However, our annual St. Patrick's Day feast is one day when the menu always looks pretty much the same. There's always corned beef. And we always serve side dishes featuring cabbage and potatoes. Often there are carrots. We're never without a few bottles of good Irish ale and a nice, dark stout. And there is ALWAYS Irish Whiskey Cake for dessert.
You're probably wondering why I'm bringing this up now. "It's April," you're saying to yourself, "Doesn't she realize that St. Patrick's day passed us by almost a month ago? What kind of food blogger waits a whole month to tell us about a holiday recipe?"
Well, you're not wrong -- an entire month has passed. But, the Irish Whiskey Cake is fresh in my mind. In fact, I just ate the last little slice today with a cup of coffee. And it was almost as good as the day we made it. This cake hearkens back to the English pound cakes of old -- dense and buttery, chock full of raisins, with a hint of lemon and a healthy dose of whiskey flavor. Yeah -- it's THAT kind of cake.
The recipe came from an old college friend, who'd clipped the recipe out of an Irish book or magazine years before. She knew I was interested in cooking, and that my family celebrated St. Patrick's Day, so she gave me a photocopy. Over the years, I've adapted the recipe to our own taste.
The cake only requires a hint of forethought -- and then it's pretty simple to put together. If you have time, you want to start off by adding the zest of one lemon to about 3 oz. of Irish whiskey and letting it sit overnight. I also like to soak my raisins in a bit of whiskey, allowing them to plump up a bit. Everything else is pretty straight-forward, as you'll see.
Whisk your egg whites until stiff in another bowl, and then fold them into the batter.
Alternatively, you can glaze the cake with a powdered sugar & whiskey glaze -- which is also quite nice, if you'd like a bit of extra sweetness.
Irish Whiskey Cake
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