Ever since I started thinking about St. Patrick’s Day recipes I’ve had Bailey’s Irish Cream on my mind. One of the recipes I love to make is panna cotta, an Italian custard made with cream and gelatin. It’s versatile, delicious and oh-so-easy. This recipe for Bailey’s Irish Cream panna cotta with espresso caramel is the very satisfying result of all my brain storming. It’s a little Irish, a lot delicious and sophisticated to boot. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Bailey’s Irish cream isn’t something we keep in the house; in fact this is the first bottle I ever purchased. It’s not something I order at a bar either. Still, I have nostalgia for the drink. My first experience with Bailey’s Irish cream was something to remember. I was 14 years old and staying at my grandmother’s home in St. Louis, Missouri for New Year’s Eve. As the clock ticked toward the New Year, she brought out a bottle of Bailey’s Irish cream with a flourish, along with two little shot glasses.
I was sitting in one of those big reclining swivel chairs when she handed me a glass and poured a little “nip” as she called it. The Bailey’s was strong and sweet and I had to shut my eyes and swallow it quickly just like cough medicine. I swiveled in my chair to hide my scrunched-up face as I swallowed it, rotating back into grandmother’s view with an empty glass. She was impressed with my drinking skills. I just wanted to swallow the stuff. She poured me another, and then another. That was the first time I was tipsy.
Grandmother would love this Bailey’s Irish Cream panna cotta. It’s smooth and creamy with just a little kick from the liquor. The salted espresso caramel sauce goes perfectly, with flavors reminiscent of tiramisu. This recipe is the perfec–elegant–way to end a St. Patrick’s Day meal. You can pour the panna cotta into little shot glasses, wineglasses or beer glasses to serve. You can harden the custard in a ramekin and turn them out onto plates, with the caramel sauce drizzled on top.
However you presented this dessert, it’s a delicious, boozy way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day—or any old day. One bonus I have to mention: This recipe makes enough of this crazy-yummy espresso caramel for an extra cup to save. Pour it in a little jar and drizzle it on ice cream or cheesecake or just eat it with a spoon.
This recipe wraps up my collection of St. Patrick’s Day recipes for 2014. Please check out my other recipes for some inspiration. I wish you and your family a happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Yield: 8 servings + extra sauce
Heat the cream and sugar in a heavy saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in vanilla extract.
-If you are using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the cream and drop in the vanilla pod. Let infuse for 30 minutes and then remove the bean. Reheat to continue..
-Lightly oil custard ramekins with a neutral tasting oil if you plan to turn out the custard onto plates.
In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow it to "bloom".
Add the gelatin to the hot cream mixture and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Add the Bailey's Irish Cream
Pour the custard mixture into glasses or ramekins, dividing evenly. Chill until firm, about four hours.
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of water and espresso powder.
In a heavy saucepan over low heat, stir remaining 6 tablespoons of water and sugar until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil sugar mixture about 8 minutes, swirling the caramel mixture until darker and bubbly.
Remove saucepan from heat. Add cream, butter, salt and coffee mixture to the caramel.
Return to heat. Boil the mixture, whisking constantly until smooth and thickened. Pour over chilled panna cotta and save remaining sauce in a canning jar for up to 2 weeks.
What says, “St. Patrick’s Day” better than Guinness beer…in a cake…drenched with Bailey’s Irish Cream?
Don’t scoff. You know you want to try it.
My goal here was to create a triple chocolate Bundt cake so moist you could eat it without icing or frosting and that’s exactly what this cake is. It’s even better if you warm a piece up before you eat it. Its chock full of dark chocolate chips that get all gooey-melty (my eyes roll up in my head just thinking about it).
You can make this triple chocolate Guinness cake with a lot of beer taste or just a little. It’s up to you to add 1 or 2 cups to the batter. With 1 cup of beer, you can barely taste it. If you know it is in there, and think about it, you get a little malty, dark beer aftertaste, which goes nicely with the chocolate. With 2 cups, you can smell it and taste it–wonderful for beer lovers like me.
If you really want to go over-the-top, drench a piece of cake with Bailey’s Irish Cream Anglaise. I insist you not skip on the Bailey’s because it makes such a big difference. You get that delicious boozy flavor, taking a homemade cake to 5-star-restaurant status.
Crème Anglaise is a fancy French dessert sauce that’s pretty much the same thing as ice cream before its frozen. If you reverse that process with your favorite store-bought vanilla ice cream flavor, voila! You just made Crème Anglaise. It’s as easy as letting ice cream melt and stirring in a few tablespoons of Bailey’s Irish Cream. Everyone will be impressed for your efforts.
I won’t tell if you don’t.
This triple chocolate Guinness cake with easy Bailey’s Irish Crème Anglaise is a really lovely way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, or any day. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C.
Spray Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray or use a paper towel to rub the inside of the pan with neutral-tasting oil.
In a heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate on low heat, stirring constantly. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave. Stir until smooth, and then scrape the chocolate into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Allow to cool slightly so the chocolate is still warm but not hot.
Add the oil and sugar to the melted chocolate and whisk until smooth. Beat in the egg.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Sift if necessary to remove any lumps. Add half of the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture, half of the beer and half of the buttermilk. Whisk until smooth. Add the remaining dry and wet ingredients and whisk until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the Bundt pan and bake in the lower third of the oven approximately 45 minutes or until a tester comes out with crumbs. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, and the turn out onto a cooling rack.
Allow ice cream to melt at room temperature or warm in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir in Bailey’s Irish Cream. Serve on the side, drizzle on top of cake.
Recipe adapted from Food & Wine Magazine’s Double Chocolate Bundt Cake (contributed by Kate Neumann)