St. Paddy’s Day* deserves special cuisine considerations. The Irish have done great things culinarily, like living off dairy and braised meats, and also cabbage and potatoes. We have shepherd’s pie, soda bread, corned beef, and, my perpetual favorite, the full Irish breakfast, with rashers, bangers, black and white pudding, baked beans, tomatoes, toast, and fried potatoes and eggs if you want them. (I do.)
Is Guinness cheese soup a true Irish dish? I don’t know, but damned if it isn’t delicious.
We also have foods that are green.
So thank you, Irish folk and Irish fare, for giving us a delicious, vivid day in which to paint the town green, and our bellies with it
I did my part with this beast of a cake.
It’s green, it’s mean, it’s a four-layer calorie bomb machine.
It’s green velvet cake, green cheesecake, AND cream cheese frosting.
Original recipe here, with the original beautiful turnout:
And here’s mine.
As one of my very lovely and considerate friends said, “It looks like something a drunk leprechaun would make.” Thanks, dude.
I made this not only for March 17th festivities but also as an excuse to get my cooking supplies into my friends’ beautiful, large, spacious, recently redone, hardly ever used kitchen. This place is gorgeous. It’s got counter space running forever along two opposite walls. It’s got tiled backsplashes snuggling between countertop and cabinet (backsplash, can’t you see I’d love you more? Come live with me instead!). It’s got a mid-counter range, double sink, and: lo and behold a dishwasher. Magic.**
I discovered the other night that this kitchen also has a hide-away island. This island is on wheels, with two leaf foldouts, and lives underneath the countertop, looking for all the world like an ordinary drawer. This kitchen literally has extra workspace living beneath workspace. This is when I knew I would need to move in with a many-houred project and claim the kitchen as my own. Sleeping bag under the kitchen table not required.
Back to the actual food, which is supposed to be the point of this post:
With my springform pan still occupied by the berry lemon PieCake, I set to work on the cheesecake layers, muttering prayers that ordinary pie pans would be up to the job. The original cake has the cheesecake in one piece, but none of my pans had the room for that, so into two layers it went. The cheesecake recipe was a breeze, although I might not bother with the water bath next time, seeing as how the cheesecake is going between two cakes. With the cake I ran into some slight trouble, due to my not heeding the recipe’s call for an entire bottle of green food coloring, as I split the bottle between the cheesecake and cake. My cake wasn’t as richly green as hers, but it did bake up noticeably green instead of the gross brown-green mess it looked like in batter form.
I also only made one batch of cream cheese frosting. Classic mistake. Always use at least two bricks of cheese, two sticks of butter, and however much powdered sugar and vanilla you can get away with. The result is that the cake, already topped with a cheesecake, was only frosted on the top (cream cheese on top of cheesecake! What?!), between layers, and was naked on the sides. This does make for a very beautiful, dramatic effect on some cakes. This was not that cake.
Nonetheless, people managed to look passed this messy construction and in the spirit of St. Paddy’s day, ate green food chock full of the dairy products the Irish so love. I hope the McCormick in my family tree is proud.
*I read recently that the correct nick-name-ization of Patrick was Paddy, not Patty. Dunno if it’s super true or not, but I like it just the same.
**Or science. I don’t care. I just want a dishwasher.