Just a few days until St. Patrick’s Day! As is tradition in our house, we’ll be listening to The Chieftains and Van Morrison all day long (and very loudly, too—this is incredibly important—especially when playing Irish Heartbeat, which is one of the greatest collaborations ever and is now also precious since it’s awfully hard to find these days), flying the Irish flag, making at least one Irish dish, and celebrating from morning until night. If there’s a green carnation or two floating around, passed as a gift of the day with a hug and a toast from one friend or family member to another, then so much the better. (Yes, we know. Green carnations. But some traditions are inexplicably happy, even in their weird, fake coloring.) Even though the two of us aren’t technically Irish, we’ll claim Irish-by-association thanks to Ray and so many other Irish family members and friends. When you grow up in New York like Lou and Frank, you learn to celebrate the day well, no matter what your last name may be.
There’s often corned beef and cabbage and Irish Soda Bread… and, of course, whiskey and stout. And while our love of whiskey precedes us, our love of stout is more recent. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a beer drinker, stouts might surprise you. We’ve dabbled, we’ve tasted, we’ve stolen sips from friends, and we’ve discovered just how many incredible versions there are these days. But for St. Patrick’s Day, we’ll be sticking with the classic: Guinness… and lending it a twist.
This year, it’s Guinness floats all around: creamy ice cream and smooth stout are such a perfect match that we can’t believe we haven’t been making these for years. They complement each other and meld together, making the dreamiest float we’ve ever had. Ours has almond whipped cream, which goes fantastically with the nuttiness of the stout. If you’re feeling extra fancy, you might even try drizzling our Sea Salt Caramel Sauce over top. Just saying.
Here, we’ve given you just the foundation—it’s not really a recipe so much as a jumping-off point. We like the simplicity of our float, but complicate it all you want. Experiment and make it your own: try butter pecan or chocolate or caramel ice cream, try different kinds of stout (vanilla, mocha, coffee, chocolate, oatmeal), try all flavors of whipped cream (even adding a liqueur—something like Frangelico), try different sauces on top (fudge, butterscotch, you name it). Whatever you create, it’s going to be a glorious concoction. Bubbly, decadent, and totally worthy of a celebration.
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Irish Stout Float with Almond Whipped Cream
– A nice tall glass
– Your favorite vanilla ice cream
– 1 cup cold heavy cream
– 1 tsp almond extract (don’t use the imitation stuff!)
* Whip the cream with a whisk or electric mixer. When it starts to thicken, add the almond extract and beat until you get soft peaks.
* Add a scoop or two of ice cream to your glass.
* Slowly pour in the stout.
* Top with all the whipped cream you can manage.
*HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!
©2015 Lee and Lou Cook. All Rights Reserved.