Irish Whiskey cheesecake for the 4th of July

Bailey cheezcake-3


Summer again, and we all need a superb dessert option to impress our friends with at 4th of July cook outs and summer garden parties, right -and this is a rather indulgent and super rich cheesecake is a winner. Always a really popular dessert on my catering menu with the Ulster Kitchen, and once you read through the list of ingredients you will see why! The decadent and splendid combinations of Irish whiskey truffle cream with a chocolate ganache, rich Irish cream and fresh raspberry sauce are the stuff of legends. Bring this delight to any summer garden party or event and you will be the talk of the town and the envy of all!

Boozy Irish whiskey cheesecake :

(For the base)

  • 8 oz. (2 cups) crushed digestive biscuit (or graham crackers)
  • 4 oz. (½ cup) butter


(For the Irish whiskey truffle layer)

  • 24 oz. (4 cups) semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 oz. (½ cup) butter
  • 1 lb. cream cheese
  • 2 oz. (6 tbsp) powdered sugar (sifted)
  • ½ pint (1 cup) heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tbsp. (¼ cup) Bushmills Irish whiskey


(For the Irish cream Layer)

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 5 ½ oz. (1 cup) powdered sugar
  • 6 fluid oz. (¾ cup) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp Irish Cream liquor


(For the chocolate ganache layer)

  • 5 oz (¾ cup) quality milk chocolate
  • 2 fluid oz (¼ cup) heavy whipping cream


How to make it:

  1. To  begin, melt the butter and combine with the digestive biscuit cookie crumbs, or graham cracker crumbs.  Then press the mixture into the base of a 8” spring form pan. 
  2. In a double boiler melt the chocolate and butter over low heat.  Allow to cool slightly.
  3. Beat the cream cheese and sugar stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add chocolate mixture and Irish whiskey.
  4. In a clean bowl beat whipping cream and then fold in to chocolate mixture.
  5. Pour filling on top of cookie base.  Allow at least 45 minutes for the cheesecake to set in the refrigerator.
  6. Prepare Irish Cream layer by beating the cream cheese with powdered sugar then gradually add the heavy whipping cream and the Irish Cream.
  7. Pour over chocolate layer.  Allow to set in refrigerator for 45 minutes.
  8. Prepare chocolate ganache layer by melting the chocolate and cream in a double boiler.  Allow to cool slightly before pouring over cheesecake.
  9. Refrigerate until ready to slice and serve.



Judith the Irish foodie





Irish fluff jelly

Irish fluff jelly

For those of us who have grown up in Ireland there is one dessert memory that comes to all of our minds; the infamous ‘fluff jelly’.  ooh yes, the stuff of birthday parties, of summer or fun Sunday dinner desserts with those awkward relatives…I have so many good memories of this bubbly colorful fluff, in strawberry or lime along with vanilla ice cream.

Jelly is just one of those childhood favorites for me,  I can still remember my grandfather saying to me “ice cream and jelly and a punch in the belly” as he grabbed for a punch and I ducked with a laugh. Or going to a well known ice cream parlor at the seaside in County Down and ordering a Knickerbocker glory that had layers of jelly and ice cream in tall glasses. Yup, jelly is the stuff of fun alright…

Now, tonight was one of those unusual rainy Georgia days that made me think of Ireland so I decided to whip up some fun fluff jelly treats for my boys. The airy texture pops in your mouth, and as I write this my boys are eating their fluff jelly in mason jars on our front porch watching fire flies. Who would have known the journey of this simple recipe and the pleasures are paid forward.  Hope you’all try it and as always enjoy!

Irish fluff ingredients

1 6oz jelly crystals
1 1/4 cup boiling water
1 1/4 cup of cold filtered water
1 12 oz can of evaporated milk

How to make it:

Dissolve jelly in boiling water stirring continually.  When all the crystals have dissolved add cold filtered water.  Place in refrigerator and cool for at least 30 minutes until the jello is close to setting but still a pouring consistency.  Whip the evaporated milk for 3-5 minutes until it is think and frothy and then slowly pour in the jelly.  The mixture will triple in volume as you beat.  It’s best to refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Judith the Irish foodie

The G8 was Gr-reat

The world’s most powerful people, sitting around a table in the most unlikely of places – yes, lowly little Northern Ireland. A generation ago, no-one in the world would have believed that we would be where we are today, but yet here we are!

This photograph was taken today at the Lough Erne resort in County Fermanagh, a wonderful spa resort that I led two tours of 60 folks to just days ago. We basked in the Irish sunshine whilst admiring the views, in the knowledge that we would be followed by the presidents and leaders who control most of the worlds wealth – wow!

I have to say that this is a very proud moment for me, and for all Northern Irish people. We have traveled a very long and difficult road, and in many ways this is a confirmation of all the risks taken. Some commentators in the media today were claiming that we were a ‘blueprint’ for the world- double wow!….

So here we are, and yet the journey continues. Would you like to join us? If so, I still have a few spots open for my August  ‘Shamrock & Peach’ tour, and this magnificent resort is on our itinerary – you could sleep were presidents slept – oh boy!

And now a little about the food, as this was part of the reason for this unique resort being chosen. My friend Chef Noel McMeel is the executive chef there and has the responsibility of serving diner tonight to these extra special guests -what an honour! And Noel is no novice, he is no less than the winner of the Best Chef in Fermanagh 2013 aware, and the Catalina restaurant Winner of the Best hotel restaurant in Fermanagh 2013 by the Restaurant Association of Ireland. I could not be more proud and happy for Noel who continues to soar from strength to strength in all his culinary accomplishments. The buzz in the kitchen must have been electric tonight as the food was carefully prepared and the plates were skillfully presented to the top world leaders.  Of course I am patiently waiting for the actual menu to be unveiled, but my mind wonders to the meal Noel recently prepared for my Shamrock and Peach tour guests and I wonder of some of the items we enjoyed were served tonight!? Culinary delights such as the Roast Crown of Dromoland Estate Quail, or the Salad of Dingle Bay Crab, a Pear and Raspberry Sorbet, Roast Rump of Glenhoy Lamb or baked Blackrock Stone Bass with pickled mushrooms, orange butternut puree, spinach, puff rice, coriander shoots and citrus reduction.  If you mouth is not watering yet how about the Lemon tart with lemon and basil sorbet, raspberry coulis and dairy cram or the Spiced Armagh apple Financier with yellowman and dulse ice cream, clove and mountain honey custard.  A tribute to what is good, wholesome and beautiful about Northern Irish food.

Yeah, for Northern Ireland and Yeah to Noel for raising the bar!

(Hope you liked it Mr. President!)


Judith the Irish foodie