75ml/3fl oz double cream, well chilled
2 tbsps light muscovado sugar
2 tbsps whiskey
2 tbsps Baileys
2 tbsps Kahúla (coffee liqueur)
300ml/11fl oz freshly brewed piping-hot espresso coffee
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, to decorate
I've perfected this recipe over time and believe it really is the best-ever Irish coffee. Heat the glasses, if you can be bothered (to keep the coffee hot for longer), by pouring boiling water over them from a kettle and turning them carefully so that they do not crack. Or you could take glasses straight from the dishwasher while still hot. Serves two.
Place the cream in a bowl and whip lightly, then chill until needed. Heat a small, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Sprinkle the sugar over the base of the frying pan and heat for one minute, without stirring -- the sugar will caramelise. Pour in the whiskey and quickly light with a match or flambé -- the sugar will seize and harden, but don't worry as it will melt again once the flames die down. Stir in the Baileys and Kahúla and cook over a high heat for three to four minutes until smooth, stirring constantly to help the sugar dissolve.
Divide the alcohol mixture between two hefty, thick-stemmed glasses (both about 250ml/9fl oz in capacity) then carefully pour in the coffee. Then, over the back of a metal spoon, carefully pour a layer of cream on top (the spoon trick really is worth doing as it helps prevent the cream from sinking). Add a tiny grating of nutmeg and serve at once.
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