Posts Tagged ‘Irish’

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Irish

March 14, 2011

I figure if I got four those words in the title, I’d get loads of hits. Chocolate, caramel and shortbread make up the three layers in Magills, a recipe I acquired while living in Ireland. They go by many names – last year, we saw them called Wellingtons in one place, millionaire bars in another and in one prosaic coffee bar they were plain old caramel squares. I call them Magills, because I got the recipe from Susan Stokes who got the recipe from a fellow named Magill. I believe I have the best story, with apologies to Lord Wellington.

(I have translated the measurements from weights to volume. You can’t find Kerry Cream here, but it’s really just sweetened condensed milk. Look for Lyle’s Golden Syrup in the international or baking aisle of your grocery store.)

 

MAGILLS

Shortbread:

1 stick butter, softened

1 cup flour

¼ cup powdered sugar

 

Caramel:

4 Tbl. butter

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup

¾ tin of Kerry Cream

 

about ½ cup chocolate chips, melted

 

Crumble shortbread ingredients together; press into 8-inch-square pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, until the edges are just barely turning brown. Place pan on rack to cool.

Bring caramel ingredients to a boil and stir constantly until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage. While caramel mixture is still hot, pour over the shortbread. Let cool.

Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate in a thin layer over caramel. When set, slice into bars or squares with a hot knife.

 

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My Irish brown bread

March 6, 2011

I was once asked – by an American, of course – why there was no soda in Irish soda bread. What? That’s like asking why there are no chocolate chips in chocolate chip cookies. She apparently had a “traditional” soda-bread recipe from her family that contained no soda. I’d say that’s not soda bread.

In Ireland, brown soda bread is called brown bread, no need to specify. I’ve made it for years from a recipe I found in an Irish magazine when I lived in Dublin. When we are in Ireland, we eat as much as possible – you’ll know why once you try it. Brown bread is on the breakfast table at hotels and B&Bs and it’s offered with soup at lunch; at dinner time, you have to ask if they have any left. Brown bread is fast, healthy and extremely tasty. It’s March – make some today.

Marty’s Irish Brown Bread

(This recipe uses weight measurements; it’s the only way I’ve ever made it.)

8 ounces whole wheat flour

8 ounces white flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. soda (yes, soda!)

1 Tbl. butter

11 ounces buttermilk (this is a half-pint of buttermilk, but it’s half of an Imperial pint)

1 egg, slightly beaten

Mix dry ingredients, then rub in the butter. Mix in buttermilk and egg. This can all be done by hand or with a mixer (don’t over mix). Press into a greased loaf pan or round casserole dish. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 30 minutes. You can turn out the loaf and tap on the bottom to check for doneness; if it sounds hollow, it’s done. Turn out, and wrap the bread in a damp tea towel and  place on a rack until the bread is completely cool. Cooling it in a damp tea towel will keep the crust from getting too hard. Enjoy!