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Updated 3 hours ago
Having the whole clan over for such a special holiday as St. Patrick's day presents a wee bit of a dilemma when it comes to dessert. Everyone has been through all the festivities, dancing all that green beer away. So, let's really make it a grand day with this traditional favorite. Don't tell the pastry chef, but, if you don't have any real Irish whiskey, the “regular stuff” will work too. Something with a heavier body to it.
Farmhouse Irish Whiskey Cake
(makes a 7-inch cake)
1 3⁄4 cups golden raisins
grated rind of a lemon
1⁄2 cup Irish whiskey
12 tablespoons (1 1⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3⁄4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
juice of a lemon
1 3⁄4 cups confectioners' sugar
a little warm water
crystallized lemon slices to garnish (you can use the candied slices found in the candy department)
Put the raisins and grated lemon rind into a bowl with the whiskey and let soak overnight. Grease a 7-inch-deep cake dish and line the bottom with waxed paper or baking parchment.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Separate the eggs. Sift the flour, salt, cloves and baking powder into a bowl. Beat the yolks into the butter and sugar, one at a time, including a spoonful of flour and beat well after each addition. Gradually add the raisins and whiskey mixture, alternating with the remaining flour. Do not over-beat at this stage. Finally, whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the mixture with a metal spoon. Put the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the preheated oven for about 1 1⁄2 hours, or until well risen and spongy to the touch. Test also with a skewer, which should come out clean. Turn out the cake onto a wire rack.
While the cake is baking, make the icing by mixing the lemon juice with the sifted confectioners' sugar and just enough warm water so that you can pour the icing. Put a dinner plate under the cake rack to catch the drippings and pour the icing over the cake letting it dribble naturally down the sides. Don't worry if a lot of the icing winds up on the plate underneath, just scoop it up and put it on the top again. When the icing has set you can decorate it with the crystallized lemon slices if you wish.
David Kelly is a Tribune-Review freelance columnist. He has been sharing cooking tips and recipes in Culinary Corner for more than 23 years.
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