Ask Peabody….

My husband teases that I should have a whole other website called “Ask Peabody”, for I get many an email each day asking me a variety of baking and cooking questions.
Some are quick and easy. Like, can I make this cake into a cupcake and how long should I bake them for if I can.
Some are tricky. Like, we ate at the restaurant and had this great Sea Bass with a yellow sauce. What do you think was in the sauce? Ummm, yeah, I’m going to need a little more than that.
I try and help a lot of people figure out “family” recipes that they only know the ingredients to but not the actual measurements. Sometimes I am helpful, sometimes not. :)
Sometimes people ask me about recipes on my blog. The really hard ones are when they ask me to remember recipes from 2 ½ years ago. My brain simply doesn’t work that well. So I have to go back and desperately try to remember what I did. I mean I have the recipe but they ask me to remember what the texture was and what not. Sometimes I just can’t.
If I think I can help, I try. If I know it wont be possible, I tell them so. Sometimes people don’t take that well. I just want to remind people I do this for free…so if I can’t help, please don’t take it out on me that I can not recreate the meal you had with your husband 16 years ago at a restaurant that no longer exists.
One woman, Michelle, whom I hope this is helping asked me a long while ago if I could help recreate a Bailey’s Irish Cream Caramel that they had bought but no longer had. Through a series of emails, I think/hope I have come somewhat close to what she was looking for. If not, it is still good. :)
Sorry this took forever Michelle, life has been a blur as of late.
I also made a Chocolate Bailey’s Pound Cake to go with it.
Hope this is what you were looking for.
If you have a question, feel free to “Ask Peabody”, just remember, I can only do so much. :)

Chocolate Bailey’s Pound Cake

½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
4 heaping tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups sifted cake flour
½ tsp salt
1 cup milk
3 TBSP Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325F. Cream the butter, shortening, and sugar well. Beat in the eggs. Sift the dry ingredients together. Beat the flour mixture, 1 part at a time, into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk, until just blended. Add the vanilla and Irish Cream and mix. Pour into a greased 8-inch tube pan lined with waxed paper(I skipped that part). Bake for 1 ½ hour.
Serves 16-20

Adapted from Mrs. Wilkes’ Boardinghouse Cookbook

Bailey’s Caramel Topping

2 cups sugar
½ cup water
1 ½ TBSP light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream plus 1 TBSP
1/8 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream plus 1 TBSP
2 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature

To make the topping:
Put the sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, stir just to combine the ingredients and then put the pan over medium-high heat. Heat, without stirring , until the caramel turns deep amber, 5-10 minutes. Combine Bailey’s(1/8 cup) and Cream together. Take the pan off of the heat and, standing back from the saucepan add the cream mixture and butter. When the spatters are less vehement, stir to calm down the caramel and dissolve any lumps. Add in the 1 TBSP of Bailey’s and whisk until incorporated.

Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Top cake with caramel and some whipped cream(perhaps spiked with Bailey’s).


  1. This cake looks and sounds absolutely sinful (which equals fabulous in my book!). And you’re so sweet to try to answer all of the questions that come your way!

  2. You’re a saint, Peabody. I’m so impressed that you developed this recipe, and yet… I’m not surprised :) Looks awesome. My theory about your popularity amongst people without manners is that you are too nice. You need to play hockey with them ;)

  3. Um, thanks … I just spit water out of my nose while I was reading this post because I started laughing so hard. (That will teach me to drink and blog at the same time.) People need to simmer down with their demands. You are a wealth of knowledge and I learn so much by reading your blog. You’re so generous just to try to answer questions.

  4. I’ve only just got up and am already drooling all over my keyboard. When do I learn to have breakfast before reading food blogs? Mind you, I’d probably still be drooling over this delicious looking cake anyways.

