T’be sure, it’s surely St. Patrick’s Day
In modern times, St Patrick’s day has evolved into more of a celebration of all things Irish. That means everything from whiskey to potatoes to the gold at the end of the rainbow. Do we sound cliché enough yet? It’s fun and it’s frivolous and its one day a year, so grab your Guinness and your lucky charms, it’s time to say “Sláinte!” (Its pronounced Slawn-Cha, in case you were wondering– don’t ask us how.)
“Drink what you will because after all, ‘Drowning the Clover’ is as fun as it sounds.”
Traditionally it celebrates the death of the patron saint of Ireland who died way back in the 4th century. Paddy single-handedly brought Christianity to Ireland. Little did he know how many problems that subsequently created, perhaps the Irish should of stuck to paganism and everyone would still be friends. Let’s just gloss over that. He is also famous for driving the snakes out of Ireland with his celestial powers. We hate snakes as much as the next person, if childhood taught us anything it’s that snakes are about as trustworthy as Pennywise the clown, so avoiding them is key. We are no Steve Irwin, but we are pretty sure that Ireland has never been home to any kind of snake. Then again, in a culture where leprechauns exist, anything can happen, so good going Paddy.
“The former seems to work better as a dessert, and the latter is rather effective for tea-time, with the added bonus that it resembles a tall glass of Irish champagne.”
The recipe below is for a chocolate Guinness cake. Dense, dark, sumptuous and topped with a seriously boozy cream topping. It makes a great dessert or as a something quick to chomp on before you jig the night away. It has enough alcohol in it to really get you going and so we are sure Mary Berry would approve. We decorated it with a home-made bunting cake topper and chocolate coins, you know… for the leprechauns.
This week G&T snuggled up by the wood burning stove in a very rainy Anglesey, just over the road from the Irish Sea where we enjoyed our cake, and a bottle or two… Side note; let’s take a quick opportunity now to talk a little but about ourselves. Usually hiding behind the cloak and daggers of our URL and Instagram feed is more our forte. We like to let the words and pictures do the talking; but I guess even though we speak in a unified voice, it’d be nice to see our faces once and a while, right? Without repeating too much of what we say in our About Us, we’re just two best buds who work together in Manchester, and we just love food. We wanted to find a creative outlet for our inner workings and thoughts and thus Ginseng & Thyme was born.
“We hope you will be dancing to Bewitched by the end of the evening.”
We work exceptionally well together, and the Anglesey shoot was a fantastic example of this; we both provide where the other lacks and we both have a keen eye for detail. However, G&T need to remember that spending time together is important, and not just at work. Sometimes weeks go by where we’re sick of the sight of each other, others where it’s a stream of constant texts, but no physical contact – For us, it’s about remembering the importance of friendship before anything else, and we think that’s a rather nice lesson to learn this St. Patrick’s Day, don’t you? Although, it feels rather Disney for T’s chilly little heart.
G – Georgie Glass
T – Kate Tighe
Luckily for us (unluckily for our livers) St. Patrick’s Day is all about the booze. Guinness and whiskey are traditional if you can handle it, but the cake warrants Irish coffee the most. Just add a dash of whiskey to a creamy latte and you’re away. Alternately, Irish craft cider is a bit of an underdog in the Irish drink department. Stonewell Cider from County Cork is a favourite of ours, and you can find it in many bars across Manchester. Drink what you will because after all, ‘Drowning the Clover’ is as fun as it sounds.
Where there’s booze, games are ALWAYS a good idea. Start off with a hunt for gold to bring out the inner leprechaun in all your friends. Or perhaps channel Michael Flatley and have a River-Dance off, just make sure to sellotape those arms to your side to get the full effect. Another old faithful is the good old St. Patricks drinking game, but remember we warned you first, future you isn’t going to thank you. Whatever you choose, we hope you will be dancing to Bewitched by the end of the evening.
Whatever your doing this St. Patrick’s Day, spend it amongst friends. See you next Thursday, if you make it.
Chocolate and Guinness cake with boozy Baileys cream
For the cake
250g soft, unsalted butter
200g dark brown sugar
150g 70% dark chocolate
2 free range eggs
275g self-raising flour
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
For the cream
300ml double cream
5tsp. Bailys or Irish cream liquor
75g sifted icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease a 12” round cake tin and dust with flour.
Cream the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer or by hand if you have the stamina and patience of a mighty ox. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a pan of boiling water and add this to the mixture. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, and once combined, add the Guinness.
In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients and loosely mix. Whisk in half the dry ingredients and fold the rest in by hand a tablespoon at a time. Pour the mixture into the tin and cook for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool completely.
Whip the double cream with the sugar and Baileys until it forms still peaks. Now, you have two choices. You can either dust the cake with a little icing sugar and serve a slice with the cream on the side or slather the cream on top of the cake and chill for 3-4 hours. The former seems to work better as a dessert, and the latter is rather effective for tea-time, with the added bonus that it resembles a tall glass of Irish champagne.