Gosh it’s hard to believe St Patrick’s Day is nearly here, it only seems Christmas was last week. Towns all over Ireland are looking greener than normal and my part of the world the lovely Co. Meath is looking particularly beautiful this week. The bunting is up, there’s a market in the square and my town is getting itself ready for its annual St Patrick’s Day Festival!.
Our St Patrick’s Day family celebration has changed over the years as the kids got older. When the kids were younger we were up early to go to Dublin for the “Big Parade”. Such excitement , all dressed in green, faces painted. Flasks of soup and tea along with tons of cheese & crisp sandwiches were packed. It was a big adventure. Now that they’re older we celebrate at home.
We start off with a big Irish fry-up for breakfast, dinner it’s always my Nana’s Bacon & Cabbage. The afternoon is the best part, we have our St Patrick’s Day movie marathon – three of the most iconic Irish films (in my humble opinion). The first one THE FLIGHT OF THE DOVES followed by Disney’s DARBY O GILL & THE LITTLE PEOPLE, finishing off with my favorite THE QUIET MAN. Later on we’ll all head our local to toast St Patrick and the kids as usual will party on some where else into the wee hours.
I love doing a “green” themed bake for St Paddy’s Day (as we call it).. this year it’s a Lemon & Ricotta Ring cake.
This is a very delicious Italian style cake made with ricotta cheese which gives it a lovely texture. It’s drizzled with white chocolate which I’ve coloured green & yellow to represent the colours of our flag and St Patrick’s Day.
I always bake this cake in a ring tin , it gives a lovely effect and makes it easier to drizzle the chocolate and I think it looks very pretty. Very simple to make – dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. I split the batter when it’s mixed and add some green colouring to one half to give an “Irish effect”. Use a microwave to melt the chocolate, separate the melted chocolate into three bowls and add the colourings.
A great tip is to use an icing bag to drizzle the icing,makes it so much easier than using a spoon. Snip off the end of the bag, no nozzle required.
When colouring the white chocolate you must use candy colouring – normal food colouring will not work with chocolate
170 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tub ricotta cheese
360 g caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 to 2 lemons
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Chocolate Green and Orange Colouring
1. Preheat the oven to 180c. Grease with butter a ring tin or use a baking spray. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
2. Using a mixer, cream the butter, ricotta and caster sugar until blended, with the machine running, add the eggs 1 at a time. Add the vanilla, zest and lemon juice until combined. Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated.
3. Separate the batter into two bowls and colour 1 bowl with some green colouring paste
3. Pour the batters green and plain alternatively into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, 45-50MINS
4. Leave to cool in tin for 10-15mins and turn upside down and release cake.. Leave to cool
5. When the is cold , place on serving plate, melt white chocolate, divide in three and colour with Green and Orange Candy Colouring (YOU MUST USE COLOURING FOR CHOCOLATE AS NORMAL COLOURING WILL NOT WORK)
6. Drizzle the colored chocolate over the Ring Cake for an “Irish Effect”
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Sona lá st Pádraig 🙂 Have a lovely St Patrick's Day whatever part of the world you live in