Hello! I'm travelling to the U.S. for a close school friend's wedding on New Year's Day at her home. She has asked us not to give gifts but instead to bring a dish (appetizer, side, main, dessert) for after. As I will be staying with a friend, I will have facilities to cook over. I can also bring some Irish ingredients with me. Can you suggest an uncomplicated but at the same time "impressive" dish that I could make and bring, please? Any help you could give would be much, much appreciated! Thanks very much!
We are not sure if you particularly wanted to contribute a dish with an Irish theme but we would certainly suggest Nigella's Irish Cream Tiramisu as an easy dish to make, and one that is a real crowd pleaser. The recipe can be found in Nigella Express and also see the related recipe link. The recipe should make enough for a 20x20cm/8 x 8 inch dish and you could easily double the quantities. The ingredients should be readily available in most US supermarkets, though you may like to take your favourite liqueur with you. Most US supermarkets sell square foil pans in this size which come with plastic lids for easy transportation of foods. The only thing you will need to bear in mind is that the recipe contains uncooked eggs so may not be suitable for those with a weakened immune system, such as children or the elderly. Also you will need to make sure that there are facilities to keep the tiramisu chilled as it should not stand at room teperature for more than an hour.
You could also consider the Guinness Chocolate Cake from Feast or the Guinness Gingerbread from Kitchen. Pavlovas are also easy to make in advance and look very impressive, though you would need to whip the cream and add toppings just before serving. Nigella has many recipes but our current favourite is the Cappucino Pavlova from Nigellissima (and the recipe is also available on Nigella's website). You will need to use US heavy cream for whipping (sometimes labelled as heavy whipping cream) and this cream can take longer to whip than UK double cream. Also if you are flavouring the cream (something like an Irish cream liqueur would be good) then whip the cream first and add the flavouring at the end.
Please be aware that the US has many restrictions on the import of foodstuffs. For guidance please see the US Customs and Border Protection Agency website: