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Irish Desserts Disk 172




4 ounces Butter, at room temperature
4 ounces Granulated sugar
2 Eggs
4 ounces Self-raising flour
2 Tablespoons Coffee essence**

150 milliliters Strong black coffee
4 ounces Sugar (for coffee syrup)
4 Tablespoons Irish whiskey

150 milliliters Heavy whipping cream
Powdered sugar to taste
1 Tablespoon Whiskey, or to taste
Chopped nuts*

*Or grated chocolate.
**This is a concentrated, liquid coffee easily found in Ireland, but probably not in the States. I would dissolve 2 T of a good instant coffee (Taster's Choice or something similar) in an equivalent amount of water, and use that.

Grease and flour an 8-inch cake pan (preferably a springform cheesecake pan). Preheat oven to 350F. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, adding a little flour and beating well after each addition. Stir in the coffee essence, and mix thoroughly. Turn the mixture into the prepared pan, and bake for 35-40 minutes until springy to the touch. Turn out and cool on a wire rack. . To make the Irish coffee syrup, put the coffee and sugar into a small pan and bring up to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Then boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the whiskey. . Wash and dry the pan the cake was baked in, and return the cooled cake to it: then pour the hot coffee syrup all over it. Leave in a cool place for several hours, then turn out. Whip the cream until it's thick, sweeten slightly with powdered sugar, and add whiskey to taste. Spread the cake with the whipped cream and chill for an hour before sprinkling with chopped nuts or grated chocolate. Servings: 4



6 Eggs
8 ounces Sugar
1 cup Very strong coffee
1-1/2 oz Powdered gelatin
1/3 cup Irish whiskey*
10 fluid ounces Whipping cream
3 ounces Crushed walnuts

*You can also use Irish Mist.

Separate the yolks from the whites of eggs. In a bowl, cream with yolks with the sugar. Heat the coffee until hot but not boiling: add the gelatin and dissolve it in the coffee. Add this mixture to the yolks and sugar. Beat well and put the bowl over a pot of boiling water. Continue beating until mixture begins to thicken. remove from heat, and when the bowl has cooled a little, place it over cracked ice and continue stirring. When the mixture is on the point of setting, whip the cream and fold it in. Add the whiskey or Irish Mist. Lastly, fold in the well-beaten egg whites.

Pour into a soufflé dish that has a double thickness of parchment paper tied around it: the paper should come up 3 inches above the top of the soufflé dish. Oil a jam-jar or bottle and press it down into the center of the pudding. Leave to set. Remove the paper collar by easing around the circumference with a knife dipped in hot water.

Remove the jar or bottle, and fill the center with:
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
sweetened with 1 T granulated sugar

You can also decorate the exposed sides of the pudding with crushed walnuts, pressed on with the palm of your hand. Servings: 4



1/2 cup unsalted butter -- plus extra
4 tablespoons flour -- plus extra
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 baking sheets.

Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla; stir in flour, milk, and rolled
oats. Drop batter by the tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets; allow room
for cookies to spread to about 3 inches in diameter. Each baking sheet will
hold about 6 cookies.

Bake until cookies flatten and look dry (10 minutes). Let cookies cool
for 4 to 5 minutes on baking sheets. Lift from baking sheet with a metal
spatula and cool completely. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

NOTES : Inexpensive rolled oats take the place of chopped pecans in this
crisp, elegant cookie. If making these cookies ahead, store airtight after
baking. Re-crisp by warming on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven 5
minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Per serving: 89 Calories; 4 grams Fat (43% calories from fat); 1 gram Protein; 12 grams Carbohydrate; 11 milligrams Cholesterol; 5miligramss Sodium



175 grams/ 6ounces sweet shortcrust pastry

40 grams/ 1-1/2 ounces butter
50 grams/2 ounces vanilla flavored sugar (or caster sugar plus essence)
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon (heaped) plain flour
rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
225 grams/ 8 ounces cottage cheese

1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
caster sugar to dust

Preheat oven to gas mark 4/ 180°C/ 350°F, warm a baking sheet and grease a loose-bottomed flan tin. Roll out the shortcrust pastry until thin, then line the flan tin with the dough, trimming off any excess. Chill pastry case in the fridge. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, then beat in the egg yolks, flour, lemon rind, lemon juice and sieved cottage cheese. Mix well, then spoon into the pastry case. Mix topping ingredients together and spread on top of the curd filling. Place the flan tin on the warmed baking sheet and bake for approximately 1 hour or until the top is lightly browned and slightly firm. Dust with caster sugar and serve cool but not chilled.

NOTE: Curds were once an important part of the Irish diet, and were also useful for paying the rent. Recipes for this delicately flavored cheesecake are found in several eighteenth century" receipt" books.


LEMON CURD    Back to Top

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

In saucepan, combine all ingredients except lemon peel. Stirring with wooden spoon, cook over lowest heat, being careful not to let mixture boil or yolks curdle. Cook until mixture coats back of a spoon. Pour into small bowl and stir in lemon peel. Allow to cool.
Makes 1/2 cup.



1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup flour
1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups milk
pinch cream of tarter
sifted powdered sugar (optional)

Using an electric mixer, cream butter together with sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, the lemon juice, and the flour, the lemon rind, and the salt. Combine mixture well. Add milk in a stream, beating, and combine well. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of cream of tarter until they hold stiff peaks. Stir one forth of the whites into the lemon mixture. Fold in remainder of whites gently, and transfer the mixture to a buttered 1-1/2-quart glass soufflé dish. Set the dish in a deep pan, adding enough boiling water to pan to reach halfway up the sides of the soufflé dish. Bake dessert in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 50 minutes, or until it is puffed and the top golden.

