe”After feeling so lackluster leading up to Christmas day, I have finally shaken off my cloak of dullness and found that, underneath, I’m wearing a pencil skirt, mini top, and four-inch-high-smokin’-hot heels! Ha! Who knew?!…“She’s got both feet on the ground and she’s burning it down…”

“O-o-o-oh, o-o-o-oh”… Despite the weather, the bills, the messy house, the late-to-arrive Christmas cards that are still sitting on the dining room table unsigned and unsent,…“She’s got her head in the clouds”…I am finding time {and energy} for watching tv with the family, cuddling with the kids before they go to bed, whipping up something new in the kitchen, meeting with friends, relaxing, and writing…lots of writing. …” And, she’s not backing down…”

“This girl is on firrre. This girl is on firrre. She’s walking on firrre. This girl is on firrre..”

Ideas for In an Irish Home are popping into my head nonstop, like fireworks on New Year’s Eve night. For those of you following this blog, I hope you don’t mind all the posts in your email inbox.

“Looks like a girl but she’s a flame.” Sometimes the ideas come in the middle of the night. “So bright she can burn your eyes, better look the other way.” So, I get up from my comfy bed and write a post in those few quiet hours when nothing else is going on…“She’s on top of the world…” The house is silent. I relish the time to myself.

Lately, I’ve even taken to hitting the “publish” button before going back to bed. And you know, the funny thing is I don’t feel exhausted the next morning for having had less sleep. “Got our head in the clouds and we’re not coming down.” I feel good…almost great for having done so. Maybe it comes from loving what I’m doing?

I don’t know where this abundant energy is coming from. “This girl is on firrre.” I am just completely and utterly thankful for it.

And so, before giving you today’s recipe for Guinness Gingerbread, which to all you male-readers is a most delicious treat for the lady in your life on Little Christmas day {also known in Ireland as the Women’s Christmas, Little Women’s Christmas, and Nollaig na mBan and, also, the Epiphany), I’m wondering…what song is currently playing in your head?

DSC_0043Guinness Gingerbread

Makes 16 Generous Slices


10 tablespoons/5oz butter, softened

1 cup/250ml golden syrup {half dark and half light corn syrup)

1 cup packed/5oz brown sugar

1 cup/250ml Guinness

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg

2 cups/10oz plain flour {self raising/all purpose)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups/10oz/300ml sour cream

2 eggs


1. Preheat oven to 325°F/170°C. Line a 9×13×2-inch baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Butter or spray both a nonstick baking spray.

2. Put the butter, syrup, brown sugar, Guinness, ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves and nutmeg in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the butter is completely melted.

3. While the butter is melting, mix in a large bowl the flour, baking soda and salt.

4. When the butter has completely melted and the ingredients in the saucepan are well mixed, pour it into the large bowl with flour, baking soda and salt. Whisky well to get rid of any lumps.

5. Whisk together the sour cream and eggs. Mix into the gingerbread mixture, whisking again until smooth.

6. Pour the mixture into the baking pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

7. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Once fully cool, lift from pan and cut into slices. May be served with cream and icing sugar {powdered sugar} for an extra special dessert.


Guinness Gingerbread recipe is adapted from Nigell’a Lawson’s recipe for same.

More about Nollaig na mBan at A Silver Voice from Ireland

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