Wiebke’s Fudge Cake

fudge Since we’ve introduced waffles into our shops, we’ve been offering cake less often. However, in the days when we were selling lots of cake, Wiebke’s Fudge Cake was our best selling chocolate cake, and we still have it from time to time.

Its appeal is broad enough that you can serve it to grown-ups at any special occasion and be sure that it will go down a storm. For events with lots of smaller kids you could serve it cut in to little finger size pieces.

If you know that all of the people eating the cake prefer dark chocolate, simply substitute the 50% for 70% and satisfy those chocolate cravings!

It is perfect with vanilla ice cream.

This recipe was adapted by Wiebke (my brother’s wife) from a recipe from The Joy of Cooking.

Wiebke’s Fudge Cake


• 215 g butter – cut into pieces and slightly softened
• 15 g butter for greasing baking pan
• 400 g sugar
• 115 g 50% semi-sweet chocolate
• 3 eggs
• 275g non-rising plain flour
• 2 tsp. bread soda
• 250 ml buttermilk
• 1 tsp. vanilla essence

fudge2For the Ganache:

• 80gm butter
• 180gm 50% chocolate
• 180gm 70% chocolate
• 350ml cream

What to do:

1. Place the chocolate in a double boiler to melt.
2. Put the butter and sugar in the mixer and begin to mix.
3. Add eggs one by one by breaking into a plastic jug first and then adding to mixer.
4. Scrape the mix from the sides and bottom of mixing bowl.
5. Continue mixing.
6. Add the fully melted chocolate.
7. Continue mixing.
8. Combine flour and soda and sieve carefully.
9. Add ? of flour/soda and 125mls of buttermilk to the mix and mix on slow speed.
10. Add the next ? of flour/soda and final 125mls of buttermilk. Mix.
11. Add final ? of flour/soda and mix well.
12. Add 3 drops of “Massey” Vanilla.
13. With the dough now well mixed add 150mls of boiling water and continue mixing.
14. Grease and then lightly flour the bottom and sides of the baking pan.
15. Pour the dough mix into the baking pan.
16. Bake in preheated oven @ 180 °C x 45 minutes.
17. Remove baked cake from oven and flip upside down.
18. Leave to cool on cooling rack for at least 2-3 hours.

Making the ganache:

19. Melt 60 g butter in a double boiler.
20. Add 180 g of 70% & 180g of 50% chocolate to the double boiler and melt. Keep temperature to 35 – 45 °C
21.  Warm the cream in a saucepan.
22. Stir the warm cream into the melted chocolate, and keep stirring until smooth.


23. Carefully cut the cake horizontally twice, to make 3 layers. Cut into two if you have to.
24. Add the fudge sauce between the layers and on top.
25. Coat the fudge around the sides.
26. Decorate with chocolate shavings.

Note: I must admit I haven’t made this cake (leaving it to the expert always seemed a good idea to me!), so if you make it any feedback would be doubly welcome.

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Strawberry Meringue Hearts


strawberrymer I really like the combination of strawberry and meringue, especially for Valentine’s, and I’ve also posted a strawberry and meringue dessert option here. This time, I wanted to try heart-shaped, strawberry-flavoured meringues, to give out as treats in the shops this weekend. It worked quite well, although the colour wasn’t as pink as I had hoped. They are very tasty, though, and they look quite decorative as well.

ryanmeringue2In case you’re wondering, the boy in the photos is my nephew Ryan, who is here in Dingle from Germany, on his mid-term break. He loves cooking, and after a very small amount of instruction, he turned out to be quite proficient at the piping! 

Murphys Strawberry Mini Meringues 


What to Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 100C.
  2. Beat the egg whites in a dry glass or stainless steel bowl (if using an electric mixer, do this at medium speed rather than high speed, which will take a bit longer but give the meringues more strength) until foamy.
  3. Add the lemon juice.
  4. Continue mixing until they are fairly stiff.
  5. Beat in the sugar in a slow stream.
  6. Beat until very stiff and shiny.
  7. Mix in the strawberry coulis.
  8. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe out little hearts on a baking tray or silicone mat.
  9. Bake for 60 minutes.
  10. Cool on on the mat, then carefully twist to remove.
  11. ryanmeringue1Store in an air-tight container.

Makes about 60 small hearts.


  1. If you want to make meringue nests, start in the centre, work out in a tight spiral, then build up the sides.
  2. Please do follow my instructions about the mixing speed. If you mix them on high, the meringues will not be as strong and could develop unsightly bubbles.

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Brandy Snaps for Christmas

 Here are some brandy snaps I made, and if you’re looking for an easy baking treat, it doesn’t get much easier than this. I rolled these, but you can also leave them flat. They are just as tasty! For good measure, I dipped mine in chocolate… I adapted the recipe from an old Cordon Bleu dessert book. 