Sift powdered sugar over top and serve dessert warm or chilled. (The sponge will separate, forming a custard sauce on the bottom.)

Spoon the top onto dessert plates, and spoon sauce over each serving.



1/2 pound fresh beef suet, chopped fine
4 cups seedless raisins
2 cups dried currants
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1/2 cup coarsely chopped candied citron
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried figs
1/2 cup coarsely chopped candied orange peel
1/4 cup coarsely chopped candied lemon peel
4 cups coarsely chopped, peeled, cored cooking apples
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2-1/2 cups brandy
1 cup pale dry sherry

Combine suet through cloves in a large mixing bowl and stir all together thoroughly. Pour in brandy and sherry, mix with large wooden spoon until all the ingredients are well moistened. Cover bowl and set the mincemeat aside in a cool place (not the refrigerator) for 3 weeks. Check the mincemeat once a week. As the liquid is absorbed by the fruit, replenish it with sherry and brandy, using about 1/4 cup at a time. Mincemeat can be kept indefinitely in a covered container in a cool place, without refrigeration, but after a month or so you may refrigerate if you like.

MINCE PIES   Back to Top
Recipe makes 8 (2-1/2-inch) pies and requires the following pastry plus 8 teaspoons softened butter and 1-1/2 cups mincemeat.

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into bits
1-1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
3 Tablespoons ice water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. With a pastry brush, coat bottom and sides of 8 (2-1/2-inch) tart tins with the softened butter, allowing 1 teaspoon for each tin.

Combine butter, flour, salt, sugar, either in bowl or food processor. Add enough water to make the mixture just adhere together, so it is not crumbly. Form into ball, wrap in waxed paper and chill for at least one hour.

Roll out onto floured pastry cloth and with a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, cut 16 (3-inch) rounds of pastry. Gently press 8 rounds into tins, one at a time, then spoon about 3 Tablespoons of the mincemeat into each pastry shell. With a pastry brush dipped in cold water, lightly moisten the outside edges of the pastry shells and carefully fit the remaining 8 rounds over them. Crimp the edges with a fork. Trim excess pastry from around rims with a sharp knife, and cut two parallel slits, about 1/2-inch long and 1/4-inch apart in the top of each pie.

Arrange pies on a baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F. and continue baking for 20 minutes more, or until crust is golden brown. Run the blade of a knife around the inside edges of the pies to loosen them slightly, and set them aside to cool in the pans. Then turn out the pies with a narrow spatula and serve.


IRISH PLUM CAKE    Back to Top
Despite its name, plum cake contains no plums.

8 ounces butter
8 ounces sugar
3 eggs
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
3 Tablespoons Lyle's Golden syrup
3 ounces finely ground almonds
4 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
12 ounces milk
2 cups sultanas (golden raisins)
2-1/2 cups currants
Grated rind of 3 oranges
Grated rind of two lemons

Cream butter with sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Beat in the syrup, almond extract and ground almonds. Reserving 1/2 cup of the flour, sieve the remainder with baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition. Coat sultanas and currants with reserved flour and fold into batter along with grated peels. Mix well and pour into a well-buttered tube pan, distributing batter evenly. Bake at 300 deg. F. 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours. Let pan cool for 45 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to further cool.


PORTER CAKE 1    Back to Top

1/2 pint/250 milliliters/1 cup porter
8 ounces / 250 grams/ 1 cup butter
8 ounces/250 grams/ 1 cup brown sugar
2 pounds/ 1 kilogram/ 6 cups mixed dried fruit
(equal quantities currants, raisins, sultanas
with about half as much mixed peel)
1 -/4 pounds/ 1/2 kilograms/ 4 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon mixed spice
grated rind from one small lemon (optional)
3 medium eggs

Melt the butter and sugar in the porter in a saucepan. Add the fruit and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to go cold and add the sieved flour, baking soda, spices and lemon rind. Beat the eggs and mix in with a wooden spoon. Pour into a greased and lined 9-inch/ 25-centimeter cake tin and bake on the middle shelf of a pre-heated oven at gas mark 3, 325°F, 160°C for about 1-3/4 hours. To test the cake, push a skewer into the center; if ready, the skewer will come out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin.

NOTE: Porter is a type of dark Irish beer, not now as widely available as it once was. It is not as strong as stout but Guinness, Murphy's or other Irish stout can be substituted in this recipe if mixed fifty-fifty with water. This cake is quickly and easily made and, though it tastes good fresh from the oven, it is best kept for about a week in an airtight tin.


