Quarantine Travels: Dublin

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! My husband is Irish, and we have a few annual traditions to mark this holiday in our household.

The Food

My husband makes a soda bread every year for St. Patrick’s Day. We always serve it with Kerrygold Irish butter. Soda bread gets its rise from baking soda instead of yeast, so it is faster and easier to make than other types of bread. It also has a unique texture and taste that it gets from this rising method. This NY Times recipe we used this year resulted in a perfectly crumbly and delicious loaf. My husband will also tell you that he frequently finds he needs more buttermilk than soda bread recipes call for.

Upon watching an episode of City Bakes with Paul Hollywood set in Dublin, we learned about the Waterford Blaa. These are soft, pillowy rolls that merge together when they rise and bake and then are pulled apart to eat. We wanted to try our hand at making them ourselves. Ours didn’t turn out quite as beautifully shaped as we might have hoped, but they were delicious. Both on City Bakes and Bigger Bolder Baking (where the recipe is from), the rolls were served with Kerrygold and bacon. We haven’t tried them that way yet, but I look forward to doing that.

Of course, Guinness is also very tied to Dublin. (We visited the factory the last time we were there). My husband decided to try his hand at Guinness cupcakes with Bailey’s frosting. The Guinness enhances the chocolatey flavor, and the Bailey’s frosting was the perfect compliment to the rich cake. However, we had some difficulty getting the cupcakes out of the silicone molds, so we decided to mix the rest of the cake and frosting to create cake pops. We created balls out of the chocolate and frosting mixture and dipped them in dark chocolate. It was a good choice.

The Entertainment

As I mentioned above, we watched the episode of City Bakes with Paul Hollywood where he explores the best bakes in Dublin. It was so cool to learn about the recipe experimentation that goes on in the Guinness factory and the innovative ways the chef at Boxty is cooking with potatoes.

We watched Once on HBO Max a few months ago, and we listened to the Broadway cast album this week. The story is about an Irish musician who falls for a younger Czech woman in Dublin, and the music in both the film and musical is gorgeous. It also had the bonus effect of being very calming to our anxious dog.

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