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Call us at one of the numbers below or use the accompanying form to contact us.

The Irish Boutique - Long Grove, IL (847 634 3540)

Paddy's on the Square - Long Grove, IL (847 634 0339)

The Irish Boutique - Crystal Lake, IL (815 459 1800)

 

847 634 0339

The Irish Boutique is an Irish import store that has been located in the Chicago land area for over 40 years.  The shop stocks a variety of products ranging from Irish jewelry, crystal, china, food, sweaters, caps, t-shirts and a wide variety of Irish gifts. 

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Visit our blog to read about Michelle Barry's adventures in cooking and eating Irish cuisine and to learn about new products and upcoming events. 

 

Christmas Cake: Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake with Peppermint Cream Filling

john barry

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Several years ago, my brother’s girlfriend Jenn gave me a decorative bundt pan for Christmas. I love it.  While it may not be the first thing you think of to give someone as a gift, if you know someone who bakes, it really is the perfect present. Each year I use it at least once, usually for Christmas cake, and I always think of Jenn. Now that my brother and Jenn live in the Caribbean and we don’t see them as much as we would like, it’s nice to have them at our table, at least in spirit (or bundt, as it were).

This year, after falling in love with cream cheese whipped cream at Thanksgiving, I adapted the same recipe to create a peppermint whipped filling for my Christmas cake. This was super simple, I used the exact same recipe as the topping for our Thanksgiving pie (recipe here) except I used peppermint extract instead of vanilla and folded in about a cup of andes peppermint chips at the end. I used this to fill and decorate my Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake that I made by following this King Arthur Flour recipe almost exactly, only subbing half of the white sugar for brown and the vanilla extract called for with peppermint.  I didn’t make the ganache topping that the recipe includes, but if I had it to do over again, I think I might actualy make the ganache. I thought that might be too much but in retrospect, why not? Go big or go home. Alas, this cake was big as is and quite popular (especially with the kids, well, only after I told them that the andes peppermint chips were m&m’s - oh the lies I tell these days).

The final cake was super moist, chocolate and pepperminty. Kind of like a starbucks peppermint mocha in cake form. Yes please. One of the great things about this cake is that you can, and should, bake it the day before because it is even better the next day. I baked it the morning before and left it in a covered cake carrier on the counter overnight.  Then on Christmas morning, after all of the presents were opened, I made the filling, decorated the cake and slipped it into the fridge until it was time for dessert.

  This one helped, and by “helped” I mean, helped eat the cake that I cut out to make room for the filling.

 This one helped, and by “helped” I mean, helped eat the cake that I cut out to make room for the filling.

 The filling part is pretty intuitive.   After you have successfully released your cake from the pan, let it cool completely.  While it is cooling, wash the pan, dry it thoroughly and put the cake back in. When you are ready to fill it, dig a moat out of the center of your cake - be careful! Don't dig too deep, you don't want to break the cake.  

The filling part is pretty intuitive.   After you have successfully released your cake from the pan, let it cool completely.  While it is cooling, wash the pan, dry it thoroughly and put the cake back in. When you are ready to fill it, dig a moat out of the center of your cake - be careful! Don't dig too deep, you don't want to break the cake.  

 If you want,  thought it's not necessary, you can cover the filling with some of the cake pieces you took out. 

If you want,  thought it's not necessary, you can cover the filling with some of the cake pieces you took out. 

 I used the remaining filling to pipe a border around the cake and decorate - this was primarily to prevent myself from eating too much of the peppermint cream (I could eat it by the cupful with a spoon. I could never be a skinny pastry chef).  Powdered sugar is all it needs (though, like I said, I wouldn't turn my nose up at some ganache).

I used the remaining filling to pipe a border around the cake and decorate - this was primarily to prevent myself from eating too much of the peppermint cream (I could eat it by the cupful with a spoon. I could never be a skinny pastry chef).  Powdered sugar is all it needs (though, like I said, I wouldn't turn my nose up at some ganache).

The day before Christmas, after baking the bundt and turning it out to cool, we headed off the Long Grove.  Emmett enjoyed working the cash register, Isla wanted to play with leprechauns and Eve was all about the vast array of Irish snacks now available at Paddy's on  the Square (Noelle slept through all the fun). If you haven't been in for a while, come check out the selection. I ended up bringing a few items home to try which I plan to write about here in the next couple of months. 

 Putting them to work early! 

Putting them to work early! 

 Soda bread, brown bread, potato farls, sausage rolls, Winston's sausages, meat pies, black and white puddings, Irish bacon and more.

Soda bread, brown bread, potato farls, sausage rolls, Winston's sausages, meat pies, black and white puddings, Irish bacon and more.

 Sampling all of the snacks. Hot and spicy Monster Munch was her favorite. 

Sampling all of the snacks. Hot and spicy Monster Munch was her favorite. 

 Something for everyone. I always gravitate towards the baking mixes, flours and condiments. Paul went for the curried baked beans and Shepherd's pie mix.  The kids, of course, want ALL the snacks and candy.

Something for everyone. I always gravitate towards the baking mixes, flours and condiments. Paul went for the curried baked beans and Shepherd's pie mix.  The kids, of course, want ALL the snacks and candy.

Thanks for visiting and Happy New Year!