PORTER CAKE 2    Back to Top

1 pound Flour
1/2 pound Currants
1/2 pound Raisins
1/4 pound Mixed peel
3/4 pound Brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Mixed spice (nutmeg and cinnamon)
Rind of one lemon
1/2 pound Butter
1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
1 Bottle Guinness or stout
4 Eggs

Sift the flour and cut in the butter. Add the fruit, spice, peel, etc. Beat eggs. Heat Guinness or other stout and pour it over the bicarbonate of soda. Pour stout and eggs over dry ingredients. Mix well and beat for 15 minutes. Bake in a well-greased pan in a moderate oven, 350F, for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Keep for a week before cutting. Servings: 4



2 Tablespoons Butter
8 ounces Self-raising flour
6 ounces Freshly mashed potatoes
4 Tablespoons Milk
5 Medium cooking apples
1 Brown or white sugar
2 Whole cloves
1 Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 Tablespoons Cider

Mix the butter into the hot mashed potatoes, add a good pinch of salt, and the flour, and mix well, then add enough milk to make a soft, slack dough. Roll out and line a 1-quart bowl with some of it, reserving enough for the lid. Fill with the apples, peeled and cored and finely sliced, and sweeten to taste with sugar. Add 2 whole cloves, the lemon juice and the cider (or water), taking care not to make it too wet. Dampen the pastry edges, lay the lid on and press down. Cover with foil and secure well. Steam, or cook set in boiling water up to the rim, for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Serve cut in wedges with cream or home-made custard. Servings: 4



1/2 pound Boiled potatoes
1/4 pound Butter, melted
3/4 pound Sugar
3 Almonds, pounded
1 Tablespoon Orange extract
6 Eggs*
4 fluid ounces Whiskey

Mash the potatoes until lump-free. Separate the yolks and whites of the eggs and beat separately; the yolks until lemon-colored, the whites until stiff. Add the almonds, orange extract, sugar and egg yolks to the potatoes; mix well, then add the glass of whiskey, and when combined, fold in the egg whites. Have ready a greased and floured cake pan with a greased piece of butcher paper/baking parchment in the bottom. (Or alternately, prepare 2 pie crusts and fill them with the mixture.) Bake at 375F for 40-45 minutes. Servings: 4

Per serving: 452 Calories; 0 grams Fat (0% calories from fat); 1 grams Protein; 96 grams Carbohydrate; 0 milligrams Cholesterol; 4 milligrams Sodium


QUEEN OF PUDDINGS 1    Back to Top

4 ounces white bread without crusts
1/2 pint cream
1/2 pint of milk
2 ounces unsalted butter
3 eggs separated
grated zest of one lemon
5 ounces caster sugar
4 tablespoons home made jam.

Preheat a moderate 350 degree oven. Generously butter a 2-pint baking dish. Cut up the bread into small cubes or make into course crumbs and scatter in to the baking dish. Warm the milk and butter until he butter milts then blend in the beaten egg yolks grated lemon zest and 3 ounces of the sugar. Pour this custard over the bread and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until set. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold in the remaining sugar. Remove the pudding from the oven spread with the jam and pile the meringue mixture on top. Return to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and crisp. Serve hot with chilled cream..



3 medium slices of white bread
crusts removed
191/2 cups milk
1 heaped tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter
rind of 1 lemon
2 eggs
2 tablespoons seedless red jam
heaped tablespoon sugar
a little Madeira or cream sherry

Heat the milk with the butter, when simmering remove the pan from the heat and add the bread lemon rind and sugar. Allow to stand for 10-15 minutes then beat the mixture until no lumps remain add Madeira to taste. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks into the mixture. Grease a 3-4 cup ovenproof glass dish and pour the mixture into it. Bake in a moderate oven 350 degrees until it is set-about 25 minutes. Spread the jam gently over the top being careful not to break the surface. Whisk the egg whites until stiff add the sugar and whisk again. Spoon the meringue over the pudding making sure to cover the pudding right up to the edges and lifting the spoon to form little peaks. Return the dish to the oven for about 10 minutes until the peaks are a golden brown.



14 ounces unbleached white flour
14 ounces brown sugar
6 ounces butter, cut into bits
1 pound rhubarb, cut into small pieces
2-1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch cloves

Combine flour and brown sugar in mixing bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Place rhubarb in bottom of 9-ich pie plate, sprinkle lemon juice and rind over top, along with sugar and spices. Pile the crumble mixture on top of fruit, pressing down so that fruit is covered. Bake in a 300 deg. F. oven for 20 minutes or until top is golden and filling begins to bubble around edges. May be served hot or cold with a dollop of cream.


RHUBARB FOOL 1    Back to Top

6 to 8 plump sticks of rhubarb
4 ounces/ 25grams/ 1/2 cup sugar
small knob of butter
250 milliliters/ 1/2 pint/ 1 cup whipping cream

Cut the rhubarb into chunks and sweat with the sugar and butter over a low heat until cooked but not mushy. Liquidise or pass through a food mill. When cold, fold into stiffly-whipped cream. Allow to set in the fridge and serve with Lady finger or Boudoir biscuits. Serves 4

NOTE: Apple or gooseberry fool is made in exactly the same way, except that in the case of gooseberries the purée should be sieved to remove pips. It may be necessary to adjust sugar to taste.


RHUBARB FOOL 2    Back to Top

1-1/2 pounds rhubarb
4 to 5 ounce Demerara sugar
A little water
finely grated rind of 1 orange
1/2 pint cream
2 to 3 teaspoons Pernod (optional)

Cut the rhubarb into 2 to 3-inch lengths and put it into a pan with the sugar a very little water and the orange rind. Resist the temptation to over sweeten as it is the tartness of the fruit which is refreshing. Simmer very gently for a few minutes until tender taking care not to overcook so that the bright color isn't lost. Drain and puree. Add a little of the cooking juice if necessary but make sure it isn't too sloppy. Leave to cool then whip the cream lightly and stir in with the Pernod if using- it is not essential but enhances the flavor of the food without being recognizable. (Variation use 1/2 custard, 1/2 cream/ can be frozen and makes a good ice cream.



