Tag Archive: St. Patrick’s Day

Mar 17 2013

What’s Cooking: Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake

I love cheesecake. Specifically, New York style cheesecake made with cream cheese, eggs and sugar. It’s an art to get it right, believe me, I’ve been practicing making them for years. I even made a cheesecake wedding cake for a friend’s daughter’s wedding. Three tiers, apricot swirl with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting, festooned for butter cream daisies. I’m told there was none left after twenty minutes. I gave the bride the recipe and a spring form pan as a bridal shower gift so she could make one on her first wedding anniversary.

There are cheesecakes for all occasions, including St. Patrick’s Day laced with Baily’s Irish Cream. It has become a tradition in my house since 1991 when I found the recipe in a 1991 Bon Appétit magazine. It’s best made a day before serving with steaming mugs of hot Irish coffee.

Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake

 photo 349df6c9-00d1-4095-a42c-397c796dacea_zpsc1deba11.jpgIngredients

Crust:

10 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces

1 1/4 cup pecans(5 oz)

1/4 cup sugar

6 T. unsalted butter

Filling:

1 1/2 pound cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1/3 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur

1 t. vanilla extract

3 ounces imported white chocolate (such as Lindt)

Topping:

1 1/2 cups sour cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 ounces imported white chocolate, grated

24 pecan halves

Preparation

For Crust:

Preheat oven to 325. lightly butter 9 inch spring-form pan. Finely grind graham crackers, pecans and sugar in processor. Add butter and blend, using on/off turns. Press crumbs onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of prepared pan. Refrigerate 20 minutes.

Filling:

Using mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. whisk eggs, baileys and vanilla in medium bowl until just blended. Beat egg mixture into cream cheese mixture. Finely chop white chocolate in processor. Add to cream cheese mixture. Transfer filling to crust lined pan. Bake until edges of filling are puffed and dry looking and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Cool on rack. Do not remove cake from pan.

Topping:

Mix sour cream and powdered sugar in small bowl. Spread topping onto cooled cake. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 6 hours. (can be prepared 1 day ahead)

Sprinkle grated chocolate over cake; place pecans around edge. Carefully loosen the rim of the spring-form pan; remove and place cake on a serving plate.

Serves 10, maybe.

Some tips to making the perfect cheesecake:

  • All ingredients should be at room temperature
  • Gently cream the cream cheese before the eggs are added until it is smooth and lump free
  • Avoid over-beating the batter. Over-beating incorporates additional air and tends to cause cracking on the surface of the cheesecake.
  • Before placing the cheesecake in the oven, place an oven proof pan in the bottom of the oven and fill it half way with boiling water. Let the oven return to the proper temperature, then place the cheesecake on a rack in the center of the oven directly over the steaming water. This eliminates having to wrap the outside of the spring-form pan with foil to prevent water from seeping in the cake if place directly in the water.
  • Don’t over-bake the cheesecake. When perfectly done, there will still be a two to three-inch wobbly spot in the middle of the cheesecake; the texture will smooth out as it cools.
  • Bon appétit!

    Mar 15 2013

    What’s Cooking for St. Patrick’s Day

    Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day but Saturday is the big parade in NYC. The tradition on the day is corned beef and cabbage with potatoes, so what to eat on parade day. The easy answer is go traditional with a stew. This beef stew made with Guiness Stout and topped with a Stilton laced pastry crust takes a little work but it is well worth the work.

    Beef and Stout Pie with Stilton Crust

    Ingredients:

       * 7 Tbs. olive oil

       * 1 lb. white button mushrooms, quartered

       * 2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed

       * Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

       * 3 1/2 lb. beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes

       * 1 cup all-purpose flour

       * 3 garlic cloves, minced

       * 2 Tbs. tomato paste

       * 2 1/2 cups Irish stout

       * 1 cup beef broth

       * 1 lb. carrots, cut into chunks

       * 1 lb. red potatoes, cut into chunks

       * 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh thyme

       * One 16-inch round Stilton pastry (recipe below)

       * 1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water

    Directions:

    In a 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms, onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

    Season the beef with salt and pepper. Dredge the beef in the flour, shaking off the excess. In the Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add one-third of the beef and brown on all sides, about 7 minutes total. Transfer to a separate bowl. Add 1/2 cup water to the pot, stirring to scrape up the browned bits. Pour the liquid into a separate bowl. Repeat the process 2 more times, using 2 Tbs. oil to brown each batch of beef and deglazing the pot with 1/2 cup water after each batch.

