The temperature is dropping and the leaves are changing… the coziest season of them all is finally here! And with it comes a new book in the Irish Country series by Patrick Taylor. Fans know that one of the features of these utterly charming books is the selection of recipes from Mrs. Maureen “Kinky” Auchinleck, Dr. O’Reilly’s colorful and kooky housekeeper. Her Irish favorites, like soda bread, parsnip and apple soup, and roast goose are perfect for enjoying on a cool fall afternoon.
In honor of the release of An Irish Country Welcome, Patrick Taylor’s latest entry in the series, we suggest some of her yummiest recipes – one savory and one sweet – just made for cozying up with a cup of tea.
Makes about 30 to 40
- 1 tablespoon of canola oil 2 shallots, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 455 g. / 1 lb. mushrooms (any variety), chopped
- Pinch of salt and a little black pepper
- 455 g. / 1 lb. cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons of Tabasco or Worcestershire sauce
- 455 g. / 1 lb. packaged puff pastry
- 1 egg yolk and a little milk
- Preheat the oven 200°C / 400°F.
Heat the oil in a deep skillet and gently sauté the chopped shallots. Add the crushed garlic and fry gently until cooked through but still transparent.
Now add the chopped mushrooms and pepper and when cooked, season with salt to taste.
Drain the liquid from the mushroom mixture. Combine the mushroom, shallots, and garlic with the softened cream cheese and the Tabasco or Worcestershire sauce.
Roll each piece of puff pastry out into 2 rectangles and cut each in half lengthwise.
Place a layer of mushroom and cheese mixture down the middle of each pastry rectangle, then brush each with beaten egg wash on one side edge.
Now fold the unwashed pastry edge over to the other side and press the 2 edges together to seal.
Brush the top with the remaining beaten egg to make a glaze and cut into 8 to 10 bite- size pieces.
Bake for about 15 minutes until puffed up and golden.
Victoria Sandwich Cake
- 225 g. / 8 oz. flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 225 g. / 8 oz. butter or good- quality margarine softened to room temperature
- 225 g. / 8 oz. sugar
- 4 eggs
- A splash of milk
- Raspberry or strawberry jam
- Heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350F°.
Grease and line 2 circular cake tins, 20 cm. / 8 in. in diameter, and 5 cm. / 2 in. deep, with baking paper.
Sift together the flour and the baking powder until well blended. Using an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and the sugar together in a separate bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time. To prevent the mixture from curdling, add a spoonful of flour after each egg has been added.
Carefully fold in the flour mixture using a large metal spoon, adding a little extra milk if necessary, to create a batter with a soft dropping consistency.
Divide the mixture between the 2 tins and spread out evenly with a knife or a spatula.
Bake for 20– 25 minutes, or until golden- brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then remove from the tin and peel off the paper. Place onto a wire rack and cover with a dry tea towel.
Whip the cream with an electric mixer until it forms soft peaks when the beater is removed.
Sandwich the cakes together with the whipped cream and jam. Dust the top with confectioner’s sugar.
You can make this beautiful sandwich with a variety of flavours: 1) add grated orange or lemon zest and a little juice instead of milk. 2) add a little made- up strong black coffee and fill with a buttercream icing.
Recipe for Buttercream Icing
After the ingredients add
- 140 g. / 5 oz. butter, softened
- 280 g. / 10 oz. confectioner’s sugar
- 1– 2 tablespoons milk or other flavouring such as coffee
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat the ingredients together
Grab your copy of An Irish Country Welcome—on sale now!