Monday, 30 November 2015

Dairy-Free Baileys

A repeat of last year's present to me good friend and camera assistant, Niamh, this year I have made another improved batch of dairy-free Baileys; a cream liqueur made with whiskey.

I have a lot of friends, family members, and acquaintances who have varying degrees of food intolerances and sensitivities, which is how I got into this kind of alternative cooking in the first place. Of all the sensitivities, however, I've found dairy the hardest to emulate.

I love dairy: milk, cream, butter, ice-cream, chocolate, toffees and fudges and all sorts are my favourites, and having a mug of hot chocolate before bedtime is part of my typical night time routine. My brother has a Pakistani friend, who tells him that many good stories of revelry in Pakistan begin with "We bought a load of ice-cream", the same way that Irish stories begin with "We bought a load of beer", and these are the kinda stories that I need more of in my life. As such, I find that dairy-free things just lack something: they lack that richness and sweetness that is associated with cow dairy products.

However, a close second to cow milk is coconut milk: it's rich, sweet, and creamy. Even though it's not the same, it's nice in its own way. This is what I use generally when I replace cow milk; although, I have heard that oat milk is an even better mimic of cow milk.

So, to make a dairy-free Baileys, I reached for some coconut milk. It turned out very well; a good second best to real Baileys.

☑ Soya (check for soya lecithin)
☑ Dairy (use substitute in italics for dairy free)
☑ Gluten
☑ Nuts

☒ Refined sugar products

  • One 14 fluid ounce can (400 millilitres) of full fat coconut milk
  • One 14 fluid ounce can (400 millilitres) of light coconut milk
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons (30 to 60 millilitres) light brown sugar, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3 millilitres) instant coffee powder
  • Two pinches of ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 3 to 5 shots (105 to 175 millilitres) Irish Whiskey, to taste

  • In a large saucepan, heat the two coconut milks together, stirring, until smooth. Heat until gently steaming.
  • In a glass, mix the cocoa powder and about 1 tablespoon (15 millilitres) of the heated milk together to a paste. Add this to the rest of the milk. This makes sure the cocoa powder dissolves properly.
  • Stir in the coffee powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then start adding the sugar a tablespoon at a time. Once the mixture is sweet enough, remove from the heat.
  • Add in the whiskey, one shot at a time, until it's the right strength for you. I know my friend likes strong liqueurs, so I added in a good bit of Whiskey.
  • Allow to cool before bottling in a 35 fluid ounce (1 litre) glass bottle

Good quality Irish whiskey is expensive, so this is a very special present. If you only want to use a little whiskey, you can spike only half the mixture and keep the other half for making nice coconut hot chocolate.

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