Category: Irish beer & cider

Food memories: Knockmealdown Porter Cake 8

Food Memories: Knockmealdown Porter Cake at the Dingle Food Festival

Standing on a wobbly kitchen chair to reach the mixing bowl, apron wrapped twice round my middle and my tongue taking a snatched opportunity to explore the rough texture of a well-used wooden spoon: food memories. While cooking can sometimes be reduced to just feeding, small people around your ankles as you try to cobble something edible together, baking is always different. It’s a luxury, an indulgence, a search for lost times – that warm childhood kitchen – through the flavour of vanilla, the sensation of leafing through an old cookbook, the texture of a cake batter as you stir. It’s also an effort to claim those memories for the next generation, to give our own children a safe base from where to fly. When Aoife Carrigy asked me to contribute to a For Food’s Sake event entitled Food Memories: a taste of personal palate-shaping experiences, the question was: what memory to choose? In the end, via the good (roasting field mushrooms on the Aga at my Nana’s house) and the bad (being made to sit for endless hours in front of plates of potatoes), I got to the formative: baking our family favourite Porter Cake with my mother from the McDonnells...

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Baking with Eight Degrees Brewing beer: Chocolate and Knockmealdown Porter Brownies 2

Irish craft beer baking, matching and tasting at Dublin Tall Ships & Electric Picnic

I’m doing a few Irish craft beer demos over the next couple of weekends with the Theatre of Food crew. This weekend I’m off to the Dublin Tall Ships festival with my partner-in-beer, Kristin Jensen of Edible Ireland, and the following Sunday I’ll be at Electric Picnic with Claire Dalton of Dungarvan Brewing Company. There will be Eight Degrees beer tastings, there will be matching the beer with food available at the festivals and, yes, there will be brownies. Chocolate and Knockmealdown Porter Brownies to be precise. If you’re at any of the festivals, call by to the Theatre of Food tent and say hi. Just follow your nose: when those brownies go in the oven they make sure everyone knows that they’re busy cooking. Dublin Tall Ships: 6pm on Saturday 25 August Beer, brownies and microbreweries with Caroline Hennessy (Eight Degrees Brewing/Bibliocook) and Kristin Jensen (Edible Ireland) Chocolate brownies + beer = a heavenly pair? See what you think! Learn how to savour Irish craft beer, match it with food and use it in baking. Electric Picnic: 5.30pm on Sunday 2 September Beer, brownies and banter with Caroline Hennessy (Eight Degrees Brewing/Bibliocook) and Claire Dalton ( Dungarvan Brewing Company)...

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Chocolate and Knockmealdown Porter Brownies 4

Irish craft beer baking, matching and tasting at the Liss Ard Festival

If you’re around West Cork over the August Bank Holiday weekend, you might just want to take yourself along to Liss Ard 2012, a festival of music, literature, drama and (very importantly!) food. I’ll be there, talking about Irish craft beer, matching some Eight Degrees beer with the food available at the festival and baking up a full oven’s worth of Chocolate Brownies with Knockmealdown Porter. One for everyone in the audience? We’re certainly hoping so! Also in the Theatre of Food, you can catch Darina Allen talking about forgotten food skills, the legendary Veronica Steele of Milleens making cheese, Woodcock Smokery‘s Sally Barnes smoking fish in a biscuit tin, Hendrik Lepel on making your own wood fired oven (despite doing his workshop in 2008, mine is still in my imagination) and, always much needed during a festival, fantastic coffee from Brock of Badger and Dodo. And, of course, there are a few other things going on, My picks? Music: it’s gotta be Paul Buchanan of The Blue Nile who I’ve loved for years; Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and Lisa Hannigan who wow-ed us last year at Mitchelstown Cave, and the shape-shifting sounds of Julie Feeney. Don’t miss Ray Scannell in...

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Cam and Scott of Eight Degrees Brewing at the Franciscan Well Easter Beerfest 2011 6

Memorable food of 2011: Eight Degrees Beer, Inishfood, Irish flavours

2011? Phew! A crazy, crazy year. Still, after a relatively calm January, I’ve finally had a chance to gather together my favourite food memories of the last 12 months. *** Eight Degrees Beer: the first sip of our Howling Gale Ale at the Franciscan Well Easter Beer Fest – declared ready just the previous night – was the cumulation of years of planning, dreaming and home brewing. The Husband and the Aussie hit the ground running and haven’t stopped since. From cracking open the first keg of Sunburnt Irish Red at the Irish Cloud Festival beer and food matching event, “testing” Knockmealdown Porter to develop a Chocolate Brownie recipe and checking out A Winter’s Ale with Farmette during the Irish Country Living photoshoot, it’s been a rollercoaster ride. Looking forward to seeing what the lads have planned for 2012! *** Inishfood: it’s not often that you drive six hours for dinner. But it was worth it. And the Taste of Inishowen feast that we enjoyed at Harrys Restaurant in Co Donegal was only one of the high points of a most memorable weekend that celebrated not only the food of the peninsula but wonderful coffee, cheese, raw milk and black pudding. I’m sure the indomitable Donal, who organised and facilitated the whole...

