Saturday, March 12, 2011

Baileys, Baileys, Baileys...Oh! (Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur)

Homemade Irish Cream

My plan had been to start this post with an explanation of its silly title, inspired by the Justin Bieber song "Baby" that inexplicably got stuck in my head this week. But in light of the devastating natural disasters that have struck and continue to threaten those in Japan, I think it's more appropriate to instead take a minute of silence and also entreat you to help those affected in any way you can, small or large.

I don't know many people personally in Japan, but I immediately thought of my blogger friend E and casual college buddies J and H. Fortunately, they all communicated they were safe via email or Facebook. Isn't technology wonderful at times like these? My boyfriend P had taught English in Japan for a year and also had friends/students he was concerned about but who all turned out to be okay, thankfully.

To be honest, with all the natural disasters that have been in the news in recent years, the impact of this one didn't hit me for at least a few hours. It wasn't until I saw footage of the rising water swallowing up whole towns, cars and people being swept away like little toys, and other people trapped on rooftops, that the reality of it all flooded in. I honestly have no idea and can't even imagine what it's like to be in Japan right now. But I'll definitely be keeping all of those affected by this disaster close in my thoughts and in my heart.

Homemade Irish Cream

On a lighter note, I do still want to share my latest Irish-themed treat just in time for St. Patrick's Day (March 17) festivities. Now I'm not a big alcohol drinker (not even beer) but man do I love Baileys Irish Cream. Let's keep this just between you and me ;p but my dad actually let me try it in my early teens. Immediately I was mesmerized by its smooth creamy texture, well-balanced coffee and chocolate flavors, and gentle whiskey kick.

What I haven't loved as much is the hefty price tag on the store-bought version. Until recently, this factor alone limited my enjoyment of Irish cream to maybe twice a year only. Well those days are at an end, my friends. Would you believe you can make a delicious and less expensive homemade version in 5 minutes? Not only can I enjoy sipping on Irish cream on the rocks more often, this discovery is also inspiring all sorts of Irish cream-based recipes from cupcakes to cheesecakes and beyond. And homemade liqueur is even great to give as gifts. If you or your friends are Baileys-lovers like me, you simply must try this recipe =D.

Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur [Printable Recipe]
Adapted from Allrecipes
Makes about 1 quart (4 cups)

XIAOLU'S NOTES: I decreased the amount of whiskey from the original recipe because I made it and the alcoholic burn was a bit much for me (though still tasty). Feel free to reduce it even more, or increase it as high as 1 2/3 cups depending on your taste preference. I also substituted half the cream with milk with no ill effect on taste. For a super rich version, use all cream. Some recipes I've come across use up to 4 raw eggs per quart of cream liqueur. I've left that out, but feel free to experiment and tell me how it turns out!

1 tsp instant coffee granules
2 tsp unsweetened natural cocoa powder
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
3/4 cup milk
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp honey
1 to 1 1/2 cups Irish whiskey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)

In a small bowl or cup, mix together instant coffee, cocoa powder, and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream until smooth. Using a conventional or hand-held immersion blender, combine the coffee cocoa mixture, remaining heavy cream, milk, sweetened condensed milk, honey, Irish whiskey, vanilla extract, and almond extract and blend on high for 20 to 30 seconds. Transfer to a container, seal tightly, and store in the refrigerator. For the best flavor, let chill at least overnight to allow the flavors to meld together. Shake well before using. This should keep for up to 2 months.

79 comments:

  1. Oh, marvelous! I'm such a fan of this drink and would love to taste the homemade version.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. I love Bailey's and cream on the rocks! :))) your recipe sounds delish! It's been ages since I last took a sip of this smooth and creamy drink.

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  3. OMG OMG i loooove Bailey's :)))) I have to do that :) that is such a girly drink, my friends and I adore it!!

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  4. This is so cool! Though I am surprised when you mentioned that the Irish cream liqueur is so expensive. In Singapore, it is definitely one of the cheaper liqueur available. Cheaper than whisky... But I agree that this recipe will allow you to flavor it differently.

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  5. I very much doubt it will keep for two months:)

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  6. I LOVE that you did a homemade version of this! I'm going to try it, and put it over vanilla ice cream. Mmmm. I'm so excited to try!!

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  7. Just the thing to wash down a slice of irish soda bread. Or drink on it's own. Or with a guinness. ;)

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  8. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us about Japan. It is so sobering to see those images of destruction on TV.


    As for your recipe, it is a unique and tempting one! I love the way it looks in that bottle. Enjoy your festivities!

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  9. Thanks everyone!

    Shirley - The per volume cost of Baileys and Irish whiskey is about the same here, but since the recipe calls for only a cup of whiskey, you can make 3 quarts of Irish cream out of 750 mL of whiskey. Including the other ingredients, I'd estimate the cost of the homemade Irish cream to be about half that of the storebought Baileys.

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  10. I actually have an almost finished bottle of bailey's sitting on my counter and was going to buy another one once that was finished...not anymore! Thanks for this recipe!

    You really did a beautiful job describing the tragedy that went on this week. The sadness is palpable, that's for sure...for all of us.