Happy Christmas!

Brandy Snaps


  • 230 gm butter (room temperature)
  • 230 gm sugar
  • 230 gm flour
  • 80 gm golden syrup
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brandy

What to do:

  1. Heat the oven to 180C and lightly grease a baking tray. 
  2. Put the golden syrup, butter and sugar in a pan and cook over medium heat until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour, ginger, and brandy.
  4. Put small, teaspoon portions on the baking pan, about four inches apart. I used a piping bag, which makes things easier, since the dough is a bit sticky.
  5. Bake for 7 minutes, until golden brown. 
  6. Remove and allow to cool on the baking tray for about five minutes before removing. 
  7. That’s it!
  8. If you want to roll them, as I did, butter the handle of a wooden spoon. After you remove the cookies from the oven, leave them for a minute or so (or they will fall apart), then wrap them around the spoon handle, holding them in place until they take the shape. 
  9. If you want to dip them in chocolate, melt about 100 gm chocolate. Transfer to a small cup or bowl. Dip the cookies, and place on a non-stick baking sheet until they are dry. 

Makes about 40 cookies.

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Mini Chocolate Grand Marnier Brownies

I spent today making mini chocolate brownies to give out to our customers over Christmas. To make things a little more interesting, I enrobed them in chocolate.

If you wish to try them, follow the recipe here, substituting Grand Marnier for Kahlua. Mind you, they would be very good with Kahlua as well!

I tried baking them different ways – spooning out small amounts on a baking sheet, and also simply baking them as normal in a baking pan and then cutting them into very small squares. I think the latter method is definitely easier!

To enrobe them, melt some chocolate to 31C or so, and use a fork to dip in the cooled, cut brownie pieces. Leave them on a non-stick sheet to cool. If you know how to temper the chocolate, so much the better (they will last longer and not discolour).

Use good quality chocolate, and I would suggest adding a little bit of vegetable oil (I think grapeseed is best and used about 5% of the chocolate volume) to thin the chocolate. This helps you avoid making the chocolate shell too thick.

If you think there is no such thing as too much chocolate or too thick coatings, ignore the above.

For good measure, I drizzled the cooled, enrobed chocolate brownies with some melted white chocolate.

We’ll soon find out if our customers think they are a tasty as I do!

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Murphys Buttermilk Waffles

 We’ve received our commercial waffle maker, and today we launched waffles in our Killarney shop. Customers seem well pleased!

I promised a recipe, so here it is – one from my mother – with the substitution of buttermilk for regular milk, which I find makes them even tastier. We serve them with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, but there are countless ways to enjoy waffles!

If you’re looking for a waffle maker in Ireland, Brown Thomas has a good Cuisinart one for 79 euros. Lidl had a special on waffle makers last week (20 euro, but the waffles come out pretty thin) and might have a few still kicking around. 

Sophia’s Buttermilk Waffles


  • 225 g flour
  • 1.5 teasp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 70 g butter, cut into small pieces
  • 350 ml buttermilk
  • 1/2 teasp salt
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teasp cinnamon
  • 1/2 teasp vanilla

What to Do:

  1. Sift the dry ingredients, except for the sugar, together. 
  2. Separate the eggs.
  3. Add the sugar to the egg yolks and beat together. 
  4. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry.
  5. In a small saucepan, over low heat, warm the butter and buttermilk, stirring all the time, until the butter melted. Do not overheat!
  6. Pour the buttermilk and butter into the dry ingredients, stirring until somewhat smooth. 
  7. Add the egg yolks and vanilla, and stir until incorporated. 
  8. Gently fold in egg whites
  9. Cook according to the instructions of your waffle maker.

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Meringues, Take Three

Meringues Since I seem to be on a baking kick, I’ll post this meringue recipe. I’ve written up recipes before – most recently here, because meringues are something we want to get right. That’s because our ice cream uses only egg yolks, and we hate discarding egg whites. Meringues are also gluten-free, so they have their uses in desserts for people with restricted diets. Hopefully we’ll try to sell meringues in some form in the very near future.

Different people like meringues different ways. Some like them dry and crunchy, others like them crunchy with a somewhat chewy centre. The previous recipes have been the latter, but for making meringue baskets or using them as a base for an ice cream cake, dry is definitely better. Christophe and I have spent a few days in production testing variations in recipes and methods, and here’s our favourite.

(They need a long time in the oven, but good things come to those who wait!)

