Category Archives: Adult Beverage

♥ In The Mood . . . For Cacao

Looking for something different this Valentine’s Day? How about whipping up an aphrodisiac in your kitchen blender for you and your beloved? Rest assured, no eye of newt is required for this love potion.

“What the h—?” you may be thinking. And rightfully so. Truth be told, I stumbled upon this recipe a couple of years ago and, of course, I was intrigued. How could I not be?

“You have to try it to believe it! Every ingredient in this beverage is an aphrodisiac designed by nature to enhance your senses. This elixir is a marriage of flavor with none overpowering the others. Don’t omit the salt; it is the spark that lights the fuse.”

Does it work? Hmmm . . . maybe. 🙂 It’s a tasty beverage nonetheless. And different. Different, but ‘good’ different. Be forewarned, though: this recipe makes 4 cups. Wow, that’s a whole lotta aphrodisiac!

♥     ♥     ♥

Cacao Aphrodisiac Elixir

Recipe from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Raw.

Ingredients:

1 cup raw almonds

2 3-inch cinnamon sticks

1/4 teaspoon whole cloves

6 green cardamom pods

1 Tablespoon ginger, minced

4 cups filtered water

4 dried Kalamata figs, soaked in 1 cup of filtered water

2 Tablespoons raw cacao powder

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon rosewater

Pinch of salt  (I used Fleur De Sel)

Directions:

Place the almonds, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom pods, ginger, and 2 cups water in a blender. Blend, gradually going from low-speed to high-speed, for 20 seconds. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Rinse the blender well and return the spiced water to the blender.

Add the figs and the fig soak water, cacao powder, vanilla extract, rosewater, salt, and the remaining 2 cups water. Blend on low-speed for 20 to 30 more seconds or until the figs are well blended.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer again and serve.

Happy Valentine’s Day . . . don’t stay up too late. 😉

♥ Irish Car Bomb Birthday Cake

Fudgey boozey goodness.

The baby J.

My two favorite Irish boys share a birthday today. It may be just another birthday for J, but our boy, ‘S’, is celebrating a milestone today: he’s turning 21. Twenty one. Holy cow! I am waaaay too young to have a child that old. Even so, there is a 21 year-old man out there that calls me “mom”. Oy.

The baby S.

Actually, I was quite young when I had him; young and stupid. I didn’t have a clue about being pregnant or taking care of a baby, for that matter. But I read everything that I could on the subject.

S at 3 days.

This was back in the day before Google. I actually had to go to the library (uphill in the snow both ways, of course) and check out books to read on the subject. There was no such thing as downloading to my Kindle, either.

I probably did everything wrong, according to the “experts”. I didn’t eat meat. I didn’t drink milk. I didn’t care how much weight I gained (and I gained a lot). I held him every time he fussed, while the MIL clucked in disapproval. I kept him in my bed at night because I was exhausted and because he wouldn’t have it any other way. I nursed him until he was two and I made his baby food myself. Baby food from real food, not from jars.

I hope that makes up for everything else that I put him through. Like being totally clueless. And the low paying job with the long hours while I worked my way through college. And the years following while I worked my way up the professional ladder. Sure, the pay was better  . . . but the hours were just as long. And he spent too much time in daycare, as far as I was concerned.

He often cringes when he sees these old pictures. Some of the outfits make him question just what I was thinking (or what I was on). The bow tie and suspender shorts? I’m sorry, S; I really don’t know what I was thinking. But, over time, the clothing situation in the portraits did improve.

Then again, maybe that is all a matter of perspective.

Regardless, there is really no valid excuse for letting him wear the mullet.

I’m sorry for that. Okay, not really.

Despite all that, he grew up to be a fine young man.

He has brains and an extraordinary sense of compassion (he’s a vegan by choice). He has a wicked sense of humor, too.

I still marvel at the miracle of it all. I must have done something right.

♥     ♥     ♥

A special birthday calls for a special birthday cake, for both of my boys.

Gone are the days when S had his very own birthday cake to demolish, some of which actually wound up in his mouth. While we snapped a million photos.

Now that he’s all grown up–and he’s heard my lecture on drinking responsibly and enjoying alcohol in moderation a million times already (blah, blah, blah)–it’s time to make an adult kind (the best kind) of cake.

I’ve always wanted to try an Irish car bomb cake. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I modified our favorite chocolate cake recipe, using Creamy Baileys in place of the non-dairy milk, chocolate stout in place of the coffee and Irish whiskey in place of the vanilla extract.

