And so a blog is born

So, what to do now that one has started writing a blog? How best to celebrate this momentous occasion of putting pen to paper? The same way you celebrate any important occasion of course: with cake. Yumbo!

Having recently moved from Ireland to the big red land Down Under with The Fella (he’s Australian), I’ve been homesick for all things Irish. It’s funny how when certain things become unavailable they are immediately more desirable. I have been craving McCambridge bread with lashings of Kerrygold butter, washed down with many steaming cups of Barry’s tea. Unfortunately, Australian quarantine laws ensure such daydreams are limited to the realm of pure fantasy. So when I recently saw a bottle of coffee and chicory essence in the baking section of my local supermarket, I instantly knew that a nice sticky Irish coffee cake would be the perfect blog-starting celebration cake.

Before I moved to Australia I had never thought of coffee cake as being particularly “Irish” but apparently it is, go figure. It’s kind of a strange thing to come from a land of dedicated tea drinkers.

For my blog-starting celebration cake I just adapted an ordinary sponge cake recipe. I tossed in an extra egg to make it that little bit more sticky and gooey, and a cup of strong coffee for an extra caffeine kick. I wanted this to be a goooood celebration cake.

Irish coffee cake


For the cake:

225 g (8 oz) soft butter (plus a little extra for greasing the tin)
225 g (8 oz) sugar
4 small free range eggs (or 3 large ones)
2 tbsp coffee and chicory essence (called IREL in Ireland, I found a brand called Bushells in Sydney)
1 small cup of strong coffee
225 g (8 oz) plain white flour
1 tps baking powder

For the icing:

50 g (2 oz) soft butter
225 g (8 oz) cream cheese
50 g (2 oz) icing sugar
1 tbsp coffee and chicory essence
1 handful of crushed walnuts

Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease and flour the edges and base of a 20 cm (8 in) cake tin.

Cream the butter and the sugar together until the mixture looks pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating after each one is added. Then add the coffee and chicory essence and the coffee. Fold in the sieved flour and baking powder. Transfer this mixture into the cake tin and pop into the oven for about 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

For the icing, beat together the butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and coffee and chicory essence until smooth and slather over the cake. In a dry pan toast the walnuts carefully so they don’t burn and sprinkle on top of the icing.

Someone stick on the kettle – quick!

Someone stick on the kettle – quick!

And there you have it. A slice of pure, sticky, coffee, caramelly, Irish goodness. Perfect for enjoying with a lovely cup of Barry’s tea, or whatever it is these Australians drink instead.


You might also like:

Rosemary and pine nut semolina cookies

Eastern inspired chocolate cake

Offering to the cookie gods

2 thoughts on “And so a blog is born

  1. Another version of the irish cake, has most of the afore mentioned ingredients but also comes with a thick cream topping, ingredients are as follows:

    4 tablespoons icing sugar
    2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
    300ml 1/2 (UK) pint double cream / heavy cream, whipped
    1-2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts for decoration

    Try it with a cup of coffee with a shot of whiskey! Yumbolicious INDEED! 🙂

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