Murphys Meringues (Dry and Crunchy)

More meringuesIngredients:

  • 3 medium egg whites
  • 130 g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

What to Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 100C.
  2. Beat the egg whites in a dry glass or stainless steel bowl (if using an electric mixer, do this at medium speed rather than high speed, which will take a bit longer but give the meringues more strength) until foamy.
  3. Add the lemon juice.
  4. Continue mixing until they are fairly stiff.
  5. Beat in the sugar in a slow stream.
  6. Beat until very stiff and shiny.
  7. Transfer to a piping bag (or use a couple of spoons) and shape the meringues on a baking tray or silicone mat.
  8. Bake for 90 minutes.
  9. Cool on wire racks.
  10. Meringue Close-upStore in an air-tight container.


  1. If you want to make meringue nests, start in the centre, work out in a tight spiral, then build up the sides.
  2. Please do follow my instructions about the mixing speed. If you mix them on high, the meringues will not be as strong and could develop unsightly bubbles.
  3. There are many of things you can add to meringues in terms of flavouring – vanilla essence, almond essence, and cocoa for chocolate meringues are just a few examples. If you do add flavouring, always add it at the end, once the meringues are stiff.

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Beghrir Moroccan Pancakes

Beghrir Pancakes Today is Shrove Tuesday, and while elsewhere in the world people are dancing and singing with Mardi Gras and Carnival, here we eat pancakes. Although I’d much rather be cavorting on the streets of New Orleans or Rio, at least I can console myself with a sweet traditional meal before we head into Lent.

Two years ago at this time, I was in Morocco, and there I came across amazing pancakes called Beghrir. They are served with honey and are oddly pock-marked. Here’s a recipe, in case anyone wants a pancake that’s as tasty as it is unusual.



  • 125 g semolina
  • 40 g non-rising flour
  • 150 ml warm water (ca 40C)
  • 150 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried active yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch of salt

What to do:

  1. Combine the yeast with 50 ml of the warm water and the sugar. Set aside.
  2. Sieve the other dry ingredients.
  3. BeghrirWarm the rest of the water and the milk in a small saucepan to 40 C.
  4. Beat the egg well and add the warm milk and water, stirring all the time.
  5. Add to the yeast and stir until fully combined.
  6. Stir into the dry ingredients in small parts, mixing vigorously until it is combined and free of lumps.
  7. Cover and allow to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  8. Warm a non-stick crepe pan or sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  9. Pour batter into the pan to make a thin, round pancake.
  10. Cook until the top layer is dry – bubbles will form.
  11. Flip the pancake and cook for another 20 seconds.
  12. That’s it! It’s ready to eat.

Yield: About 10 small pancakes.

Note: Traditionally these would be eaten with honey mixed with butter and warmed in a pan. The ratio, if you want to try it, is 1 part butter to 4 parts honey. Simply combine them in a pan and cook over medium heat until the butter melts. Remove immediately from the heat and stir until smooth.

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Chocolate Macaroons with Cognac Ganache

Chocolate Macaroon I have given a recipe for meringues here as a solution for what to do with the egg whites after making ice cream. Another possibility is macaroons. Anyone who has been to Paris is sure to have tasted these amazing confections, which rise in pyramids in bakery windows.

The following recipe is adapted from Pierre Herme, although the ganache (filling) is ours. They aren’t hard to make, although I sometimes have difficulty in getting them to rise properly (here’s a photo of a batch my brother made with a little more height). No matter. They still sure are tasty!

I like a dark cognac ganache filling, and it’s actually adaped from Wiebke’s (my brother’s wife) Sachertorte.


  • 150 ml egg whites (from ca. 3 large eggs)
  • 250 g powdered sugar
  • 150 g finely ground almonds
  • 25 g unsweetened cocoa + a bit more for dusting

For the ganache filling:

  • 75 g 70% chocolate
  • 25 g butter
  • 50 g golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cognac

What to do:

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 150C.
  2. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form (don’t over-whip!)
  3. Sift together all the dry ingredients.
  4. Fold into the egg whites in four additions.
  5. Put a teflon baking mat on the counter, or put a teflon liner (cheap and reusable and should be available at any supermarket) on a baking tray.
  6. Spoon the dough into a piping bag and pipe out half inch to one inch round circles on the baking tray, leaving 1 inch of space around each cookie for them to expand. You can also simply use a spoon.
  7. Try to keep the size of them the same, since you will be using two to make the filled macaroons. I like them small.
  8. Dust with cocoa.
  9. Macaroon CloserBake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are firm but still pliable.
  10. Place on baking racks to cool.
  11. For the ganache filling, melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over (not touching) simmering water.
  12. Remove from the heat and stir in the golden syrup.
  13. Stir in the cognac.
  14. Allow to cool until it is semi-solid, and then either pipe or spoon onto the flat side of a cookie.
  15. Top with a second cookie.
  16. Allow to set before serving, if you have that kind of patience!

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