Saturday, February 23, 2013


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I don't know what got me into a tizzy the other day about making my own version of homemade vegan Irish Cream-style liqueur-- maybe someone reminded me about St. Patrick's Day coming up and, being married to a Grogan, it stirred up my creative juices. Whatever got into me, I was on a roll.  (Just for the record, tasting was in VERY small amounts!)

I don't drink much, but I've always enjoyed a little Bailey's when it was offered, and I actually found a bottle in the back of a kitchen cupboard (left behind by a guest at Christmas) with a tiny bit left in it which I could use judiciously to judge the taste of my own concoction.

I wanted my recipe to be simple to make, with easily-available ingredients; to NOT involve a can of full-fat coconut milk (too much fat, and saturated fat, for my taste, plus I didn't want a coconut flavor); to be as similar as possible in texture and flavor to Bailey's; and to not separate on standing. I decided to use So Delicious Original Coconut Creamer (which is deliciously creamy without tasting coconut-y, but only 10 calories a tablespoon) as the base for my mixture. NOTE: I don't know the non-dairy creams that are available worldwide, but whatever product you use instead of the So Delicious creamer/cream alternative should have only about 10 calories per tablespoon in order to match the nutritional stats of this recipe. You could use your favorite soy creamer or, if you don't mind a bit more fat, use a homemade creamer (but don't make it too thick-- think coffee creamer consistency), but add the nuts that are in the recipe as well.

My first batch tasted very good, but I added far too much vegetable gum in an attempt to make it a little creamier, which resulted in a kind of pudding-like gloppy mixture (I'll use it in desserts). My second batch is a winner, I think. I blended raw cashews (softened in the hot espresso) with the rest of the ingredients for just the right amount of creaminess, and this time I was very sparing with the guar gum (you can use xanthan instead, if you like), which accomplished what I was hoping it would-- keeping the mixture from separating without thickening it too much.

I hope you will enjoy making and imbibing this treat for your St. Patrick's Day.

Printable Recipe (includes no-fat chocolate sauce recipe)

Servings: 24/ 1-ounce servings
Yield: 3 cups

1/2 cup chopped raw cashews (measure after chopping)
(Update Feb. 2017: Because of certain concerns , I have been replacing raw cashews in recipes with raw, shelled Brazil nuts lately.)   
1/4 cup HOT freshly-brewed fair trade organic espresso or strong coffee
1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) So Delicious Original Coconut Creamer or other not-too-sweet vegan  creamer, such as this homemade one (See NOTE in paragraph 3 above) 
3/4 cup Irish whiskey (Jamesons or Bushmills are recommended-- both are vegan)  
(See a list here for more vegan Irish whiskey brands.)
10 tablespoons (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) granulated unbleached organic sugar  
2 Tbs No-Fat Chocolate Sauce (see recipe below) OR Wax Orchards (Fat-Free) Classic Fudge Sauce  
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract  
1 tsp pure almond extract  
1/8 tsp guar gum (no more than this!)  
1 pinch salt  
Soak the chopped nuts in the hot espresso while you assemble the other ingredients.

Place the creamer, whiskey, sugar, chocolate sauce, vanilla and almond extracts, guar gum and salt in a blender. Add the nuts and coffee. Cover and blend at high speed until the liquid is absolutely smooth and not grainy at all when rubbed between your fingers. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, bottle and refrigerate.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition per ounce/2 tablespoons:
69.2 calories; 18% calories from fat; 1.5g total fat; 0.0mg saturated fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 35.1mg sodium; 7.9g carbohydrates; 0.1g fiber; 7.2g sugar

Servings: 8 (2 tablespoons per serving)
Yield: 1 cup
This also makes a good icing or filling when cold.

2/3 cup non-dairy milk
2/3 cup brown sugar or granulated organic unbleached sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened organic fair trade cocoa powder
4 tsp organic cornstarch
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In blender mix the first 4 ingredients until smooth.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat in a small saucepan until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. (Or cook in the microwave at 100% power in a microwave-safe bowl or pitcher for 1 minute; whisk and microwave 1 minute more; whisk.) Stir in the vanilla.

