The Shamrock and Peach is one of the most innovative cookbooks I’ve ever been sent to review. This isn’t to knock any of the others (trust me, there is always room for amazing classic recipes which I can adapt), but I thought the idea of fusing classic Northern Irish cooking with Southern cooking – particularly that which was inspired by backwoods Ulster Scots heritage – was actually a creative, interesting idea.
Author Judith McLoughlin is a transplant from Northern Ireland to the American south and she used her own journey to trace the origins of immigrant food. The result isn’t just interesting and historical, but absolutely delicious. A lot of these recipes were combinations which made me feel incredibly nervous (coca-cola and Baileys?) but once I made them, they were amazing.
I would really recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Southern cooking, modern Irish cooking or is willing to try creative and innovative recipes.
The recipe which, for me, really embodies this cookbook is the Coca-Cola cake with Irish cream filling. Beardy Bestie (my partner in crime, Fran) looked at me strangely when I told her about the cake, but she and her flatmates absolutely loved it! The cake is a mix of a beloved Southern tradition (Coca-Cola) and the classic Irish cream liqueur. A bit of Ireland and a bit of Georgia!
Coca-Cola Cake with Irish Cream Filling (from The Shamrock and Peach)
14 ounces sugar
8 ounces unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 fluid ounces buttermilk
8 fluid ounces Coca-Cola
8 1/2 ounces plain flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in eggs, vanilla and buttermilk.
Allow the cake to cool and in the meantime, mix up the cream liqueur filling.
Ingredients (Cream Liqueur Filling):
7 ounces icing sugar
3 ounces unsalted butter
2 fluid ounces Irish cream liqueur
Using a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter. Slowly mix in the sugar and cream liqueur.
Once the filling is mixed, sandwich it between the layers.
Ingredients (chocolate Cola frosting):
11 1/2 ounces milk chocolate
4 ounces unsalted butter
4 ounces Coca-Cola
1 pound icing sugar