Irish Recipes: Herrington on the Bay

March 15, 2019

Real Food

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in culinary style! Sweeten up your spring with these Irish recipes from Herrington on the Bay catering. Chef Bil shares his favorite Irish recipes including one for his Aunt Peg’s Irish Soda bread.

As winter begins to fade and thoughts turn towards spring Herrington on the Bay’s chefs look forward to one of our favorite traditions, St. Patrick’s Day! So many customs, and for me, so many memories. Corned beef simmered with cabbage and hearty root vegetables, spring’s first lamb stewed with onion and carrots, or a hearty steak and kidney pie.

But for me it’s all about the baking. No St. Patrick’s Day would be complete without Irish Soda Bread.  Although the chemical reaction that makes Soda Bread what it is was not invented by the Irish, circumstances and conditions at the time (the mid to late 1800’s) made it an easy to make and affordable staple for hungry families hit hard by The Great Famine. By mixing Pot Ash, or Pearl Ash with an acid such as sour milk produced a chemical reaction which produced carbon dioxide and would cause flour (and especially cheaper soft wheat flour) to rise without the use of yeast, which was not only difficult to come by but also time consuming.

Later commercially produced bicarbonate of soda “Baking Soda”, became available and not long after, pharmacists began adding Cream of Tartar to the soda which created a shelf stable chemical combination and eliminated the need to use sour milk.

To learn more I would recommend visiting The Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread.

Aunt Peg’s Irish Soda Bread

From Chef Bil at Herrington on the Bay Catering

Irish Recipes Herrington on the Bay Catering


  • ¼ lb., 1 stick butter a good Irish butter, such as Kerrygold
  • 3 cups flour, plus some for dusting, see note
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tb. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Place the butter in the baking dish that you intend to use and set it in the oven to melt.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients.
  4. In a separate bowl lightly beat the eggs and add in the buttermilk and melted butter.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients to the buttermilk and fold in until all the flour is gone.
  6. Note: Sprinkle a little flour in the bottom of your buttered baking dish and then add the dough. Sprinkle the top with a little more flour and cut a cross in the top.
  7. Bake for 1 hour.. Allow to cool for 15 minutes and then remove from the pan and place on a cooling rack.

Copyright Herrington on the Bay Catering

Brownies with Irish Cream Swirl

Perhaps not a tradition in Ireland, but certainly one in our house.

Brownies with Irish Cream Swirl Herrington on the Bay


For the swirl:

  • 3 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tb. butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tb. flour
  • 2 tb. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Few drops green food color

For the brownies:

  • 6 oz. bittersweet baking chocolate
  • 3 tb. butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Lightly butter an 8 inch square non-stick baking pan.
  3. Beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the sugar and beat until well blended.
  4. Beat in the egg and then mix in the flour, Irish Cream and Vanilla. Gradually add the food color to desired color.
  5. Stir baking chocolate and butter in a small sauce pan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly.
  6. Blend the flour, baking powder and salt.
  7. Beat the sugar and eggs until slightly thickened.
  8. Add in the flour mixture, melted chocolate and vanilla. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  9. Spread half the batter into the prepared baking pan. Using a rubber spatula spread cream cheese mixture over batter. Spoon the remaining chocolate batter over the cream cheese. Using the tip of a knife gently swirl through the batter forming a marble design.
  10. Bake brownies about 30 minutes. Or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  11. While still warm cut into squares.

Copyright Herrington on the Bay Catering

Erin go bragh!

Irish Spring Herrington on the Bay

We have lived our lives in a land of dreams!
How sad it seems.
Sweet, there is nothing left to say
But this, that love is never lost,
Keen winter stabs the breast of May
Whose crimson roses burst his frost,
Ships tempest-tossed
Will find a harbor in some bay,
And so we may.

~ excerpt from Her Voice by Oscar Wilde

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Irish Recipes: Herrington on the Bay

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