Catherine's Tastes Like Home Baked Irish Coffee Cheese Cake with Cherry Sauce


Makes 1 x 23 cm )

For the base

  • 300g digestive biscuits
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 150g butter, melted

For the filling

  • 300g soft cream cheese
  • 100g crème fraiche
  • 50g soft dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp espresso coffee
  • 3 tbsp Irish whiskey
    For the cherry sauce
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 350g jar pitted morello cherries (retaining juice too)
  • 3 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 star anise

To finish

150g cherries with stems attached, to decorate
Small sprigs of lemon balm or mint, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3. To prepare the tin, generously brush a 26cm loose base tart tin with melted butter.  

To make the base, place the biscuits in a food processor and crush until fine crumbs form.

Transfer the biscuit crumbs to a bowl, add the ginger then pour over the melted butter and mix thoroughly until the crumbs are completely coated.
Tip them into the prepared tin and press firmly down into the base and up the sides. Set in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To make the filling, mix the cream cheese, crème fraiche, dark brown sugar, eggs, espresso coffee and whiskey together in a large jug.
Pour the mixture into the biscuit base and smooth evenly. Place in the oven to bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until just set.
Carefully remove from the oven and cool completely before removing from the tin.

 For the cherry sauce: Drain the cherries, reserving the juice. Mix the arrowroot and the water (or port) together in a small bowl. Add the reserved juice, sugar, arrowroot mix and star anise in a saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir in the cherries and set aside to cool slightly. Remove the star anise before serving.

 To decorate, arrange the cherries with stems attached as well as some sprigs of lemon balm or mint in a quarter moon shape on the one side and serve with the cherry sauce.  

Catherine's Siúcra Frankenstein Punch

This is such fun, watch the grapes, cranberries and blueberries bounce up and down in a very creepy manner!!

To frost the glasses -

4 tbsp Siucra granulated sugar
Shallow bowl of water

For the sugar syrup - 

  • 200g Siucra caster sugar
  • 300ml water
  • 10 pieces of fresh orange peel  
  • 100g blueberries
  • 20 green grapes
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 10 sprigs of mint
  • 3 small to medium apples, peeled, halved & carve a monster face on the curved side of the apple
  • 2 litres sparkling water

To frost the glass - dip the rim of the glasses into a shallow bowl of water and then into a plate of Siucra granulated sugar. Leave these to set/ dry for 10 minutes.

To make the sugar syrup - pour the Siucra caster sugar and water into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat, reduce the heat to low and add the orange pieces. Leave to simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes until a light syrup forms. Take off the heat and allow to cool, leaving the orange peel in the syrup.

To make the punch - once the syrup is cold, pour this into a large glass bowl, add the blueberries, grapes, cranberries, sprigs of mint and carved apples into the bowl / jug.
Give it a gently stir and then pour in the sparkling water.
You’ll need a ladle to stir into the glasses.  

Catherine's Siúcra Halloween Pumpkin Cakes


I don’t know about you but during term time it's just so busy with homework and after-school activities I don't ever got a chance to get the children involved in the kitchen so I love to get them on board during mid-term especially at Halloween!

Here I’d like to share with you my Siúcra recipes for Halloween, perfect for a Halloween party. I have a fruity drink and fun Mini Pumpkin Cakes.I hope you enjoy making them as much as I enjoyed creating them!


Halloween Pumpkin Mini Cakes

Makes 6

A delicious treat to surprise everyone! 

For the cake sponge

  • 100g Siucra rich dark sugar
  • 120g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 70g dark chocolate, melted
  • 3 tbsp milk

 For the filling

  • 120g butter
  • 200g Siucra icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 orange, zest only

You will need a mini bundt baking tray
Siucra roll out icing, for the stems and leaves of the pumpkins
Orange colouring
Gold shimmer dust (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C /Fan160°C/Gas 4. Brush the mini bundt cake tray very generously with melted butter.

To make the cupcakes -  cream the Siucra rich dark sugar and butter until pale and fluffy.
Whisk in the eggs.
Fold in the flour, melted chocolate and milk to form a batter.
Spoon the mixture into the tray and bake for about 8 to 11 minutes until cooked i.e. when a skewer is inserted in and it comes out clean. Allow them to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a rack to cool completely before sandwiching them together.

To make the butter cream -  cream the butter, Siucra icing sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and orange zest together until smooth and light.
To assemble, - when the cakes are cold, to form a “pumpkin”, sandwich the bases of two mini cakes together with buttercream.
Knead an orange colour paste into the Suicra ready roll out icing orange. Shape out 6 pumpkin stems and leaves to decorate the cakes.
Place on the “pumpkins” and dust with golden shimmer.

Pear and Ginger Scones


Makes about 17 depending on the size

  • 16 oz plain flour
  • 2 tbsp superfine sugar, plus extra to decorate
  • 2 heaped tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3½ oz butter, at room temperature, diced
  • 2 small pears, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp crystallized ginger, chopped
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 9½ fl oz milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Flaked almonds, to decorate

Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/420°F/ fan390°F /gas 6.
Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl (or aerate by lifting and dropping the ingredients). Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembled fine breadcrumbs. Then add the pears, chopped and ground ginger.
Make a well in the centre and pour in most of the milk, mix with one hand to form a soft dough, add all the milk if required.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly, roll out until it about 1 inch high.Using a round scone cutter, cut the dough into circles. Gently reshape the leftover dough and cut out more scones.
Dip the top of the scones in the beaten egg and then sprinkle with flaked almonds. Place onto a lined baking tray.
Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes depending on the size until risen and golden on top.

Catherine & Siucra's Sunday Savoury Family Meal

Greek Style Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Chimichurri


Serves 6 to 8
For the butterflied lamb

  • 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Siucra rich brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juice only
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5kg leg of lamb, deboned and butterflied

For the Chimichurri

  • 30g parsley sprigs, keep the stalks on
  • 20g coriander sprigs, keep the stalks on
  • 4 medium sprigs oregano
  • 4 small sprigs mint
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1½ tbsp Siucra caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Roasted garlic bulb halves, to garnish
  • Sprigs of mint, to garnish
  • Roasted red peppers and courgettes, to serve

To prepare the marinade for the lamb, mix the oregano, garlic, Siucra rich brown sugar, olive oil, lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl.
Place the butterflied lamb into a shallow dish and pour over the marinade, rub this into the lamb, cover and allow to marinade in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Remove from the fridge and bring the lamb to room temperature (allow 30 minutes). Pat the lamb dry and brown both sides in a hot frying pan over the hob.

To roast, meantime, preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C. Place the lamb into the roasting pan, season with freshly ground pepper and a little salt, roast for about 15 minutes before turning the heat down to 190°C/fan 170°C and roast for a further 50 minutes or until your meat thermometer reaches 72°C for medium (or until it reaches your preference of “doneness”). If you like it well done, roast for a further 10 to 15 minutes. Keep basting the lamb from time to time.

While the lamb is roasting, prepare the chimichurri: place all the ingredients into a blender and pulse a few time and then using a spatula, push the ingredients down the side of the blender. Do short pulses about 7 to 8 times until you have a textured sauce. Taste, you may need to add a little more oil, salt, freshly ground black pepper or sugar. Allow the lamb to “rest”, covered, for 15 minutes, then place on a platter of roasted red peppers and courgettes. Spoon over the chimicchurri and serve.

Fine foodCatherine FilvioGood living


Ballyknocken House & Cookery School
Glenealy, Ashford,
Co Wicklow, A67 X720
Ireland. Tel: +353 (0)404 44627
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow us

Catherine on Twitter