  5. It’s around coffee break here; Irish cream, caramel, I’m alternating sipping coffee and licking the screen!

  6. The world is lucky to have you in it Pea, and all your mouthwatering delicacies, too!

  7. I love the idea of an “ask” blog! I’m often stumped when people ask me questions about unusual uses for this or that pantry item. Now I know who to ask when I don’t know the answers.

  8. This looks so gooey and moist and caramely… absolutely gorgeous!

  9. This looks great! I love the idea of Bailey’s caramel!!

    I don’t mind helping people or getting emails but when people seem to think you are a public service, it is frustrating. Most memorable: About 2 months before Passover a couple of years ago a woman wrote asking if I was going to post any Passover recipes. I said that during Passover I’d probably have a recipe or two up. A couple of weeks passed before she started emailing me (two, three times a day!) asking when the recipes would be posted. Apparently she likes to do her Passover cooking at least 2 weeks ahead of time (to freeze) and needed the recipes now. I told her that something would be up before the end of Passover and that was the best I could do as I actually have to develop the recipe, write it up, photograph it etc and that takes time. She was really insistent that I post the recipes right away, which was a little odd because she wasn’t specific as to what she wanted to make, just that it had to be posted early. Hypothetically, I could have posted a whole Passover’s worth of recipes that she wouldn’t have even liked. Anyway, about 50 emails in, I finally had to tell her that she wasn’t paying me and that I really wasn’t interested in or had the time for creating and posting recipes for a holiday that was over three weeks away. She was livid that I wouldn’t accommodate her and downright nasty and accusatory. Did she honestly think I was doing it to hurt her? Or that she, out of the millions of people who came to my site that year, was the most important? I just can’t figure out what people are thinking sometimes!

    That said, I have from time to time developed recipes for readers or posted something that I’ve made and never thought to post (miso soup was the most recent) after getting a few requests but not if they were mean!

    It was very nice of you to come up with this recipe for Michelle!

  10. Well, I am glad you came up with this- its look amazing! So gooey! Recently, my friends have caught on to the “I need to make a nice dinner, let me call Ginny for advice” idea. I like it so far but to demand is downright crazy!

  11. would this cake work with all butter instead of the shortening? thanks for posting :)

  12. This looks really good. I think that it is crazy that people would demand so much. I can’t believe people sometimes, but it is very nice of you to make a recipe for someone. I hope that your post opens the eyes of some of your readers. Thanks for posting.

  13. Wow! That first pic is food porn if I’ve EVER seen it. I hate the saying, but it’s definitely the BEST way to describe it in this situations. Absolutely fabulous!

  14. Oh drat … now I’m going to have to go out and buy some Bailey’s . . . your pictures sold me lock, stock and barrel on this delicious looking concoction!

  15. peabody, you rock my socks off. good googa mooga, i don’t think i’ve ever seen anything more enticing. if i have, it was probably on one of your earlier posts. :)

    bless you.

  16. Pea, you are very sweet. To go and make this for that lady. It’s something really special.
    Sometimes I get nasty emails, too (from people here, in Brazil), from people thinking my whole existence is to serve them. In the beginning, it concerned me a lot, but now, I just delete them.

  17. I get those emails too… Are you sure you don’t know what that yellow sauce is? What kind of chef are you???? :P

    Don’t feel obligated to answer… as you said, this is a free service!

    Lovely cake and sauce.

  18. oh my god, that picture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. I’m not much of a pound cake person, but those photos just drew me in – yum! Now I’m hungry.

  20. Are you trying to kill me?!?! That’s a deadly pound cake! With such a delicious caramel, it must be scrumptious to please!



  21. OH my! That looks so delicious. If it helps, I appreciate you and your recipes. I blogged on that oh so delicious pumpkin cake (and the frosting) a couple days ago.

  22. You indeed should start a column called , Ask Peabody! this looks soooooo good!

  23. I frequently ask myself WWPD? (What Would Peabody Do?) ;)
    That looks freaking amazing!

  24. Mireille says:

    I saw several recipes for caramel in Trish Deseine’s book, “Caramel.” It would be worth a try to look at it. Looks good!

