The first time I had a steaming glass of Irish coffee was at the legendary Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco. Come to think of it, that might be the only time I've had it.
The memory may be bigger than the beverage, it being beautiful, foggy San Francisco and the cafe jammed with tourists in heavy coats. It was summer. At Buena Vista, the hot, boozy drink is served in a handleless glass, which makes things interesting. Clutch gingerly.
Irish Coffee, born in Ireland and made famous in America at the Buena Vista, is a hot toddy of coffee, whiskey and whipped cream. Consider it an alternative to green beer this St. Patrick's Day.
Or you do what I did and meld those flavors into a dessert using Bailey's Irish Cream to make a chocolate confection. Irish Cream Coffee Brownies With Bailey's Whipped Cream, to be exact. Trot out this sweet delight for a St. Patrick's Day party or as the ending for a corned beef dinner. There's no green in sight, but the flavor of the Bailey's keeps it in the spirit.
The recipe is straightforward. And, like most brownie recipes, it calls for melting chocolate and butter so you don't have to spend time bringing butter to room temperature. Also, whip your own heavy cream. It only takes a few minutes and adds a luxurious note. I like to put my bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 45 minutes before whipping; this helps build the volume of the cream.
I've tested the recipe three times and found that the brownies are at their most delicious when cooled completely and then rested for a while longer. Resist the urge to cut them for at least 90 minutes after they've come out of the oven.
I developed the recipe for a demonstration on Elizabeth Dougherty's local radio talk show, Food Nation Radio. She recently set up a studio at Grand Kitchen & Bath in St. Petersburg (2600 Fourth St. N; (727) 327-3007) for a taped broadcast in front of a live audience. Dougherty prepared the appetizers and a delicious corned beef, which she broiled after boiling. That melted the cap of fat on the meat and seemed to make it more tender.
To hear the hourlong show — and listen to us cooking! — tune in at 9 a.m. Saturday to WTAN-AM 1340 (Tampa Bay), WDCF-AM 1350 (Dade City/Zephyrhills) or WORL-AM 660 in Orlando.
Janet K. Keeler can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8586.