St. Patricks Day came and went here in Savannah, and, along with it, the Irish Cream Fudge I created just for the occasion. Like any good tailgate, everyone who watches the parade with my family brings a plate of food to snack on while drinking their green beer. Occasionally my family doesn’t exactly love the food I bring because it tends to stray outside the realm of a normal potluck dish. In fact I have heard the words “Don’t make something weird”, so for this year’s celebration I wanted to stick with a traditional southern dish.
Fudge was a southern treat my family grew up making for every special occasion, but normally it would be flavored with chocolate or peanut butter. If you have never had fudge, it is a creamy candy that is cooked to the soft stage of candy making and flavored with butter and something else. Fudge truly tastes like a southern dish — extremely sweet and sinful. I have never tasted another flavor of fudge besides chocolate or peanut butter (or seen anyone I know make a different flavor), so in making this Irish Cream Fudge for St. Patricks day I was not confident on how it would turn out. But to say the least, I did not hear the word “weird”.
The finished result was true to the southern originals: super rich. For this recipe I cut back the sugar to compensate for the sweetness of the Irish Cream. When cooking the candy the alcohol of the Irish Cream cooks off, so instead of finishing the batch with vanilla I replaced it with more Irish Cream so there was a bite of alcohol. The addition of a bitter chocolate and salty pistachios would help balance the decadent candy while adding texture to the buttery mouthfeel. The small tray goes a very long way because most people can only eat one small piece at a time.
Irish Cream Fudge
- 4 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
- 1 Cup of Sugar
- 1/2 Cup of Heavy Cream
- 1 Small Container of Marshmallow Fluff, 7 ounces
- 1 1/4 Cup Of White Chocolate Chips
- 5 Tablespoons of Irish Cream
- A Dash of Salt
- 1 Bag of Dark Chocolate Chips
- 1 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil
- 1 Cup of Shelled Pistachios, roughly chopped
- Prepare an 8×8 baking dish by lining it in parchment paper and buttering the paper. Set aside.
- In a double boiler, combine the dark chocolate and coconut oil. Heat, stirring constantly, until temperature reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat and continue stirring until the temperature drops to 82 degrees.
- Pour into the bottom of your 8×8 dish, and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, heat butter, sugar, salt, 4 tablespoons of Irish Cream, and heavy cream over medium heat.
- Once at a boil, stir sugar to combine. Continue to cook until temperature reaches 235 degrees Fahrenheit (soft ball stage).
- Remove from heat and quickly stir in your marshmallow cream, white chocolate, and remaining 1 tablespoons of Irish cream, making sure it all completely combines.
- Pour into your baking dish and spread to even it out. Immediately sprinkle with pistachios and press in.
- Let set in the fridge for an hour, or on the counter for one to two hours.
- Remove firm fudge from the dish and cut into 1 inch squares.
For those of you that have never been to Savannah for St. Patricks Day, you will not understand just how big of a deal it is to the locals.
The night before the big day, my husband and the men in my family go down to the square at three in the morning to set up a tent on parade route. This has been the tradition since before I came around. At 6am, the police blow a whistle, and all of the people waiting rush the square to stake out their spot.
This year, because Vice President is joining the parade, my family will start their post at 6pm tonight and wait for at least twelve hours to post up. Lucky for the ladies, our role has always been to make the snacks and dress pretty!
If you haven’t figured it out by now, green everything is a must…even the food.
French Macarons have been my kryptonite, but I am not one for giving up. Looking in my pantry for this recipe I found the perfect green addition, matcha. And to tie in the Irish theme, I filled them with an Irish cream buttercream.
This recipe goes by weight, and after failing so many times in making Macarons I found that being exact will make you more successful. If yours do not come out perfect, do not get discouraged because with a little time and practice you can figure out how to master these babies.
Matcha Macaron Shells
- 150 grams of fine almond flour
- 150 grams of powdered sugar
- 110 grams of egg whites
- 30 grams of matcha powder
- 165 grams of sugar
- 55 grams of water
- First make your Tant Pour Tant by sieving together the almond flour and powder sugar, then mix in your matcha powder
- Mix 55 grams of your egg whites into your Tant Pour Tant to create an almond paste. Set aside.
- In your stand mixer, add the remaining 55 grams of egg whites and beat on high until soft peaks form.
- Turn mixer to low, and leave running while you create your simple syrup.
- To create simply syrup, combine sugar and water into a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Do not stir or the sugar will seize. Heat to 244 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once syrup is ready, turn mixer back to high. Slowly pour syrup down the side of the mixing bowl, whipping until stiff peaks form. This should take about 5 minutes.
- In three parts and using a rubber spatula, fold your stiff meringue into the almond paste. After the third part is mixed in, the mixture should be relatively smooth.
- Transfer your mixture into a piping bag with a plain number six tip.
- Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. To make it easier to make even shells, draw 50 two inch circles onto your parchment papers.
- Pipe batter onto your 50 rounds.
- Take each pan, ones a time, and lift the tray to chest height. Drop onto the counter three times each. This will flatten the tops and create even disks.
- Let rest for at least on hour, uncovered, to create a skin.
- 30 minutes before baking, heat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 13 minutes.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before removing from the parchment paper.
- While cooling, make your buttercream filling. See below.
- To make Macarons, pipe one half of your shells with about a teaspoon of buttercream each.
- Match your bottom shells with an even sized top shell.
- Gently push on your top shell to make the buttercream spread across the cookies.
- Store finished Macarons in an airtight container.
Irish Cream Butter Cream
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- 5 tablespoons of Irish Cream
- A pinch of salt
- In a stand mixer, cream together your butter and sugar.
- Once thoroughly mixed, add in your salt and Irish cream.
- Continue to mix until fully incorporated and airy.
- Transfer into a ziplock bag, or small piping bag.