Irish Soda Bread

March came and went too fast. I promised myself I would post once a month but that seemed nearly impossible this month. Between remote/hybrid learning, my own coursework, and recovering from COVID I didn’t have energy for much baking. I did manage to bake this Irish soda bread, a recipe straight from Jerry’s collection of goodies. This bread is super simple to make but unfortunately I couldn’t smell it as it baked or taste it when it cooled. My youngest loved it. He never lost his sense of taste or smell so I’m taking his word. It whips up in minutes and tastes especially delicious warm with a good dollop of butter on top. It also toasts really well. I plan to make it again when my sense of smell and taste are fully back. There is grief in loosing your sense of smell and taste. Foods and smells that once connected me to loved ones now gone are lost in a void. I picture them floating in a black abyss waiting to find their way back to me. Lost but looking. For now I will wait, stick my nose into a container of coffee grinds, smell my shampooed hair, inhale deeply, and wait for all the smells and tastes to make their way out of the abyss.

Irish Soda Bread

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home and Jerry’s recipe

Serves 8-10


3 + ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

½ sugar

2 tablespoons caraway seeds

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon of baking soda

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 cup whole milk yogurt (not Greek)

1 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a 9inch springform pan and set aside.

Using a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, caraway seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  Using a small bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, and sour cream.  Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined.  Gently fold in raisins.  Spread batter into prepared 9-inch springform pan.  Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.  Best served warm and with salted butter.  Tastes great toasted as well.  Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Chocolate Stout Tart + 5 Unique Beer Dessert Recipes


He would say their love story began with a mutual affection for good beer and dessert.  She wouldn’t deny him that bit of nostalgia…most days.  [Lately her moods changed with the tide, the phases of the moon, the direction of the wind.]

She would say their love story began with a conversation, his kindness evident with every word spilling from his sweet mouth. [ His sense of humor, intelligence, opinions, though less appreciated today, fused her soul to his many years ago.]

And what would they say now?  The moon is in the waning Gibbous phase, the tide is low, the winds wild.  A tempestuous phase in their many years together.  Both will agree something was lost along the way. A persistent trickle, not a gash, slowly absorbing into their everyday.  Yet, despite arriving at this volatile juncture they remain in awe of all that followed since their love story began.  So tonight, when the house is quiet, the day almost done, they will split a beer, nibble on some chocolate, and each wonder silently: what’s next in our love story?

Chocolate Stout Tart

tart dough recipe adapted from David Lebovitz

chocolate stout filling adapted from Ambrosia Baking

Serves 6-8

Ingredients for Tart Dough:
1 cup + 5 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar

8 tablespoons or 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cubed

1 large egg

Ingredients for chocolate stout filling:

1- 11 ounce bottle of Guinness, reduced to 1/4 cup

1 + 1/4 cups heavy cream

9 ounces of dark chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon of vanilla

a generous pinch of kosher salt

Fresh whipped cream and crushed pretzels for topping


Using a food processor fitted with a blade attachment mix the flour, salt and sugar until combined.  Add the butter and pulse until the butter is pea-size.  Next add the egg and continue to pulse until the dough comes together and is smooth.  Remove dough from food processor and shape it into a disk.  Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes up to overnight.

Flour a clean surface and roll the dough until it is about a 13 inch circle.  Transfer dough to a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Press the dough firmly into the tart pan and in the corners of the pan.  Trim any excess by running the side of a knife around the top of the tart.  Hold onto any scraps for patching.  If there are any holes in your tart, use the excess dough to patch them.  Prick the dough five times with a fork.  Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

When ready to bake the tart shell, pre-heat your oven to 400F.  Line the frozen tart with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake until the tart is golden brown about 25 minutes but check after 15 minutes.   Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  Next make the chocolate stout filling.

Pour Guinness into a small pan and bring to a simmer.  Reduce to about 1/4 cup.  Remove from the heat and set aside.  Grab a second sauce pan and heat the cream until it just begins to simmer.  Using a medium bowl, add chopped chocolate, vanilla extract, salt and 3 tablespoons of reduced Guinness.  Remove simmering cream from the heat and pour over the chocolate mixture.  Let it stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until completely blended and very smooth.  Pour the chocolate ganache into the cooled tart shell .  Spread evenly using a spatula.  Refrigerate for at least two hours or until the ganache has completely set.  Just before serving, top the tart with fresh whipped cream and crushed pretzels.  The tart is best the day it is made but will last up to two days in air-tight container in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!

5 Unique Beer Desserts You Must Check Out!

Beer + Brownies = Tasty Beer Brownies!  How Sweet It Is has the recipe for you.

If you are a fan of IPAs check out the Beeroness’ recipe for IPA Lemon Bars.  I am intrigued!  While you are there check out her recipe for beer doughnuts with IPA lemon curd.  Again, intrigued!

Don’t wait until the next holiday season to make Food 52’s gingerbread bundt cake with chocolate glaze.  Seize the day or rather the cake.

Gimme Some Oven’s honey beer bread looks like the perfect vehicle for a generous smear of salted butter.  Yum!