    Return the pot to medium-high heat. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the beef, stout, broth and reserved liquid, stirring to scrape up the browned bits. Add the mushrooms, onions, carrots, potatoes and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beef and vegetables are tender, about 3 hours.

    Preheat an oven to 400°F.

    Stilton Pastry

    Ingredients:

       * 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

       * 2 tsp. salt

       * 1 Tbs. sugar

       * 16 Tbs. (2 sticks/250g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

       * 1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water

       * 4 oz. Stilton cheese, crumbled

    Directions:

    In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar and pulse until blended, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses. Add 1/3 cup of the ice water and pulse 2 or 3 times. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water 1 Tbs. at a time, pulsing twice after each addition. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

    Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with flour, place on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper and roll out into a 12-by-16-inch rectangle. Sprinkle the cheese over half of the dough, then fold the other half over the cheese. Roll out the dough into a 16 1/2-inch square. Using a paring knife, trim the dough into a 16-inch round.

    Refrigerate the dough until firm, about 10 minutes, then lay the dough on top of the beef and stout pie and bake as directed in that recipe. Makes enough dough for a 16-inch round.

    Brush the rim of the pot with water. Lay the pastry round on top, allowing it to droop onto the filling. Trim the dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang, and crimp to seal. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture, then cut 4 slits in the top of the dough. Bake for 30 minutes. Let the potpie rest for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

    Erin Go Bragh!

    Mar 17 2011

    What’s Cooking: Stout Stew and Stilton Crust

    Most people when they think of St. Patrick’s Day food think of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. Being an bit of an adventurous cook and not overly fond of the cabbage part of the traditional cuisine, I found a recipe that had the beef and potatoes but also, the addition of an Irish Stout. A bit more work and planning, it is a hearty stew for any chilly day, looks pretty and goes well with a hearty Irish Stout. The stew is simmered slowly on the top of the stove and finished with the Stilton Crust in a hot oven.

    Beef and Stout Pie with Stilton Crust

    Ingredients:

       * 7 Tbs. olive oil

       * 1 lb. white button mushrooms, quartered

       * 2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed

       * Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

       * 3 1/2 lb. beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes

       * 1 cup all-purpose flour

       * 3 garlic cloves, minced

       * 2 Tbs. tomato paste

       * 2 1/2 cups Irish stout

       * 1 cup beef broth

       * 1 lb. carrots, cut into chunks

       * 1 lb. red potatoes, cut into chunks

       * 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh thyme

       * One 16-inch round Stilton pastry (recipe below)

       * 1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water

    Directions:

    In a 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms, onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

    Season the beef with salt and pepper. Dredge the beef in the flour, shaking off the excess. In the Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add one-third of the beef and brown on all sides, about 7 minutes total. Transfer to a separate bowl. Add 1/2 cup water to the pot, stirring to scrape up the browned bits. Pour the liquid into a separate bowl. Repeat the process 2 more times, using 2 Tbs. oil to brown each batch of beef and deglazing the pot with 1/2 cup water after each batch.

    Return the pot to medium-high heat. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the beef, stout, broth and reserved liquid, stirring to scrape up the browned bits. Add the mushrooms, onions, carrots, potatoes and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beef and vegetables are tender, about 3 hours.

    Preheat an oven to 400°F.

    Stilton Pastry

    Ingredients:

       * 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

       * 2 tsp. salt

       * 1 Tbs. sugar

       * 16 Tbs. (2 sticks/250g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

       * 1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water

       * 4 oz. Stilton cheese, crumbled

    Directions:

    In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar and pulse until blended, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses. Add 1/3 cup of the ice water and pulse 2 or 3 times. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water 1 Tbs. at a time, pulsing twice after each addition. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

    Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with flour, place on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper and roll out into a 12-by-16-inch rectangle. Sprinkle the cheese over half of the dough, then fold the other half over the cheese. Roll out the dough into a 16 1/2-inch square. Using a paring knife, trim the dough into a 16-inch round.

    Refrigerate the dough until firm, about 10 minutes, then lay the dough on top of the beef and stout pie and bake as directed in that recipe. Makes enough dough for a 16-inch round.

    Brush the rim of the pot with water. Lay the pastry round on top, allowing it to droop onto the filling. Trim the dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang, and crimp to seal. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture, then cut 4 slits in the top of the dough. Bake for 30 minutes. Let the potpie rest for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8 to 10.