While I like to flavour my food and desserts with a dash of alcohol, I am not much of a drinker. Despite that I tend to be partial to liqueurs. I'm always ready to sample a new one. Maybe because I am intrigued by the flavours with which they are infused with. Whether they are infused with fruits, herbs, flowers, woods or spices, they all have a little story that speaks of the region they come from or I have a little story to go with it.
Like the first time I tried cherry liqueur was in Sikkim, in India's north-east corner. Having returned to civilization after a week of trekking in the mountains in the area, we were offered a glass of it as a welcome drink at the hotel we were staying. The luxury of the drink after a week of roughing it out was a memory that won't be forgotten easily! Or like the time, I had my first taste of ouzo, the Greek aniseed liqueur, in University, thanks to a bottle that a Greek flatmate had lugged all the way from home. And how he diluted it with water because he didn't trust that we would be able to handle its high alcohol content!
And then there's Baileys, for which I will always have a soft spot. I was allowed a taste of it, I think, while I was still in school and that taste of sweet cream tinged with alcohol has remained a favourite.
I had in an earlier post talked of making my own vodka based fruit liqueurs. It's all very simple except that they all have a resting period of a few weeks to let the flavours infuse. Turns out, its even simpler to make your own homemade Baileys. And there's no resting time. Just whisk everything in a bowl and a bottle of Irish cream is at your command!!
My sister and I had made it a few years back and I thought I revisit making it over the long weekend. Try it for yourself and you won't get over how ridiculously easy it is. The recipe is from 'Farmette', Imen's charming blog as she chronicles her life on an Irish farm.
Because, it is a cream based liqueur, you are advised to finish it off in 2 weeks. So, either you give the gang of friends an invite to finish off the bottle or you hunt around the Internet for a recipe that will do the same. I zeroed in on a Baileys cheesecake.
I have gone with a no-bake cheesecake because I already have a recipe for a baked cheesecake that is gold. And baking it, would have taken away all taste of the Baileys as most of the alcohol would evaporate during baking. I also experimented with agar agar powder instead of gelatine and the results were extremely favourable.
I baked my base only because I couldn't find any digestive biscuits at home to make a no-bake biscuit base. But, you can always make a biscuit base. It will be easier and less fussy. Despite using a substantial amount of Irish cream, the taste of it is subtle in the finished product. The thin layer of coffee jelly not only helps with the presentation but helps to cut through all the creaminess that could get a bit too heavy, if left all by itself.
This would be perfect as a grown-ups dessert for a weekend dinner. I think you'll enjoy it as much as we did.
And what about you .. have you tasted any interesting liqueurs that come with an even more interesting story?? I'd love to hear about it. Hope you enjoyed the long weekend!!