Archive for January, 2008
I’ve been doing a bit of maintenance on my blogroll, and I am quite pleased at the growing number of Irish food (and drink) bloggers. A little more than a year ago, I wrote a post complaining that the sum total of active Irish food bloggers was around 10. I know of 30 and counting now, which is a great improvement, and the quality of some is high indeed. They are well worth checking out. Here’s what I have:
- Bibliocook (sadly suspended at the moment)
- Bubble Brothers
- Eat Drink Live
- Eat Me Drink Me
- Eating Out Ireland
- Fabulous Food Trails
- Fairy Cake Heaven
- Food and Drink
- Food for Life
- Food Lorists
- Fruity Cook
- Humble Housewife
- Italian Foodies
- Letters on Lunches
- Life of a Private Chef
- Little Bird Eats
- Martin Dwyer
- Munster Pubs
- Oliver Moore
- Organic Yum Yum
- Organico Bantry
- Peppermint Tea
- Plaice for Everything
- Pink Whisk
- Quirky Kitchen
- Rocking Grass
- Stuff Yer Bake
- Ummera Smoked Products
- Val’s Kitchen
- Vinca’s in tha Kitchen
- Well Done Fillet
- What the Waiter Knows
From now on there will be an “Irish Food Sites” section to my links, and if you know any I have missed or want your blog included, simply let me know. My only rules are:
- You write about food regularly (doesn’t have to be every post)
- You have at least 5 posts (if you’re starting out)
- You have posted in the last month
- You are Irish or living in Ireland
So don’t be shy! Simply leave a comment with the blog’s address. Links are the life of any blog, and I’ll be happy to give your site one to help get the word out (a return link is appreciated, but that’s up to you).
I do want this to be a list of active Irish food bloggers, so I’ll remove blogs that aren’t kept reasonably current.
I ended 2007 with a chocolate recipe (Chocolate Whiskey Ice Cream), and given my chocoholic predilection, I think my first recipe for 2008 has to be a chocolate one as well.
This is a dense, intense chocolate experience. There’s a bit of cognac in it for kick, and a topping of fresh raspberry puree. There’s no flour, so it’s gluten-free. It’s not for the meek or chocolate-ambivalent. It’s a chocolate lover’s dream.
- 500 g dark (70%) chocolate
- 500 ml cream
- 60 g butter
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 tablespoons cognac
For the raspberry puree:
- 200 g raspberries
- 50 g sugar
What to do:
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over simmering water or a in a microwave. Take care – chocolate melts at a low temperature (ca. 37C) and it burns easily, so once it’s melted, remove from the heat!
- Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and place with the cream in a small saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat to a simmer.
- Remove the vanilla beans and scrape out the vanilla seeds with a spoon or knife. Whisk in to the cream, and discard the beans.
- Add the cream to the melted chocolate in small parts and mix thoroughly until smooth and velvety.
- Stir in the cognac.
- Pour into a 9 inch baking spring form or shallow, medium-sized metal bowl and refrigerate until hard.
- Heat the raspberries and sugar in a small pan until the sugar is dissolved.
- Press through a sieve with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to remove the seeds.
- Allow to cool.
- If you have used a metal bowl, use a cloth soaked in hot water to heat the bowl enough to free the cake. Invert the bowl onto a plate and top with the raspberry puree.
- Refrigerate until set.
- If you have used a baking form, top with the raspberry puree and refrigerate until set.
- Use a cloth soaked in hot water to heat the form enough to free the cake.
- Slide it onto a plate.
- Serve at room temperature with vanilla ice cream and a bit of chocolate sauce.
One of the things about living in Co. Kerry is that you’re constantly overwhelmed by the beauty of the land and sea. Even after 13 years in residence, I find myself in awe.
We have had both shops open, which is rare for this time of year, and we will close up after the weekend for a little break. In the meantime, with my brother visiting the inlaws in Germany, I’ve been running back and forth between the two shops, trying to keep them in ice cream and baked goods.
The wind was blowing back spray from the huge, rolling waves, the sun had started to set beside the mountains on the Iveragh Peninsula, and a lone surfer tried to battle the sea.
It might have been very cold, but I took a walk on the beach for almost an hour before driving on, soaking it all in. I wasn’t the only one. Quite a few cars pulled over, as their occupants clearly couldn’t resist a stroll or simply a long look.
What a blessing it is to live in such a place!
Later, I ate again at Cucina Italiana in Killarney. Another wonderful, comforting meal, especially on such a cold night. If you find yourself hungry in Killarney, don’t miss it!
I wish all a very happy, sweet and prosperous 2008 from Dingle, Ireland!
Here are a couple photos of the fireworks that they set off last night by the harbour in Dingle town…
Last year was far too stormy for the fireworks display, but this New Year’s Eve was still and warm here in Kerry.
The calm weather and lack of rain put everyone in an elevated mood and made the celebrations a little more special.
Let’s hope it’s a good omen for the New Year. We deserve one that’s warm and dry!
Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh.
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