Saint Patrick’s Day is this weekend and since I am half Irish it was mandatory that I post at least one St. Paddy’s Day inspired dish. Ta Da! Here it is: an Irish Creme Liqueur Chocolate Layer Cake crowned with Chocolate Mint Creme Oreo Bark. Wow! That name is kind of a mouthful. But then again, so is this cake.
As a young girl, I remember dressing up in my greenest of green clothes on Saint Patricks Day. But my outfit wasn’t complete until my mother reached into a desk drawer full of “Kiss Me I’m Irish” buttons. “Oh no! Not the buttons”, I would think as she proceeded to decorate the front of my shirt with these cursed buttons. At that time, I hated those buttons because my young mind believed that boys had cooties, and wearing that button was an open invitation for them to spread those cooties on to my unwilling lips. If only that drawer of buttons would somehow mysteriously combust in the dark of the night, then Saint Paddy’s Day might just be alright.
Now as an adult, I find myself wishing that I had my own desk drawer full of “Kiss Me I’m Irish” buttons. Do they still sell these?
While I haven’t seen a “Kiss Me I’m Irish” button in years, there is the Saint Paddy’s Day parade. I don’t know about the city you live in, but Saint Paddy’s day is a BIG deal here in South Boston, garnering it’s very own web page (see it HERE for more information and history on the parade). As a matter of fact, Boston hosts one of THE biggest and oldest Saint Paddy’s day parade in the country, attracting over 1 million attendees a year. But with streets still piled high with snow, I’m still trying to picture in my head how those big, puffy floats will manage to navigate around those colossal snow piles. Word has it that they are looking for volunteers to help clear these mammoth sized piles from the streets this weekend (see it HERE). Anyone game? I wonder if you get a free pint of green beer if you participate.
I live along the parade route which could be considered lucky or unlucky depending on your viewpoint of the parade. While the parade is probably a sight to see, other aspects of it are less of a perk. For example, they shut down all the surrounding roads for the entire day, making me feel more like that of a prisoner in my own home. Something about dragging my groceries blocks from my home while trying to dodge drunken party goers lacks appeal.
And as lovely as it may sound, I will not be partaking in the beer drinking festivities. Yes, yes. The entertainment factor may be high but the thoughts of being surrounded by extremely inebriated party goers lacks appeal to me for some reason. Last year I took a day trip to Cape Cod to escape the madness, but this might not be in the cards this year so I likely will be hunkering down in my house with a giant slice of this cake. Not really a bad way to spend Saint Paddy’s day. . .when you think about.
Irish Cream Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Mint Oreo Bark
Note: I made 2 batches to cover my 3 layered cake.
1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
2 teaspoons coconut oil, divided
1/4 – 1/2 cup of pieces of Oreo Chocolate Mint Creme Cookies
Green gel food coloring
Get your Mise en place together. You don’t want to look like a chicken with your head cut off, do you?
Smoosh the Oreo cookies and break them up into pieces.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the dark chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a small microwave safe bowl. Don’t use a metal bowl. Metals and the microwave don’t play nice together. You knew that.
Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring the chocolate in between these intervals. Continue doing this until the chocolate is smooth and creamy and the chunks of chocolate are no longer recognizable.
Place the white chocolate and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 60 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir. Continue to cook in 15-30 second increments until chocolate is fully melted and flows easily. Don’t nuke it to death because you’ll end up with dried, caked up chocolate. Trust us we’ve done this. Twice.
Take a small amount of green gel food coloring and mix it into the white chocolate. Add until you are satisfied with the color. Try to keep it natural. Nobody wants to eat radioactive looking chocolate.
Using a spatula, imitate your best Star Wars light saber scene. Once your satisfied with your performance, spread the dark chocolate out onto the parchment paper lined tray.
Now for the fun part. Drizzle the tinted white chocolate over the dark chocolate. It’s okay to make a drizzly mess (see my picture above) because you are going to make if look sophisticated in the next step.
Slowly drag a wooden skewer through the drizzles to make a sophisticated pattern. This is going to have your friends thinking you are secretly taking classes to become a world class pastry chef.
Sprinkle Oreo pieces on top of the chocolate.
Allow the chocolate to harden at room temperature overnight.
Using a pizza cutter, slice the chocolate bark into pieces to your desired height. As you cut your slices, keep in mind that the cake curves. Pieces that are too big will stick out from the cake.
Use the extra buttercream frosting (see below) to “cement” the pieces of bark to the sides of the frosted cake.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE IRISH CREAM LIQUEUR CAKE:
2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur (e.g. Baileys, Ryans)
1 cup strong black coffee
Brew your coffee and enjoy a cup before you get started. You’re going to need the extra energy for this cake.
Pre-heat the oven to 350° F.
Butter and flour your cake pans. Be sure to cover every inch of those pans. You want to be able to get those cakes out. Note: I used two 7 inch pans and one 5 inch pan.
Let’s aerate the dry ingredients, shall we? Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt & baking soda. Don’t get lazy and skip this step. You want a light and fluffy cake, don’t you?
In a medium sized bowl, beat the egg, oil, buttermilk, Irish cream liqueur, and coffee together. Beat until you no longer see a mosaic of ingredients. Mix in with the dry ingredients.
Pour the batter into your greased cake pans.
Bake for 35-45 minutes depending on the size of pan you use. You’ll know it’s done when the cake doesn’t jiggle like the back of grandmas arms and you insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean.
Cool the cakes on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.
Remove cakes from the pan and continue to let them cool. I like to let my cake cool overnight to insure the most pleasant frosting experience.
Cut the tops of the cake off to level them. Scarf down the tops and pat yourself on the back for being such a bad a$$ baker.
Place the bottom layer on a cake plate and frost the top of this layer. Add the second layer and frost its top. Repeat with any additional layers.
Frost the outside of the cake with a liberal amount of frosting.
Use any remaining frosting to help adhere the chocolate bark to the sides of the cake.
FOR THE IRISH CREAM LIQUEUR BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
Note: I made 2 batches for my 3 layer cake and had some frosting left over (shots of frosting anyone?)
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons Irish Cream
Take the butter out of the refrigerator and let it soften. If you don’t do this you will need to hire (1.) a magician to blend the butter with the other ingredients and (2.) a world class strong man to spread the frosting on your cake. Your choice. But we think it is easier to just take the butter out of the refrigerator an hour or so before you need it.
In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder.
In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium until it is creamy.
Continue to beat the butter and slowly add the confectioners sugar cocoa mixture. If you add it too fast you will end up with a white puff of sugar in your face (unless the magician is still at your house. . .in that case, the magician could be working on a new trick).
Add the Irish Cream liqueur and beat until it’s well combined and you no longer see puddles of liquer in the bowl.