1 pound Rutabagas
3 Tablespoons Fine breadcrumbs
3 Tablespoons Milk
2 teaspoon Melted butter
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
Large egg, well beaten

Clean, peel and cube the rutabaga, and cook in boiling water until tender, then drain. Mash thoroughly; then add all the other ingredients. Put into a 2-quart casserole and bake at 350F for 1 hour. A pinch of cinnamon or ginger might be added. Servings: 4

Per serving: 356 Calories; 12 grams Fat (29% calories from fat); 6 grams Protein; 58 grams
Carbohydrate; 40 milligrams Cholesterol; 681 milligrams Sodium


SEED CAKE 1    Back to Top

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
6 egg yolks
2-1/2 cups cake flour
4 egg whites at room temp
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1-1/4 teaspoons caraway seeds
12 cup mixed black currants and golden raisins
2 tablespoons Irish whisky
caraway seeds and powdered sugar for dusting top

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. One at a time add the egg yolks with sprinkle of the flour and beat well. Beat the egg whites until light peaks form and fold them into the mixture. Sift together the flour and baking soda and fold them into the mixture. Add the caraway seeds mixed currants and raisins and the whiskey and stir. Pour into a buttered loaf pan and sprinkle the top with more caraway seeds. Bake for one hour until the top is browned. 15 minutes before the end of the hour reduce heat to 325 degrees. Remove to cool on a rack and decorate with powdered sugar sprinkled through a paper doily.


SEED CAKE 2    Back to Top

1 cup butter
4 eggs
heaped one cup sugar
1-1/2 cups self rising flour
1 heaped tablespoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons Kirsch
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream the butter and sugar, beat in the eggs one at a time adding a little flour each time to prevent mixture curdling, fold in the rest of the flour and the caraway seeds stir in the milk and Irish, bake in 8-inch round pan greased for about 1-1/2 hours leave in the pan a few minutes then cool on a wire rack. Dredge the top of the cake with powdered sugar.



8 ounces Butter
4 ounces Caster sugar
8 ounces Plain flour
2 ounces Corn flour

Cream butter and sugar. Add flour and corn flour. Cut into squares or into rounds and bake in a slow oven until done.

Per serving: 1626 Calories; 184 grams Fat (99% calories from fat); 2 grams Protein; 0 grams Carbohydrate; 497 milligrams Cholesterol; 1875 milligrams Sodium


SIMNEL CAKE 1    Back to Top

3 ounces margarine, softened
3 ounces demerara sugar
2 eggs, beaten
8 ounces mixed fruit
4 ounces glace cherries, washed, dried and quartered
2 ounces mixed peel, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground mixed spice
finely grated rind of one lemon
8 ounces flour
2 tablespoons milk
3 ounces marzipan

2 tablespoons apricot jam, warmed
12 ounces marzipan

Line and grease a 7-inch / 18-centimeter round cake tin.

Cream the margarine and sugar, gradually beat in the eggs.

Fold in the mixed fruit, glace cherries, mixed peel, spices, lemon rind and flour. If the mixture is too firm add the milk. Spoon half of the cake mixture into the tin.

Roll out the 3 ounces / 75 grams of marzipan to a 7-inch / 18-centimeter circle, and place this onto the cake mixture. Cover with the remaining cake mixture

Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden. Remove the cake from the tin and allow to cool.

Use 2/3 of the marzipan to make a further 7inch / 18cm circle. Use the remaining marzipan to make 11 small balls.

Brush the top of the cake with jam and place the circle of marzipan over. Arrange the balls around the edge of the cake, fixing them with the remaining jam.

Place under a hot grill until the marzipan begins to turn brown.

Tie yellow ribbon around cake and decorate with flowers.


SIMNEL CAKE 2    Back to Top

225 grams (8 ounces) butter, softened
225 grams (8 ounces) light muscovado sugar
4 eggs
225 grams (8 ounces) self-raising flour
225 grams (8 ounces) sultanas
110 grams (4 ounces) currants
110 grams (4 ounces) quartered glace cherries
50 grams (2 ounces) chopped candied peel
zest of 2 lemons
2 teaspoons mixed spice

450g (1 lb,) almond paste
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 egg beaten, to glaze

Pre-heat oven to 150C / 300F / Gas 2. Butter and line the base and sides of a 20-centimeter (8-inch) deep round cake tin with buttered greaseproof paper. Place all the cake ingredients in a large bowl and beat well until completely blended. Place half the mixture in the prepared tin and level the surface. Take one-third of the almond paste and roll it out into a circle the size of the tin. Place it on top of the cake mixture. Spoon the remaining cake mixture over and smooth the surface. Bake for about 2 hours until well risen and firm to the touch. Cover with foil after 1 hour if the top is browning too quickly. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. When the cake has cooled, brush the top with a little warmed apricot jam and roll out half the remaining almond paste to fit the top. Press firmly on the top and crimp the edges to decorate. Mark a criss-cross pattern on the almond paste with a sharp knife. Form the remaining almond paste into 11 balls to represent the 11 apostles (not counting Judas). Brush the almond paste with beaten egg and arrange the balls around the outside. Brush the tops of the balls with egg as well. Place the cake under a hot grill to turn the almond paste golden. Decorate with crystallized flowers such as violets, primroses and jonquils, if liked.