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  11. Can't wait to try this baileys, and you say it will keep for 2 months that is great.

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  12. I have a very similar recipe - actually, a few - as I have a Thermomix and it is perfect for making these rich sweet - and usually eggy liquerus that are usually cooked for a period of time. I see this one isn't. It does look specatular and I love this kind of treat for gift giving! Is one cup of whisky enough? ;)
    Valerie

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  13. O I wish I would have made this before I bought some to bake with!

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  14. Thanks again you guys.

    A Canadian Foodie - I commented in my notes about noticing some recipes having egg. I'd love to hear if that version tastes very similar to store-bought? Also, I mention above that the original recipe calls for 1 2/3 cups of whiskey which was too strong for me. I lowered it to 1 cup but people with stronger likings to alcohol are welcome to replace some of the milk with more whiskey instead.

    Nell - aw sorry! Next time, then :).

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  15. i love baileys too, especially with milk :)

    over here, whiskey and baileys are about the same price, but this recipe will be good should i want differently flavored irish cream liqueur :D

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  16. I'm glad we have that in common, Janine! Per volume, whiskey and Baileys are similarly priced, but since this recipe makes 4 cups of Irish cream from 1 cup of whiskey, it's at least 1/2 the price of buying prepared Irish cream.

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  17. I love Baileys but like you find it crazy expensive. I'm thinking a can of coconut milk instead of the carnation. How good would that be?

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  18. Wow, I would never have thought that this was something you could make at home, I wonder what else you could make, kalua maybe? Hmm...

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  19. i don't drink alcohol anymore but that looks yummy!

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  20. I would never ever think of making alcohol at home but this looks so easy and cost effective I can't pass it up! Bailey's was a treat my friends and I only discovered once we were old enough to shop at the liquor stores ourselves. Love it!

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  21. WHat a fabulous idea!!!! thank you! and thanks for sharing the thoughts on Japan...feels like the end of the world sometimes. scary. this 2012 thing ain't no joke. glad your close ones are safe.

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  22. How decadent! I've never had Baileys, but now I'm quite tempted to concoct a vegan version based on your recipe... ;)

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  23. Inspired! What a great way to make a toast on St. Patrick's Day ... for the ones who can't take a full-spirited Irish whiskey shot for tossing back! Much more genteel! Air do shlainte!

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  24. I am so thrilled about your post; I love this drink and I am sure if I made it from scratch like you did it would be miles better tasting! Thanks for a great idea!

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  25. Lovely photo! Did not even know we could make this at home, brings back great memories for me while I was studying in London.

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  26. Can you make ice-cream out of this? I don't know why. When I saw these, I think of ice-cream. :O

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    1. Sorry I missed this for so long. It's true the whisky freezes at a lower temperature, but I believe that actually makes the ice cream smoother. Here is a recipe and you can find other variations online as well: http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/baileys-ice-cream-1845

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  27. Mmmh, I never ever tried to attempt making something like this. Sounds delicious!

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  28. You had me at baileys! I love them on the rock.

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  29. Mmm! I've had homemade "Baileys" and it's always good. I'm sure this is wonderful!

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  30. I will definately try this one too!

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  31. I want to come over and steal your props ;) <3

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  32. Wow, this is such a fantastic post and recipe idea. Congrats on the top 9! Great photos too.

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  33. It's been forever since I've had baileys.... the taste and smell is coming right back to me... I wanted to thank you again for your message, and your sincerity and compassion. Our family is safe, and found, but there are so many more North who are struggling.

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  34. The news about Japan and all of these natural disasters is just so soberingly awful. A friend of mine is in Tokyo at the moment but she is ok.

    This home made Baileys is a brilliant idea!

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  35. Oooh Xiaolu, A very Inspirational recipe! Love this homemade Baileys.I can't wait to try this recipe :)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings about Japan. Glad your friends are safe.

    Have a good day,

    Aldy.

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  36. I would've never thought to make this myself! Great recipe idea!

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  37. Wow beautiful pictures.. gorgeous shots. Love the Recipe so much.. Thanks for sharing :)

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  38. This looks so delicious! I also love your container. Can you tell me where you got it? Thanks!

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  39. love your post. Would never even have considered how to make this. Yum !

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  40. I don't think I can say no to your homemade Irish cream liqueur. It looks great!!

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  41. Thanks, all! I'm glad you liked this idea =D.

    Sala - please feel free to ask me if you want to borrow something :).

    Elle - I'm glad your family is ok. Yes I've been following developments on the news, the toll just keeps rising and the nuclear plant situation has me quite on edge. I can only imagine how it is over there.

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  42. Hi Xiaolu

    Loving every bit of your space, again both irish cream & the Glassware are divine

    Promise to keep coming back

    cheers, sonia

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  43. I'm sure the home-made Bailey's is lovely. The gorgeous silver dish and the beautiful decanter also have me captivated

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  44. oh i love baileys! thank you for sharing :O)

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  45. What a lovely idea, I love Baileys and it's that much more special when you make it yourself!

