Champagne Black Velvet

Black Velvet Irish cocktail

Drinks | March 17, 2015 | By

Ah, St. Patricks day. The day where half the world celebrates being “Irish” and Ireland organises (mainly) silly parades. The big ones may get televised but you haven’t really had an Irish St. Patricks day until you sit in a small town in Tipperary or Cork or anywhere rural and watch the trucks from local businesses drive through the streets.

I’m in Frankfurt this year for St. Patricks day so we decided to make some Black Velvet cocktails in a throw back to the Celtic Tiger. Also because although they are decadent, they are delicious!

Black Velvet
A deliciously decadent creamy cocktail with the fizz of champagne and the heart of Guinness. Ideal for St. Patricks day, Irish themed parties or just when you fancy a treat.
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Prep Time
2 min
Total Time
2 min
Prep Time
2 min
Total Time
2 min
For the drink
  1. Can(s) of Guinness (depending on how much you'd like to make)
  2. Champagne (I used Veuve Clicquot but any champagne or sparkling wine would do)
To serve
  1. Champagne flute(s)
To prepare
  1. Ensure the champagne and Guinness have been chilled.
Make the cocktail
  1. Fill the champagne flute half way with Guinness. Allow to settle (i.e. the Guinness separates into black and white).
  2. Top with the champagne. Be careful, this will fizz up much more than expected!
  3. Enjoy!
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Mother’s Day Berry Sponge Cake

Mothers day Berry Sponge Cake

Desserts | March 14, 2015 | By

I decided to bake a sponge cake for Mother’s Day as a treat. It was a risk as my Ma makes a great sponge cake but I think it worked out pretty well! :)

Berry Sponge Cake
Serves 6
The addition of fresh berries to this sponge cake elevates it to the next level and really makes it a special treat. You can *almost* pretend it's healthy!
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
47 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
47 min
For the sponge
  1. 175g sugar
  2. 100g butter
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 190g self raising flour
  5. 200ml milk
  6. Vanilla essence
For the topping
  1. Fresh berries. I used blueberries, raspberries and strawberries but any mixture will do.
  2. 2 tbsp of caster sugar
  3. 1 carton of Avonmore double cream
  4. 20g icing sugar
You will also need
  1. Electric whisk
  2. 2 cake tins (ideally spring-form)
  3. Sieve
  4. Wire-tray
To prepare
  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC.
  2. Grease the cake tins.
For the cake
  1. Rub the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs and beat until well combined.
  3. Sieve the flour into the mixture gradually and combine.
  4. Add the milk and vanilla essence and stir well. Use an electric whisk to ensure the ingredients are well mixed and enough air has been added.
  5. Divide between the two cake tins and pop in the over for about 30-35 mins until golden. A knife inserted into the cake should come out clean.
Prepare the berries
  1. While the cake mixture is baking begin preparing the berries. Place half of the berries in a small pot. Chop larger berries such as strawberries.
  2. Add the caster sugar to the pot and place over a med heat for about 10 minutes. The berries should soften and release some juice.
  3. Strain the berry mixture to separate the softened fruit from the juice.
To serve
  1. Once the cake is baked, remove from the oven and transfer to a wire-tray to cool.
  2. Spread one of the slices with most of the berry juices we reserved earlier.
  3. Whip the cream and the icing sugar together and once the cake is cooled spread about half of the cream over the berry juice mixture.
  4. Place the other half of the cake on top and spread the remaining cream over the top. Drizzle over the remaining juice then place the softened fruit on top of the cake. Top with the rest of the fresh fruit and serve.
Double Cream
  1. Be careful when whipping the double cream, especially if using an electric whisk. It consistency jumps from liquid to butter very quickly!
Be careful with the temperature
  1. I'm using a fan oven so I'm baking at 160ºC. If you aren't using a fan oven then you'll need to bake at 180ºC.
No self raising flour?
  1. Simply use regular flour with two teaspoons of baking powder instead.
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