SIMNEL CAKE 3    Back to Top

225 grams (8 ounces) ground almonds
225 grams (8 ounces) caster sugar
100 grams (4 ounces) icing sugar
1 egg separated
Juice of 0.5 lemon
Few drops of yellow food coloring

175 grams (6 ounces) raisins
175 grams (6 ounces) sultanas
75 grams (3 ounces) cherries, chopped
75 grams (3 ounces) walnut pieces
120 milliliters (8 tablespoons) stout
175 grams (6 ounces) butter, softened
175 grams (6 ounces) soft dark brown sugar
3 medium eggs
225 grams (8 ounces) plain flour
2.5 milliliters (0.5 teaspoon) baking powder
5 milliliters (1 teaspoon) mixed spice

Make the marzipan. Mix almonds and sugars. Add egg yolk, lemon juice and food coloring. Mix to stiffish paste.

Wrap marzipan in film and place in refrigerator.

Place raisins, sultanas, cherries, walnuts and stout into a saucepan, heat until steaming and then stand for 60 minutes. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs. Fold in the sieved flour, baking powder and spice. Carefully stir in the soaked fruit and liquid.

Grease and base line a 18-centimeter (7-inch) deep cake tin, place half the mixture into the tin and flatten out the mixture. Roll out one third of the marzipan into a 18-centimeter (7-inch) circle, and place on the top of the mixture in the tin and add remaining cake mixture.

Cook until pale golden and when a skewer is inserted into the center of the cake it comes out clean.

Fan oven: 140C 2-2.25 hours Conventional oven: preheat 160C 2-2.25 hours Gas oven: preheat Mark 3 2-2.25 hours

Leave cake to stand in tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire tray to cool.

When cold, remove greaseproof paper and brush top of cake with apricot jam.

Roll out another piece of marzipan to fit top of cake and press in position.

Score top of marzipan to make diamond pattern and brush with egg white.

Roll the remaining marzipan into eleven even sized balls and press around the outer edge, brush with egg white.


SIMNEL CAKE 4    Back to Top

1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 teaspoon currants
1 cup chopped candied fruits such as cherries, pineapple slices
2 Tablespoons mixed candied fruit peel
3 eggs beaten lightly
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons brandy

Set the oven 300 degrees

Mix raisins, currants, candied fruits, and candied peel with 1 tablespoon and set aside.

Sift remaining flour, baking powder, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light. Beat in eggs, brandy, and vanilla. A food processor or electric mixer may be used. Beat in flour mix gradually until just combined. Add the fruit and peel mix to the batter and combine well.

Turn the batter into a greased layer-cake pan and press down the surface with the back of a spoon to smooth.

Bake 1-1/4 hours until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool before removing from pan and cool completely before frosting.

Beat 1/3 cup softened butter until light. Gradually beat in 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar until fluffy. Beat in 2 teaspoons vanilla and about 3 Tablespoons milk until smooth. If it seems too thick, add a little more milk.


SIMNEL CAKE 5    Back to Top

1-1/2 cups butter
4 cups sugar
8 eggs
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup grated lemon and orange peel
2 cups currants
8 ounces (or more) almond paste

Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs singly, beating after each one. Sift and add flour and salt. Dust peel and currants with flour and add to batter.

Line 12 x 15-inch greased pan with wax paper. Pour in half of batter. Bake at 300 degrees for one hour. May be iced if desired. Cut cake into small 1-inch squares as it is very rich. (Freezes well.)


SIMNEL CAKE 6    Back to Top

3/4 pound flour
3/4 pound currants
1/4 pound mixed peel
1/2 pound raisins
1/2 pound sultanas
2 ounces ground almonds
1/4 pound margarine
1/2 pound sugar
3 eggs
1/2 nutmeg, grated
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 pound almond paste

Cream margarine and sugar, add eggs and dry ingredients gradually. Put a layer of cake mixture into a greased eight inch tin, add a layer of rolled out almond paste and fill up with remainder of cake mixture. Bake at 350F for two hours. Decorate when cold.


SIMNEL CAKE 7    Back to Top

100 grams / 4 ounces butter
100 grams / 4 ounces caster sugar
3 eggs beaten
150 grams / 5 ounces plain flour, sifted with a pinch of baking powder
Pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
450 g / 1pound mixed currants, raisins and sultanas
50 grams / 2 ounces chopped glace cherries
50 grams / 2 ounces chopped peel
100 grams / 4 ounces ground almonds
2 tablespoons rum
apricot jam
1 egg for glaze
Almond paste
100 grams / 4 ounces caster sugar
100 grams / 4 ounces ground almonds
1 egg beaten
1 teaspoon almond essence

To make the paste, mix all the ingredients thoroughly together and then knead the almond paste for 2 minutes. Roll out 1/3 of the paste to make a circle for the top of the cake. Form the remaining paste into 11 egg shapes.

Line a 10-inch cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Place the butter and sugar into a very large bowl and stir until completely blended, add the eggs and sifted flour with the baking powder, salt and mixed spice.

Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until everything is completely blended.

Let the mixture settle for 1 hour and give it a final stirring.

Put the mixture into the cake tin, and cover top with a piece of greaseproof paper.

Heat the oven to Circotherm 160, gas 3, 170C/325F.

Bake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes. Lower the heat to Circotherm 100, gas 1, 140C/275F for 2 hours.

Remove the cake and allow the cake to cool completely before you
remove it from the tin.

Remove the paper. Turn the cake over and glaze with the apricot
jam. Top with the rolled out almond paste trimming the edge, top
with the small eggs and glaze with the egg and bake in the center
of the oven circotherm 170, gas 4, 180c / 350f for 10 minutes remove
and the cake will keep for 1 month if wrapped in cooking foil and
placed in a sealed tin... Serves 10-12.


