LIQUID CAKE FOR LOVERS: BEER AND
Belgian monks who brew beer call it "liquid bread," then
for Valentine's Day, think of it as "liquid cake." Beer
and chocolate make wonderful partners.
combination of fermented cocoa beans and fermented barley malt is
popular across North America. In Vancouver, Canada,
Honorable Joyce Murray, who is the Minister of Water, Land and Air
Protection (ministry responsible for parks), recently held a "Beer
and Chocolate" fund raiser at the Oland Beer Institute in Yaletown.
What a way to capture the hearts and minds of voters!
in Portland, Oregon, brew guru Fred Eckhardt takes his popular pairings
to the Rogue Ales Public House
on NW Flanders for a St. Valentine's Eve Chocolate and Beer Massacre.
He will reprise his famed Stout Float...as well as the proper pairing
for a chocolate kiss.
releases the same dopamine chemicals in the brain as romantic love
does," says Rogue Ales Public House manager Russ Menegat, "and
beer tends to reduce social inhibitions. If that doesn't sound like
the makings of an interesting evening, I don't know what does..."
any beer, mind you. The best possible matches, in keeping with the
sweet spirit of the day, are harmonious, melding complementary flavors
of roasted cocoa beans and roasted barley malts, and perhaps just
a bit of heat from a peppery nose of alcohol.
barleywine with bittersweet dark chocolate desserts, since that big
alcohol nose cuts through the toasty aromas and intense, fermented
flavors in the darkest chocolates. Porters and stouts seem to me to
taste best with milk chocolates or desserts that blend chocolate with
nuts, caramel or other berry fruits. Fruit beers, such as cherry or
raspberry lambics, are also good choices.
Diego, Jer's Handmade Chocolates pairs Stone Brewing Co.'s Smoked
Porter with pretzels dipped in bittersweet chocolate, to the delight
of patrons at fundraisers such as benefits for the Leukemia Society.
"We also work with Amore Cheesecakes to create our special anniversary
party dessert - a Smoked Porter Cheesecake which is unbelievably decadent
and delectable," according to Stone Brewing Co.'s Chris Cochran.
Slosberg, former brewer now incarnated as Cocoa Pete, dubs Belgian
strong ales such as Westvleteren 12 to be the most worthy partners
to his Maltimus Maximus chocolate bar (bits of Briess malt crunchies
in dark milk chocolate). Though the bars are only sold at retailers
in San Francisco and environs, Slosberg hopes to sell online soon
beercooks can pair the flavors of beer with chocolate in fresh-baked
desserts. I've made chocolate stout cakes, cookies, ice cream, syrup
topping for ice cream, mousse filling for cake and frostings, and
more. Jeff Mendel of the Tabernash Brewery likes the citric edge of
weissbier in his version of Chocolate Cake. And Merchant du Vin has
a sumptuous recipe for a Samuel Smith Imperial Stout Chocolate Ganache
Cake (check the beercook.com recipe database).
yet simple recipe is to add stout when making a chocolate bread pudding,
as in the following - served at the Deschutes Brewery. Or you could
surprise your beloved with brewed cocoa malt waffles with coffee stout
cream - served in bed!
Chocolate Stout Bread Pudding
Serves about 6
6 cups small cubes mixture of Country White & Village Baker Black
Butte Porter bread (or any dark beer bread - stale is best)
3/4 cup of unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup Obsidian Stout
Butter an 8X8 pan Toss bread cubes with melted butter and place in
buttered pan Whisk together egg yolks, beer, and sugar. Heat milk
and cream to just boiling. Off heat add chocolate whisk until combined
(it will look like hot chocolate) Whisk egg mixture into chocolate
slowly. Pour mixture over bread. Cover tightly. Let this rest in fridge
for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until just set, about
30 minutes. For simplicity, bake 1 day ahead and reheat, tightly covered
with foil, just before serving. Goes great with vanilla bean ice cream.
(Thanks to L Walthew and M Cooper)
Malt Waffles with Coffee Stout Cream
cup white sugar
1/4 cup malted milk powder
1/4 cup cocoa (I used Scharffen Berger, a rich dark cocoa)
1/3 cup cake flour
teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 large eggs
1/4 cup stout
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
or sift together dry ingredients. In a large bowl, blend melted butter,
eggs, stout and vanilla until smooth. Whisk the dry ingredients, 1/3
cup at a time, into the egg-stout blend. The batter will be thick
- but if it seems too stiff, add a bit more stout. Let the batter
stand for 5 minutes after mixing, while waffle iron heats. Spritz
the cooking surface of the heated waffle iron with vegetable oil spray,
and spoon in the appropriate amount of batter for the size of the
iron (usually 1/4 cup or several tablespoons), spreading evenly. Close
and cook until the waffle is crisp and doesn't stick to the waffle
iron. Keep waffles warm in a 200F degree oven until ready to serve.
Serve with Coffee Stout Cream. Makes 4-6 waffles, depending on size
of waffle iron.
tablespoons espresso stout or dry stout
1 square melted bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream,
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa
the stout and chocolate together until the chocolate is melted. Let
cool. Stir into the whipping cream. Sift together the powdered sugar
and cocoa. Whip the whipping cream, adding cocoa-sugar blend by tablespoons,
until thickened and peaks form. Serve with waffles.