Serve warm or cold. Refrigerate in a covered jar for storage. Use cold or reheat in the microwave at low power, or in a double boiler over simmering water on the stovetop.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 2 tablespoons): 82.8 calories; 5% calories from fat; 0.7g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 12.8mg sodium; 68.8mg potassium; 20.5g carbohydrates; 1.3g fiber; 17.4g sugar



narf7 said...

What a gorgeous concoction Bryanna! We don't actually have ANY non dairy creamers here unless you count the powdered "Coffeemate" that I would rather suck cardboard than consume. I guess I might have to mess about with finding a recipe online to approximate the non dairy creamer? I get another chance to learn something new :). Cheers for a lovely recipe, for reminding me that it is St Patricks Day and for constantly striving to make the world a better place for we vegans :)

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks, narf7! Here are a few suggestions:
Idea #1) if you can get a powdered soy milk or rice milk (a good tasting one such as Better Than Milk), perhaps online, you could make it double strength and use that as the creamer.

idea #2) Here is a homemade creamer recipe that I have been "playing with" for some time, but you need some soy or rice protein powder to make it. they are available online.

Bryanna's Homemade Nondairy Coffee Creamer makes 1 cup
This tastes rich and doesn't separate in a hot beverage. Add more milk if it's too thick for you.
To make it:
Blend together until VERY smooth:
1 cup soy or almond milk or other favorite
2 tablespoons soy or rice protein powder

Whisk in:
2 tsp. cornstarch

Cook in a small pot over med-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened. OR cook in a 1 qt. microwave-safe bowl or pitcher on 100% power for 1 minute; whisk and cook 1 minute more.

Stir in:
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons light vegan sugar
Place in a covered jar and refrigerate.

Idea #3) This will be higher in fat and calories, but not high in saturated fat like coconut milk, but a homemade nut cream would work. This is from my book "World Vegan Feast":
NUT CREAM (makes 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons):

1/4 cup chopped blanched raw almonds, raw cashew pieces, or raw skinned Brazil nuts or hazelnuts (or filberts) Tip: See below for how to blanch nuts and remove skins.

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon maple syrup or other sweetener

1 pinch salt

Process everything for 3 minutes (don't cheat!) in a blender (not in a food processor).

Nut Milk (makes 1 cup + 2 tablespoons):
Add 1/2 cup of water to the Nut Cream.)

Nut “Buttermilk”: Curdle the nut milk or cream with a bit of lemon juice to use instead of buttermilk in cooking and baking.
You can use cashew or Brazil Nut Cream and milk "as is". You might prefer to strain the almond or hazelnut (filbert) cream or milk through fine cheesecloth (squeeze every last drop out and use the resulting pulp in granola or as a facial scrub).

Keep the liquids in tightly sealed jars in the refrigerator. Raw nut milks and crèmes don’t last long and should be made fresh, in small quantities, every 2 to 3 days if you use them regularly.

#1) Nut milk and cream will separate in the refrigerator-- just shake the jar before use.
#2) Homemade nut milks and crèmes are delicious on desserts, cereal and fruit and in beverages. #3) For cooking, omit the syrup and salt.

How to Skin Raw Hazelnuts (or Filberts), Brazil Nuts and Almonds
#1) For hazelnuts (and filberts) and Brazil nuts, bring 2 cups water to boil with 3 tablespoons baking soda. Add the nuts and blanch for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and rinse the nuts in a colander under cold running water-- the skins will slide off.

#2) For almonds, place them in boiling water for about a minute, then drain them in a colander and plunge them into cold water. Squeeze each almond between your thumb and forefinger and the almond will pop out of the skin (be careful or they will shoot across the room!).

Renard Moreau said...

[ Smiles ] I never thought about vegan Irish cream; it looks like a recipe that I would be willing to try.

Please keep up the good work!

Matt said...


You're a wizard. A magic one. I really look forward to making this - and we can get Mimic-creme here... It's so good, woohoo! Thanks!!

Nezumi said...

I made it with your homemade creamer recipe. It taste amazing even though it's been a while since I had Bailey's.
Bravo Bryanna!

Audrey said...

I noticed you mention xanthan as a sub for guar gum - stoked because that means I have everything to make this! Would I use just slightly less xanthan?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Audrey, according to the page on Bob's Red Mill about these gums, in cold foods you can use about the same amount of either one.