SIMNEL CAKE 8    Back to Top

1-1/2 cup butter
1-3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
6 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup sultanas (light raisins)
1/2 cup candied fruit
1 pound currants
1 cup ground almonds
3 (7-ounce) rolls almond paste
1/2 cup simple syrup
1/4 cup rum

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs a little at a time. in a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Fold flour mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in sultanas, candied fruit, currants and almonds. Pour half of batter into greased and paper-lined 9 inch tube pan. Roll out one tube of almond paste into a circle to fit over batter in pan, cutting a hole from the middle to fit over center of tube pan. Cover with remaining cake batter. Bake at 300F 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until cake no longer sticks to wooden pick when pierced.

Turn out and cool on wire rack. Remove paper. Place on serving platter. Combine simple syrup and rum, brush over entire surface of cake. Roll out remaining almond paste into circle large enough to drape over entire cake. Trim center opening and at bottom of cake. Decorate with chocolate and colored piping gel, if desired.

Notes: Simple syrup can be purchased at candy or bakery supply stores and
in some gourmet food stores. To make, simply bring 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to rolling boil. Continue boiling about five minutes or until thin syrup is formed. Cool.

Almond paste is also known as marzipan, be sure to let paste soften at room temperature for easy rolling. With paste trimmed from bottom and center you may mix with food coloring and cut into decorative pieces.


Traditional Irish Easter cake

350 grams / 12 ounces / 2 generous cups best-quality sultanas (golden raisins)
350 grams / 12 ounces / 1-1/2 generous cups best-quality currants
350 grams / 12 ounces / 1-1/2 generous cups best-quality raisins
110 grams / 4 ounces / 1/2 cup natural glace cherries, washed and chopped
110 grams / 4 ounces / 1/2 cup best-quality candied peel
55 grams / 2 ounces / scant 1/2 cup whole almonds, skinned
55 grams / 2 ounces / generous 1/2 cup ground almonds
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
60 milliliters / 2-1/2 fluid ounces / generous 1/4 cup Irish whiskey, optional
225 grams / 8 ounces / 2 sticks butter
225 grams / 8 ounces / 1-1/2 cups pale soft brown sugar
6 eggs, beaten
285 grams / 10 ounces / 2-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice)
1 large or 2 small baking apples, grated

450 grams / 1 pound / 4 cups ground almonds
450 grams / 1 pound / 4 cups caster sugar
2 small eggs
50 milliliter / 2 fluid ounces / 1/4 cup Irish whiskey, optional
a drop of almond essence

Line the base and sides of a 23-centimeter / 9-inch round, or a 20.5-centimeter / 8-inch square tin with brown paper and greaseproof paper.

Mix the dried fruit, nuts, ground almonds and orange and lemon zest. Add the whiskey and leave for 1 hour to macerate.

Meanwhile, make the almond paste. Sieve the sugar and mix with the ground almonds. Beat the eggs, add the whiskey and one drop of pure almond essence, then add to the other ingredients and mix to a stiff paste (you may not need to all the egg).

Sprinkle the work top with icing (powdered) sugar, turn out the almond paste and work lightly until smooth. Set aside.

Cream the butter until very soft, add the sugar, beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs bit by bit, beating well between each addition so that the mixture doesn't curdle. Mix the spice with the flour and fold in gently. Combine the grated apple and the fruit and stir gently but thoroughly into the cake mixture (don't beat again or you will toughen the cake). Put half of the cake mixture into the prepared tin.

Roll out half the almond paste into a 21.5-cm / 8-1/2-inch round, place this on top of the cake mixture in the tin and cover with the remaining mixture. Make a slight hollow in the center and dip your hand in water and pat it over the surface of the cake; this will ensure that the top is smooth when cooked.

Bake in a preheated 160 deg C / 325 deg F / gas3 oven for one hour, then reduce the heat to 150 deg C / 300 deg F / gas2 and bake for a further two hours, or until the cake is cooked (a skewer inserted in the center should come out perfectly clean). Leave to cool in the tin.

Next day remove the cake from the tin. Do not remove the lining paper but wrap in some extra greaseproof paper and tinfoil until required.

When you are ready to ice the cake, roll two-thirds of the remaining almost paste into a 23-centimeter/9-inch round. Brush the cake with a little lightly beaten egg white and top with the paste. Roll the remaining almond paste into eleven balls about the size of a large walnut. Score the top of the cake in 4-centimeter / 1-1/2-inch squares and brush with beaten egg or egg yolk. Stick the apostles' around the outer edge of the top and brush with beaten egg. Toast under a grill in a preheated 220 deg C / 425 deg F / gas7 oven, for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden. Protect the sides with tin foil. Decorate with an Easter chicken.


SIMNEL CAKE 10    Back to Top

12 ounces self raising flour
6 ounces brown sugar
4 ounces butter
2 ounces lard
1 teaspoon nutmeg
6 ounces currants
6 ounces raisins
2 ounces ground almonds
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
Rum or brandy (optional)

Cream the fats and sugar thoroughly, and in a separate bowl mix the flour, spices and almonds. Stir the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with the well beaten eggs. Mix in the fruit and two tablespoons of rum or brandy. Put into prepared tin and bake in a moderate over (325 F) for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300 F for further 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

When cool, brush with warmed apricot jam, cover with marzipan and make balls or egg shapes with some of the marzipan and set them around the edge of the cake. If more color is required, brush with beaten egg white, dust with caster sugar and put in a cool oven for 30 minutes.