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A Winter's Ale by Eight Degrees Brewing, Cork, Ireland 2

RDS cookery demo: Salted Caramel Ale Sauce

Last week I was up in Dublin for the National Crafts & Design Fair in the RDS, doing a couple of demonstrations on the Cooks Academy stage  in the Food Emporium. The title of my demo was Baking with Irish Craft Beer and I had a lot of fun using beers from Eight Degrees to develop recipes for Cheese and Herb Beer Bread, Brownies and this Salted Caramel Ale Sauce. When I first started work on the recipe for this sauce I was looking for a way to use the seasonal beers that appear in the run up to Christmas.  And then Eight Degrees Winter Ale, made with a specially fragrant spice blend from Green Saffron, turned out to be so popular that there wasn’t even a random bottle left in the brewery for me to play with. Now I often make this with Knockmealdown Porter, which gives it a completely different flavour profile – much more coffee-like – and a pinch of the extra Green Saffron spices. Try it yourself with any microbrewery porter or stout and a ¼ teaspoon of mixed spice, sourced from Green Saffron if you can at all manage it. A great standby to keep in the fridge – it seems to last for ages – the...

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Eight Degrees Brewing: Knockmealdown Porter Brownies 8

RDS cookery demo: Double Chocolate Porter Brownies

Update March 2015: These started off life in 2011 as Knockmealdown Porter Brownies but, when it came to putting this recipe in Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider, my co-author Kristin suggested calling them Double Chocolate Porter Brownies.   That name that has stuck and, like the brownies, followed us around to demos and events. They’re still the best brownies that I’ve ever made, even if Eight Degrees Brewing have now (the nerve of them!) discontinued the porter, forcing me to use Knockmealdown Irish Stout instead. I can’t complain though. Similar name, even better product. Makes good brownies.  *** Last week I was up in Dublin for the National Crafts & Design Fair in the RDS, doing a couple of demonstrations on the Cooks Academy stage  in the Food Emporium. The title of my demo was Baking with Irish Craft Beer and I had a lot of fun using beers from Eight Degrees to develop recipes for Cheese and Herb Beer Bread, a Salted Caramel Ale Sauce and these Brownies. Rich dark chocolate + full-flavoured malty porter = the most lusciously moist brownies. Enjoy! Double Chocolate Porter Brownies A dark, full-bodied porter or stout is a good balance to the chocolate in these brownies. I use Knockmealdown...

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Caroline Hennessy @ Bibliocook demonstrating on the Cooks Academy stage in the RDS 10

RDS cookery demo: Cheddar and Chive Sunburnt Irish Red Beer Bread

Last week I was up in Dublin for the National Crafts & Design Fair in the RDS, doing a couple of demonstrations on the Cooks Academy stage  in the Food Emporium. The title of my demo was Baking with Irish Craft Beer and I had a lot of fun using beers from Eight Degrees to develop recipes for Cheese and Herb Beer Bread, Porter Brownies and Caramel Ale Sauce. I have to stress the importance of both buttering and flouring the tin properly for this Cheese and Herb Beer Bread. When The Runcible Spoon came to visit recently I didn’t follow my own instructions and, as a result, we had what I described as exploded beer bread with our Lentil and Bacon Soup when half of the loaf stubbornly refused to leave the tin. Shamed in front of a fellow food blogger! Although I would generally recommend a lighter beer, I’ve been making this recently with our Knockmealdown Porter, some crumbled Cashel Blue cheese and a few leaves of chopped sage so you can ring the changes according to whatever combination of beer/cheese/herbs you have easily available. After Thursday’s demo, the bread, although still warm when hacked up, made a fantastic quick lunch with...

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Eight Degrees Beer and Mic's Chilli Inferno sauces 0

It’s all about the (Eight Degrees Brewing) beer

A few Eight Degrees Brewing and beer-related updates… We all – the Husband’s parents are visiting at the moment – gathered around the radio on Sunday morning to hear the Aussie do us proud as he talked about Eight Degrees Brewing on Today FM’s Sunday Business Show. Also on the show with him was Michael Wejchert of Mic’s Chilli who produces Inferno sauces in Wicklow – his Extreme sauce is much used in this house, as you can see from the photo! [display_podcast] *** Bord Bia’s Farmhouse Cheese and Craft Beer Weekend is taking place across the country from 27 to 31 October. Eight Degrees Brewing is taking part in two events: My Ballymaloe classmate the Musician is now cooking at Pat Shortt’s Bar in Castlemartyr and has put together a night of cheese and beer matching for Thursday 27 October, starting at 7pm. Eight Degrees and Horgan’s Deli Supplies will be attending the Ballyhoura Spook, a family-orientated Halloween experience, in Ardpatrick, from 2pm on Sunday 30 October. There is more information on all the events along with some beer and cheese pairing notes on the Bord Bia website. Pick up a copy of Glynn Anderson and John McLaughlin’s Farmhouse Cheeses of Ireland (review here) for more information on your own local cheese. Also...

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