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  46. Xiaolu I have to admit, I've been feeling guilty having a good time when Japan is going through so much. I know it's silly, but I can't help myself.

    I didn't realize Irish Cream was so simple to make at home. This has to be way better than the store version! When I get home, I'm going to make a batch from my brother's Birthday. What a nice present idea.

    Laura

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  47. I do feel for the people of Japan. At the same time, I do hope that the stimulus money that they are putting into their economy will help them overcome their long-term financial troubles. Something good out of something negative, I hope...
    I didn't even think of Irish cream liqueur as something that could be made at home. What a great idea for St. Patrick's!

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  48. So happy to have found this! I, too, love Bailey's, but boy can that stuf get expensive. Glad to see it can be made at home :) Your photos are lovely, too, btw!

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  49. oh i looove baileys. homemade? genious.

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  50. This totally beats corned beef and cabbage any day. Mmm, homemade Bailey's -- now we're talkin'! ;)

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  51. Love this recipe -- I had no idea how easy it was to make your own baileys. I use to pour it over vanilla ice cream! Thanks to you I can now have it whenever I please, I knew there was a reason why I adored you so much :)

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  52. Thanks everyone!

    OMG Joy...why did you just put that idea in my head. I have ice cream that "needs" to be used up in my over-crowded fridge right now....can't resist...*dashes to the kitchen*

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  53. Oh wow, I didn't know that Bailey's can be homemade! Awesome :)

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  54. This homemade Baileys has gotta be way better than the bottled one. So fresh & full of flavor I bet! Sounds like you had fun with this one :)

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  55. Yes, I love this!!! Many many many thanks for sharing!

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  56. Love this X. And Japan is suffering so much right now. Radiation, families losts, its hearbreaking.

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  57. Love Baileys, don't love the pricetag so much. Will definitely be trying your homemade version. Sounds really good.

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  58. I am a terrible drinker. I have the dreaded Asian gene where I go absolutely red when a drop of alcohol touches my tongue. When I do drink a bit, I always love a small sip of Bailies. Thank you for this lovely recipe.

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  59. Thanks again, everyone =D.

    Tinytearoom - I have that Asian gene somewhat as well though I can build up a tolerance if I drink more over time. But honestly it's more cost-efficient to keep that low tolerance =p. I do hope you entry this homemade Baileys, even if it's a small sip at a time 8D.

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  60. I have to pass over this recipe to the hubby :-) he is passionate about mixing things and I am about tasting them, the Irish cream being one of my fave dessert drink.

    The video of the waves going over everything is something I cannot get out of my mind... it looked so unreal, like a movie and so horrific to think that there were real people out there, getting swept away in seconds - so helpless. Still having goosebumps thinking about it. Heartbreaking.

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  61. What a brilliant idea, I've never thought of making my own Baileys before, yours looks absolutely perfect. x

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  62. i just remembered I added amaretto because I didnt have almond extract,ahh could that of been why it curdled. I used whipping cream thats what we have in canada and 2% milk. I have stained it that has helped a bit, and it tastes good just keeps curdling,lol..

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  63. Hi there! I'm so sorry to hear that it curdled. Did you try to contact me before about this problem? Because I don't recall seeing a message. Either way, I wouldn't expect Amaretto to curdle the cream either unless it has some sort of acid. Maybe there was some residual acid on your mixing bowl, utensil, or container? I would check that first. Glad it still tastes good though!

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  64. Yumm I love Bailey's! This recipe is both awesome and evil haha.

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  65. Anonymous - it also occurred to me that if you overbeat it, perhaps the cream might start to form clumps of butter? I'm not sure if it's still concentrated enough to do that but it's a thought...

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  66. This. Is. Amazing. I totally need to make this, as soon as possible.

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  67. I totally agree with your comments regarding the price of store bought baileys. Making your own is fab and I'll sure be making some very soon, thanks.

    You are welcome to join in my food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here all bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.

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  68. I've been making this Bailey's recipe for years, mine is a bit diferent, but sooooo delicious. During Christmas time I fill decorative bottles, add an ornament and some ribbon and give as gifts! My friends keep asking for more every year! It does keep for two or more months in the frig, the alcohol keeps the dairy products preserved. Enjoy!!

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  69. The Hair Salon sheffield uk tried your recipe and it was a hit, well i did use a touch more whisky. tried it with Jd wow it is amazing. many thanks

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  70. Thanks for the feedback! So glad that people are enjoying this =D.

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  71. This is fantastic! I used Agave Nectar instead of the honey and Almond Milk instead of the white milk and almond extract, just because that was what I had in the house. It was sogood I ran a cup right down the street to my sister who had brought me some homemade kaluha the night before. I was soooo glad to find a recipe without raw eggs!!! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. So glad this worked out well for you =D. Happy Holidays!

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  72. Tigerfish:
    I don't think Liqueur freezes so you will have to settle for pouring it over Ice Cream..

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I love hearing from you all! Please leave me a message if you have questions, advice, or just to let me know you stopped by. Your feedback is always very much appreciated. Thanks! <3 Xiaolu