SIMNEL CAKE 11    Back to Top

For the Marzipan:
8 ounces caster sugar
8 ounces icing sugar
1 pound ground almonds
2 eggs or 4 yolks
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon almond essence

For the Cake:
8 ounces plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 salt spoon each nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice
6 ounces butter
6 ounces rich dark brown sugar
3 eggs
1 pound currants
8 to 12 ounces Sultanas
4 ounces candied peel
1/4 pint milk
1 level tablespoon black treacle
a little apple jelly or apricot jam
1/2 egg yolk beaten up with a little oil to glaze

Instructions: First make the marzipan-mix sugars and almonds together in a large bowl, make a hollow in the center and drop in the lightly beaten eggs or yolks, lemon juice and almond essence. Mix to a stiff paste, first with a wooden spoon then with hands dusted with icing sugar. Knead well until smooth and free from cracks. If possible leave the ball in a plastic bag in the refrigerator overnight.-bring it back to room temperature just before using.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter and line a deep 8 inch round cake tin.

To make the cake: Sift the flour, salt and spices together, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the lightly beaten eggs a little at a time including a spoonful of the sifted flour and eating well after each addition. When the mixture is thoroughly beaten lightly stir in the remaining flour and then the fruit. Add just enough of the milk to make a fairly stiff batter and the treacle.

Divide the marzipan unevenly in half and roll the smaller piece to the exact size of the inside of the cake tin. Turn half of the cake mixture into the tin level it out and smooth down with the back of a tablespoon and bake in the center of the preheated oven for about 3-1/2 hours or until the top is springy to the touch and the cake is shrinking slightly from the tin. A skewer should come out of the cake clean but the marzipan in the middle makes this method less reliable than usual so be careful not to put the skewer through it. Cool the cooked cake in the tin. when cold turn out remove the papers and brush the top with a little warmed apple jelly or apricot jam sieved if necessary and place the second circle of marzipan on top pressing down well. Mark the top into squares 3/4 to 1-inch wide with a sharp knife and make eleven small balls from the marzipan trimmings. Arrange these around the edge of the cake brush the marzipan lightly with beaten egg and put the cake into a hot oven or under the grill for a few minutes until toasted to a deep golden brown. Alternatively another traditional finish is to run a small pool of pastel colored icing preferably yellow into the center of the marzipan. In either case it can be also decorated with a few tiny marzipan or foil covered chocolate eggs and or Easter chicks.


TEA BRACK    Back to Top

8 ounces brown sugar
1 pound dried mixed fruit
1 pint cold strong tea
1 pound self rising flour
1 heaped tsp mixed spice
2 eggs beaten

The Night before you make the brack place the fruit in the bowl with the brown sugar and pour the tea over it mixing it so the sugar dissolves. Next day preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl with the spice. Add the fruit mixture and the beaten eggs mixing well and making sure there are no lumps of flour remaining. If the mixture seems very stiff add a little milk. Place in a greased and lined 8-inch cake tin and bake for 90-95 minutes. After the first hour cover with aluminum foil to keep the edges browning too fast. After removing from the oven, leave in the pan for 2-3 minutes; then turn out of pan and cool on a wire rack.


IRISH TEA BREAD    Back to Top

12 Tablespoons Strong tea
1 pound Mixed dried fruit
6 ounces Soft brown sugar
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 ounce Butter (melted)
9 ounces All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda

The mixed fruit can include raisins, currants, and any other kind of dried fruit you like; chop any larger pieces down to about raisin size. Place the tea, mixed fruit and sugar in a bowl; cover and leave overnight. Stir in the egg and melted butter. Sieve the flour and the bicarb together and fold them in. Line the bottom of a large loaf pan with baking parchment, and brush the whole inside of the pan with melted butter. Pour the mixture in and smooth the top. Bake in a preheated oven (360 F) on the middle shelf for 1-1/2 hours. After removing from the oven, leave in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes; then turn out of pan and cool on a wire rack. Servings: 4


TEA LOAF    Back to Top

12 fluid ounces Cold Tea
6 ounces Raisins
6 ounces Sultanas
10 ounces Self-rising flour
7 ounces Soft brown sugar
1 Egg

Steep fruit and sugar in cold tea overnight. Add egg and flour. Put in a 1 pound loaf tin and cook for 1 hour 45 minutes at 350F or gas mark 4.


TIPSY CAKE    Back to Top

1 pound Stale cake (pound, angel)
3 Tablespoon Jam
1 Measure whiskey
5 fluid ounces Sherry
1 pint Warm custard
10 fluid ounces Whipped cream

Break up the cake or cakes and gently mix the jam through -- the mixture does not have to be completely even. Place in a glass bowl. Mix sherry and whisky and sprinkle over cake. Press down lightly. Pour custard over the cake, and chill. Then spoon whipped cream over top and serve. Servings: 4



1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
1 teaspoon flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/4 teaspoon brandy extract
1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 large winesap apple, cored and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons margarine or butter, melted
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple jelly

Heat oven to 425°F. Prepare pie according to package directions for filled one-crust pie using 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. (Refrigerate remaining crust for later use).

Place prepared crust in bottom and up sides of pan. Trim edges. Do not prick crust. Partially bake crust for 10 minutes. If crust puffs up, gently press back to bottom and sides of pan with back of wooden spoon.

