Mrs Hanrahan’s Sauce

Ballymaloe House Hotel Located in East Cork

Mrs Hanrahan, was Darina Allen’s sister-in-law Una's mother, and although she has long since passed to her eternal reward, but we will be eternally grateful to her for sharing this recipe with Darina and which the Allen family relish even more than brandy butter with plum pudding and mince pies.


  • 110g (4oz) butter
  • 200g (7oz) Barbados sugar * (moist, soft, dark-brown sugar)
  • 1 organic free-range egg
  • 62ml (2 1/2 fl oz) medium sherry
  • 2 1/2 fl oz (62ml/generous 1/4 cup) port
  • 1.3 - 1.4 litres (2 1/4-2 1/2 pints) lightly whipped cream


This recipe is so delicious that people ask to have more Plum Pudding just so that they can have an excuse to eat lots of sauce.  

This makes a large quantity but the base will keep for several weeks in the fridge, so you can use a little at a time, adding whipped cream to taste. Darina also advises that leftover Mrs Hanrahan's sauce freezes brilliantly and makes the most divine and indulgent boozy ice-cream!

Melt the butter, stir in the sugar and allow to cool slightly.  Whisk the egg and add to the butter and sugar with the sherry and port. Refrigerate.

When needed, add the lightly whipped cream to taste.

This sauce is also very good with mince pies and other tarts.

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