Caramelised Orange Marmalade

Marmalade As part of the Dingle Food and Wine Festival, we’ve decided to do an Irish theme. It seems especially pertinant in these times, and we should be able to have some fun with it. We are going to do specials like Barry’s Tea Ice Cream and a Biscuit, Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with Irish Whiskey Cream, Bailey’s Ice Cream with Dingle Blackberry Sauce, and Brown Bread Ice Cream with Caramelised Orange Marmalade.

The last one sounds a bit strange, but everyone who has tried it has been delighted. It’s an odd sensation of eating ice cream while your brain is telling you you’re imbibing that old breakfast standby of brown bread and marmalade.

I caramelised the marmalade to make the flavours a bit deeper and complex, and it’s an easy thing to do and could have many applications. Here’s a recipe:

Murphys Caramelised Orange Marmalade


1 jar marmalade – choose a marmalade that’s tart!


What to Do

1. Empty the jar into a high-sided saucepan or pot.
2. Add water – use 20% of the volume of the jar.
3. Cook on high heat, stirring from time to time, until the marmalade turns a deep brown colour. Be careful – it will be extremely hot, so beware of splatters.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in more water – again, use 20% of the volume of the jar.
5. Serve warm over brown bread ice cream.

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Short List Announced for ’09 Food Awards

The short list has been announced for the 2009 Blas na hEireann awards, and you can see the three finalists for each category here.

It was very competitive again this year, with nearly 800 entries.

The winners will be announced on Friday, but everyone on the shortlist is guaranteed a medal.

Congrats to all of them!

(In case you’re wondering, we didn’t submit anything because we’re one of the organisers of the awards.)

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Pretty in Pink?

3tubs1pink-sm For the last six months or so, we’ve been considering doing a pink tub in support of marriage equality. For those of you who are unaware of the issue, there will probably be a civil partnership bill working its way through the Dail in the new year.  While it’s a big step in the right direction (if it happens), there are those who wish it to go further. The following video,  I think, makes a good point:

Now, of course Ben & Jerry bravely celebrated Vermont’s passage of a marriage bill with their flavour Hubby Hubby, and there might be those who say we’re simply aping them.

However, I think it’s different since they were celebrating something that happened (and the tub was only released in Vermont), where we’d rather be hoping to support something that might happen with enough awareness and support (and I’ve been told the Marriage Equality folks are looking for support from the straight community).

As always, we’d be delighted for any feedback from everyone, but especially from customers… There is a poll below, or please comment.

[poll id=”7″]

Note: The original poll here was on, but it was seriously slowing down the site, so I transferred the data to this poll.

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Last of the Blackberries

Blackberry2 We went blackberry picking, because we’ve decided to offer up a special of Baileys ice cream and Dingle blackberry sauce for the Food Festival. Blackberry picking is one of the most relaxing activity I can think of.

BlackberryI went with my partner and the little baby, and Róisín gave us enough time without fussing to gather a kilo or so. I hope that will be enough!

At least we’ll have some other specials in case we run out.

A couple of years ago I posted a recipe for blackberry coulis (here). Last night I cooked the blackberries for much longer and didn’t strain them at all.

I have to say I liked it better that way.

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A Job Well Done

09 I am back in the Kingdom of Kerry where there is a deep satisfaction as a sense of order has returned with Kerry once again winning the All Ireland Senior Football Championship. There are a lot of tired people around, but their eyes are lively and there’s not much interaction needed beyond a knowing smile.

This will not go down as one of the best years in Gaelic football, but neither will it be forgotten in these parts as our two Dingle men played extremely well and the mighty Ó Sé family collected another trio of All Ireland medals. I can only imagine the disappointment in Cork.

The weekend was a good one – our seats were great, the result was right, and we had a fabulous meal in Pearl Brasserie. It’s a restaurant that has shot to the top of Dublin’s culinary scene, and the accolades are well deserved. If you don’t know it, seek it out!

There was, however, an event that marred the weekend – a couple who were to join our party for dinner lost their eldest son, a 16 year old boy with a bright future. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the entire Ashe family.

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Plain or Chunks? Is it a Gender Thing?

ManWoman The Ice Cream Journal put me on to the story that Mintel, a food research company, conducted a study that showed that 70% of men prefer plain flavours of ice cream such as chocolate or vanilla, while 74% of women like their ice cream with chocolate chunks or candy bits. However, that seems to be just a first preference since 66% of women also eat plain flavours and 63% of men also indulge in the fancy stuff.  

The only real loser is fruit – only one in three of either sex would choose fruit ice cream.

What do you think?

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Another Country

Doonsheen It’s amazing how, after a long summer of rain, a bit of sunshine can make such an incredible difference. The sea suddenly looks inviting instead of angry, the landscape softens and the horizons widen.

Those of us living here, I think, appreciate again just how beautiful this country is and many of us have hastened to take advantage of this last gift of summer – a warm spell as delightful as any we’ve seen in recent years.

Barbecues have been rediscovered, swim wear retrieved from the back of the closet, sunglasses dusted off, and ice creams brazenly enjoyed by people who don’t normally indulge. It doesn’t take long to remember how to make the most of a sunny day.


While this all might sound like escapism, given the weighty issues that abound at the moment, escapism is what Ireland offers to the millions both from here and abroad who use it as a holiday destination. And why not? The world’s problems will still be around in a week or so, but at least those of us lucky enough to bask in the Irish sunshine, to swim in our seas, and to feel that stored-up cold and dampness evaporate from our very cores, will feel that bit better than we would have done without it.

Buíochas le Dia!