In a small bowl combine nuts, 1/4 cup flour, sugars and margarine with fork. Stir in brandy extract. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over bottom of pie crust-lined pan. Arrange apple slices over nut mixture alternating red and green apple slices. Bake for 20 minutes.

Combine melted margarine, lemon juice and apple jelly; brush over tart just before serving. 8 servings.

''... And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.'

- Irish poet W.B. Yeats



Servings: 4

2 T Irish whiskey
2 T Ginger marmalade
1 x Rind of 1 lemon, grated
2 T Superfine sugar
10 fl Heavy cream, chilled
2 ea Egg whites

(If no store near you carries ginger marmalade, use an equivalent amount of lemon marmalade mixed with 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, or 1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger.)

Put the whiskey, marmalade, lemon rind and sugar in a bowl. Stir well, then leave the mixture to stand for at least 15 minutes. Stir the cream slowly into the whisky mixture until evenly blended, then beat with an electric or rotary beater until thick. Beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the cream mixture until well blended. Spoon into 4 individual wine glasses or sundae dishes, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Serve chilled, with brandy snaps or ginger snaps.



1 lemon
3/4 cup (1-1/2-sticks) sweet butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 egg yolks
1-1/8 cups (about 4 ounce) pecan meal*
1/4 cup Irish whiskey
1 cup flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder

Three or four hours before making the cake, thinly peel the lemon (removing as little of the white pith as possible) and set this zest to macerate in the Irish whiskey for at least three hours, reserving the rest of the lemon for some other purpose. Afterwards, remove the peel, mince a scant teaspoon's worth and return to the whiskey, discarding the remaining pieces.

Preheat the oven to 350oF. Cream the butter, both the sugars, and egg yolks together for several minutes, until the mixture is silky smooth. Pour the lemon-flavored whiskey with its minced peel into the pecan meal. Stir this together and beat into the cake batter until well blended. Sift together the flour and baking powder and stir into the batter. When this is well incorporated, scrape the batter into a buttered and floured 9-inch (preferably springform) pan. Gently smooth the batter with a spatula and put into the preheated oven to bake for one hour. Then turn off the heat and, the oven door put ajar, let the cake cool in the oven for fifteen minutes. Remove, release the sides of the pan (or otherwise free its contents), and put the cake on a rack to cool. The cake tastes even better the next day: it does not need refrigeration and will keep in a cake tin for at least a week.

* Pecan meal is available from Sunnyland Farms (P O Box S Albany GA 31703) at a very reasonable price. You can make your own by mincing pecan bits into as fine a powder as possible. Be careful using a food processor to do this - it is easy to end up with pecan butter, instead.



8 ounces Raisins
Grated rind of 1 lemon
150 milliliters Whiskey
6 ounces Softened butter
3 Eggs
6 ounces Soft brown sugar
6 ounces Plain flour
1 pinch Salt
1 pinch Ground cloves
1 teaspoon Baking powder

Juice of 1 lemon
8 ounces Powdered sugar
Warm water as needed
Crystallized lemon slices*

*As garnish, if desired. -- Put the raisins and grated lemon rind into a bowl with the whiskey, and leave overnight to soak. Grease a 7-inch cake pan, and line the bottom with parchment; preheat oven to 350F. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Separate the eggs and sift the flour, salt, cloves and baking powder into a bowl. Beat the yolks into the butter and sugar one by one, including a spoonful of flour and beating well after each addition. Gradually add the whiskey and raisin mixture, alternating with the remaining flour. Do not over-beat at this stage. Finally, whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the mixture with a metal spoon. Turn into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 1-1/2 hours, or until well risen and springy to the touch ~- or test with a skewer: when it comes out clean, the cake's ready. Turn out and cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, make the icing by mixing the lemon juice with the sieved powdered sugar and just enough water to make a pouring consistency. Put a dinner plate under the cake rack to catch the drips, and pour the icing over the cake a tablespoonful at a time, letting it dribble naturally down the sides. Don't worry if a lot of it ends up on the plate underneath -- just scoop it up and put it on top again. When the icing has set, it can be decorated with crystallized lemon slices if you like. Servings: 8



1 package white cake mix
8 ounces instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
1 cup Irish whiskey
4 large eggs
1 cup crushed walnuts

1 stick of sweet butter (unsalted)
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. water
1 cup of Irish whiskey, divided

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour Bundt pan. Blend cake mix and pudding mix. In another bowl, mix milk, oil and whiskey. Add liquids to dry mix. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix two minutes at medium speed. Stir in walnuts. Turn batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1-1/2 hours or until lightly browned and tests done. Prepare glaze by melting butter. Add sugar, water and 1 Tablespoon whiskey. Bring to a light boil. Simmer ten minutes. Remove from heat. Cool. Stir in remaining whiskey. When cake is done, remove from oven and pour glaze over cake in pan. Let cool on rack one hour. Turn cake out onto plate or dish. Cake needs to mellow at least 12 hours before serving. Store cake, upside down and covered in cake tin.


WHISKEY CAKE 4    Back to Top

1/2 lb self rising-flour
6 oz butter
6 oz brown sugar
2 tablespoons whisky
3 eggs
1/4 lb cherries quartered
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 pound chopped almonds (reserve a few for the top)

Soak the nuts in the whisky for about an hour. Cream butter and sugar. Add the beaten eggs nuts and whisky, flour, baking powder and salt. Bake in a moderate oven for 3/4 hour (350).





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