  25. You have the strangest “commenters?” “readers?” “demanding people?” I don’t even know what to call them!

    I can’t believe how angry with you people get over the silliest things!

  26. Seriously YUM!

  27. I could dive into the middle of that cake and eat my way out. Looks terrific!

  28. That looks amazing, just like you are, Peabody. Who could dream of getting angry with you when you are so talented, generous, and kind???

  29. Oh, I love love love Bailey’s and chocolate, so I will NEED to make this. Thing is, I don’t love love love caramel. I usually prefer something like a glaze on my poundcake. Do you think a little powdered sugar and Bailey’s would make a nice glaze for this cake?

  30. Yummm. I’ve had my eye on this Bailey’s pound cake or bundt cake for a while and seeing yours makes me want to make it even more.

  31. The cake and caramel look divine!
    I have a question Peabody. Just how fatter would my bum get if I ate the whole cake in one sitting? Please answer ASAP!

  32. Thats so thoughtful, Peabody. You are taking good care of us :)

  33. Dear Peabody,

    Can you give me the recipe for the tart cherry bread pudding at my favorite restaurant, including the green sauce they drizzle on top? Kthxbai.

    Heh. Gorgeous looking cake there girlie! The sauce is making me drool.

  34. I mostly do improvisational cooking, so recipes from 3 days ago don’t work to recite. I totally sympathize.

  35. Oh, yum. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  36. I sympathise…really, I do…


  37. Oh, wow! My blood sugar is dangerously rising just by looking at that fabulous cake! It looks dreamy. I actually have an autographed copy of Mrs. Wilkes’ book. I met her at her restaurant years ago when we were visiting Savannah. Have you ever been there? The best fried chicken I ever had! ;)

  38. That looks delicious! I must make that for my mom, she’s a big Bailey’s fan.

    You are so sweet to try and help everyone who asks for help! Shame on those who take that for granted! tsk, tsk. Don’t they know Peabody is a treasure?

  39. Peabody,

    You DA best! Such a sport with the random questiond!


  40. That cake sounds good and that gooey caramel topping…mmm…

  41. Yummm!!

  42. I’m shocked that you don’t do absolutely everything that everyone ask for free…shocked I say!
    In truth, it is wonderful that you are so helpful and that people feel comfortable asking. If asking gets a pair of recipes like this, ask away, ask away! It looks amazing…fantastic photos too, especially the first one.

  43. I will have to try this… great photos…and recipe as always… love your blog… :)

  44. You’re a peach for helping people out! And now I’ve had to add yet another baked good to my list of things to make!

  45. Caramel covered pound cake, how could you?! :) It looks absolutely, sinfully delicious and I have to agree with everyone else, just the fact that you try to help everyone who has a question for you should be enough.

  46. Another superb concoction by Peabody.

  47. Now that’s talent! It look so luscious.

    So I have a question: can you help the Leafs win the Stanley Cup?

  48. I would like to ask Peabody…can you send me some of that delicious cake? :) Kidding, of course. That caramel sauce looks amazing! And your directions make it seem so easy, like “I might consider trying it” easy. Me & caramel, we don’t always get along…!

  49. Now that’s a caramel for the keeping for sure! Seems like we were on the same wave length with people asking for help. You did her right :)

  50. Oh, you’re so good! To take the time to answer all the questions!
    And Oh My God the Cake looks delicious.
    * By the way, I meme you. You can see it in my blog, but if you don’t have time or are too busy answering questions, don’t worry. It’s just fine! :D


  1. […] my contribution to the meal, it was a chocolate Bailey’s pound cake with a Bailey’s caramel topping. To round out this pair was homemade vanilla bean ice cream. The flavors worked so well together […]

  2. […] due to the type of chocolate I used. I added Bailey’s Irish Cream Caramel(recipe can be found here), this was either layered or placed at the bottom of each dish so that you got a surprise at the […]

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