This cake is definitely not for the kids. Or the teetotalers. The alcohol will bake out of the cake, but the ganache and the frosting aren’t baked and they will be full strength.

Sorry, S, you don’t get your own cake this time. And you can’t eat this one with your hands.

♥     ♥     ♥

Irish Car Bomb Cake

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cake:

2 cups granulated sugar

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

3/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Ener-G egg replacer to equal 2 eggs

1 cup Creamy Baileys

1/2 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or Irish whiskey)

1 cup of hot chocolate stout (I warmed it in a saucepan)

Chocolate Ganache:

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate pieces

2/3 cup Creamy Baileys

2 Tablespoons non-dairy butter, room temperature

2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (we like Jameson)

Chocolate Frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) non-dairy butter, melted

2/3 cup unsweetened dark cocoa

1 teaspoon Irish whiskey

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1/3 cup Creamy Baileys

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour 2 baking pans; set aside.

Cake: whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together the egg replacer, Creamy Baileys, oil and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Add the liquid, except the stout, to the dry and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Add the chocolate stout and continue to beat just to combine (the batter will be thin). Pour the batter immediately into the prepared pans. Tap the pans on the counter to release the air bubbles and place the pans on the middle rack in the pre-heated oven.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the pans from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before removing from the pans to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Ganache: Heat the Creamy Baileys until it’s simmering. Place the chocolate pieces in a heat safe bowl and pour the heated Baileys over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute and then stir it until it’s smooth. If it isn’t completely smooth, heat it for about 20 seconds in the microwave and stir well. Add the non-dairy butter and the Irish whiskey and stir until combined and smooth. Let the ganache cool until it’s thick, stirring occasionally, but still soft enough to spread.

Place one of the cooled cake layers on the serving plate and pour the ganache over the top, spreading it so that it covers the top evenly (I hollowed out the center of the cake slightly for the ganache).  Be careful not to let it pour down the sides of the cake. Place the second layer of the cake on top of the ganache.

Frosting: melt the non-dairy butter and beat in the cocoa and the Irish whiskey. Alternately add the powdered sugar and the Creamy Baileys, beating on medium speed, to a spreadable consistency. Add more Baileys if necessary. Frost the cake as desired.

If you want, drizzle the remaining ganache over the top of the frosted cake.

♥     ♥     ♥

Happy birthday, baby S! I've always loved you.

♥ Irish Whiskey Cake

Um, yeah . . . this dessert is definitely not suitable for the kids! But, it is a most suitable and satisfying end to a St. Patrick’s day feast. Or Thanksgiving. Or Christmas. Or Easter. Or the 4th of July. And so on . . .

This recipe is adapted from a recipe submitted to VegWeb by A Vegan Goddess. I tweaked it a bit to suit our taste, but either version of the cake is fantastic. Be forewarned: the glaze and the icing both pack a kick since the alcohol does not cook off. I’m such a lightweight that I get a wee buzz after just one slice. Admittedly, the slice that I cut for myself is not exactly “wee”!

♥     ♥     ♥

Irish Whiskey Cake

Ingredients:

Cake:

1/2 cup golden or dark raisins

1/3 cup Irish whiskey

1-1/3 cups plain coconut milk, or other plain non-dairy milk

2/3 cup canola oil

1/2 cup room temperature coffee

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

2-2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

Glaze:

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons non-dairy butter

1/4 cup Irish whiskey, or more to thin to desired consistency

Icing:

3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup non-dairy butter

4 to 6 Tablespoons Irish whiskey

Directions:

Place the raisins in a small bowl or glass; add the whiskey and leave all day (or overnight) to soak.

Pre-heat the oven to 325F. Spray a bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

To make the cake: whisk together the milk, oil and coffee in a medium bowl. In a larger bowl, add the sugar and then sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and combine with a handheld mixer.

Drain the raisins, reserving the Irish whiskey in a measuring glass. If necessary, add more Irish whiskey to make 1/3 cup. Add the raisins and the Irish whiskey to the cake batter and mix by hand until well incorporated.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

When done, place the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes to cool, then remove the cake from the pan and place on the serving plate.

To make the glaze: place the sugar, non-dairy butter and the Irish Whiskey in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring just to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from heat. Poke the top of the still-warm cake with a bamboo skewer and then slowly pour the glaze over the cake.

To make the icing: cream together the sugar and the non-dairy butter with a handheld mixer. Add the Irish whiskey, a tablespoon at a time, and beat until it is the desired consistency.

To serve, spoon a bit of the glaze over each slice of the cake and add a (generous) dollop of icing.

♥ Irish Cream Cheesecake

Having a birthday the same week as Valentine’s Day means that you rake in twice as many gifts. It also means twice the gift-giving stress for the romance-challenged male! But this year, Valentine’s Day was relatively easy on J since I all but picked out the gift myself. The only surprise was the type of animal (a sweet boy goat named Justin) that J sponsored in my name.

For my birthday, J did something unbelievably sweet (or totally unimaginative, depending upon how you look at it. I choose the former!). He sponsored another animal at Farm Sanctuary: a young male sheep named Colvin. I was truly surprised and touched – two farm animals in one week. I couldn’t be any more thrilled about my gifts if I were Laura Ingalls Wilder herself!

Its another boy!

Since J is working late all week, I have yet to collect on my traditional chocolate birthday cake, specially made (and specially messy in the kitchen, too!) by the man. But, with all the leftover Baileys Irish Cream on hand from my recent Vegan Baileys Project, we aren’t lacking for sweet treats around here. What did we do with all that extra Irish cream, you ask? Why, cheesecake of course! There are some beautiful “omni” cheesecake recipes out there (like this recipe!), but, obviously, that isn’t how we roll (anymore)!

I played with this recipe a bit; apparently the third time is the charm! The recipe that I am posting is perfect for a 9 inch springform pan. I tried two different baking methods and decided that I prefer the baking method from Sinfully Vegan for the creamiest cheesecake texture. Be forewarned, though: if you divide the mixture between two 4-1/2 inch springform pans and a 9 inch springform pan–as I did this last time–you will want to reduce the baking time accordingly (as I did not do – doh!). The mini cheesecakes were baked a smidge too long, but they tasted fantastic nonetheless.

We tried various cheesecake garnishes as we taste-tested our experimental cakes: chocolate syrup, chocolate shavings and extra Irish cream, too. All were quite good. It only occurred to me after the last cheesecakes were baked and cooling in the refrigerator that adding a few tablespoons of Irish cream to the sour cream topping mixture would have been really tasty. Oh well: next time, I suppose!

♥     ♥     ♥

Irish Cream Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Cheesecake Crust:

1-1/2 cups crushed vegan graham crackers (in a pinch I use Cinnamon Teddy Grahams)

1/4 cup dark cocoa powder

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) non-dairy butter Earth Balance, melted

Cheesecake Filling:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup tapioca flour

3 8-ounce containers non-hydrogenated vegan cream cheese, softened

1 12-ounce package firm or extra firm silken tofu, drained

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)

1 cup Creamy Baileys Irish cream recipe (from vegalicious.org)

Cheesecake Topping:

1 12-ounce container (1-1/2 cups) non-dairy sour cream

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)

A couple of tablespoons of extra Irish cream, optional

Directions:

To make the crust: Process the graham crackers into fine crumbs in the food processor. Add the cocoa and the sugar, pulse again and remove to a medium bowl. Add the melted non-dairy butter and stir to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

Pre-heat the oven to 375° F.

To make the cheesecake filling: Whisk the sugar and the tapioca flour together in a small bowl. Place the softened cream cheese and the tofu in the food processor; process until completely smooth. Add the sugar/tapioca mixture and process again, making sure that it is completely smooth and that there are no lumps. Add the vanilla bean paste and the Irish cream; pulse to combine. Scrape down the sides of the processor and pulse again.

Pour the cheesecake filling into the prepared springform pan and place it in the oven on the upper middle rack. Place a shallow broiler pan of water underneath the cheesecake pan on a lower rack and bake for 50 minute. Meanwhile, prepare the cheesecake topping.

To make the cheesecake topping:

Combine all the ingredients in the food processor and pulse to combine. Scrape down the sides of the processor and pulse to combine again. Take the cheesecake out of the oven after 50 minutes and pour the prepared topping over the cheesecake. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake an extra 10 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour.

Cool the cheesecake on a wire rack and then chill completely in the refrigerator  for at least 8 hours or overnight (my preference).

Slice and garnish each serving with chocolate curls, a drizzle of extra Irish cream and/or chocolate syrup. Enjoy!