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Archive for June 6, 2017

RECIPES: Frozen Chocolate Cheesecake & Stout Pops, Chocolate Stout Float & The History Of Stout

Here are two fun, warm-day dessert recipes for the beer crowd, using stout. The history of stout is below, but let’s hop right to the recipes.

Any stout pairs deliciously with anything chocolate. And chocolate stout (photo #1) pairs even better.

RECIPE #1: FROZEN CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE STOUT POPS

We are the Will Rogers of cheesecake: We never met a cheesecake we didn’t like. We’ve never met an ice cream we didn’t like, as well.

And we like alcohol (liqueur) in both our cheesecake and our ice cream.

So when we chanced upon this recipe from Nugget Markets—a frozen chocolate cheesecake fudge pop with stout, photo #3—we knew we had to make them. There’s even a graham cracker “crust.”

Prep time is 15 minutes plus overnight freezing.

Ingredients For 5 Pops

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/3 cup Russian Imperial stout (we substituted chocolate stout)
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 6 graham crackers (3/4 cup crumbs [3 ounces])
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MIX the sugar, softened cream cheese, and sour cream in a blender on low speed, until completely combined. Stir in the milk and stout.

    2. MELT the dark chocolate chips over a double boiler on the stove top (or in the microwave at 30-second intervals) until completely melted. Pour the melted chocolate into blender mixture and mix until well combined.

    3. SLOWLY POUR the mixture into the pop molds, tapping molds as you fill to remove any air bubbles. Leave a 1/2-inch empty space on the top for the “crust.”

    4. SMASH the graham crackers until completely crumbled (we put them in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin). ADD the melted butter and stir until combined. Add on top of the chocolate mixture, spreading evenly. Insert the ice pop sticks and freeze overnight.
     
     
    RECIPE #2: COFFEE-CHOCOLATE STOUT FLOAT

    We published recipes using chocolate stout a few years back: a chocolate stout float a few years back; along with chocolate stout ice cream.

    When we saw a recipe with coffee stout from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (photo #3), we knew it was time to repeat the idea.

    In this recipe, the chocolate float is made with chocolate ice cream and coffee stout, but go for chocolate stout if you prefer.

    Or flip it: Have an all-coffee float with coffee stout and coffee ice cream.

    Here’s a chocolate stout cake recipe to go with it.

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 8 ounces coffee stout
  • 1/2 pint chocolate ice cream
  • Optional garnish: whipped cream
  •  
    Plus

  • A straw
  •  
    Preparation

       
    Rogue Chocolate Stout
    [1] Rogue Chocolate Stout is delicious in either of these recipes, plus this chocolate stout cream pie recipe from The Beeroness.

    Chocolate Cheesecake Pops
    [2] Have your cheesecake pops with a glass of stout on the side (photo and recipe from Nugget Markets).

    Coffee-Stout-Beer-Float-eatwischeese-230

    [3] The coffee stout float with chocolate ice cream. Here are step-by-step photos from Eat Wisconsin Cheese..

     
    1. PLACE two scoops of ice cream in a pint glass or other large glass.

    2. SLOWLY POUR the stout on top of ice cream to fill the glass. Serve with a straw

    Serve with a straw and a spoon.
     

     

    Glass Of Stout

    Guinness Pint Glass

    [4] and [5] Guinness, the world’s top-selling stout, is at the low end of ABV: just 5% (photos courtesy Guinness & Co.).

      THE HISTORY OF STOUT

    While man has been brewing beer since an client times, styles evolved over the millennia as different malts, yeasts, and hops became available. Stout is a relatively recent recipe.

    The first known use of the word “stout” for beer is in 1677. At that time, stout was a word for strong, and the document implied a strong beer, not a dark beer. Let’s skip ahead 50 years to porter, the basis of modern stout.

    Porter, which originated in London in the early 1720s. It was so-named because this strong beer—which was cheaper than other beers and increased in alcohol content with age—became popular with porters, among other Londoners.

    Within a few decades, porter breweries in London had multiplied many-fold. Large amounts were exported to Ireland, where by 1780 or so, ale brewer Arthur Guinness decided to brew his own porter (and ultimately created what would one day become the world’s most famous stout).

    The 19th century brought the development of black malt, the darkest of the common roasted malts. It gives beer a dark color and stronger flavor—a brew with a very different character than roasted barley-based beers. It became the standard malt for porter[source].

    At that point, “stout” still meant only “strong,” and the term could be related to any strong beer (stout pale ale, for example).

    But because of the huge popularity of porters, brewers made them in a variety of strengths. The beers with higher gravities were called stout porters.

    Stout became the generic term for the strongest or stoutest porters. There is still debate on whether stouts should be designated a separate style from porter (as they are now), or simply be designated as stout [strong] porter.

     
    Like porter, stout is a dark beer made from roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast. Stouts were traditionally the generic term for the strongest or stoutest porters, typically 7% or 8% ABV.

  • Porter is typically 4% to 5% ABV. Baltic porter, brewed in the Baltic Sea countries of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden, is brewed with a higher alcohol content.
  • Stout is typically 5% to 10% ABV. It’s important to note that some American craft brewers have been making even stronger stouts—up to 11.5% ABV.
  •  
    By comparison:

  • Lager is typically 4% to 5% ABV.
  • Pilsner, a popular style of lager, is typically 3% to 6% ABV.
  • Brown Ale is typically 4% to 6% ABV.
  • India Pale Ale is typically 6% to 7% ABV. [source]
  •  
    In addition to chocolate stout and coffee stout, check out the other types of stout, including cream stout, dry (Irish) stout (e.g., Guinness), milk stout and oatmeal stout.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Beer Crust Pizza

    Beer Crust Pizza

    Greek Salad Pizza

    You can make the pizza in any shape you like. [1] Oblong, flatbread-style from King Arthur Flour. [2] A traditional round pizza with Greek salad toppings, from Cooking Classy.

     

    Make Dad a pizza with beer or hard cider. It’s subtle flavor, and a fun idea.

    The type and quality of beer you use is very important. Mass-market beers will not give you the results that a good craft beer or imported German beer provide.

    Bonus: You can use leftover, flat beer.

    If you like a light crust, use an unfiltered wheat beer. The bottle contains yeast particles, which add to the rise and provide a yeasty taste to the crust. Before adding the bear, swirl the bottle to release the yeast from the bottom.

    Pilsners, IPAs and other hoppy beers can make the crust bitter. Porter and stout give a stronger flavor.

    Thanks to King Arthur Flour for the recipe.

    Prep time is 20 to 30 minutes; bake time is 18 to 48 minutes, depending on the rise.

    RECIPE: BEER CRUST PIZZA

    Ingredients For 2 Pizza Crusts

  • 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups semolina (substitute unbleached all-purpose flour)
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon King Arthur Pizza Dough Flavor* or 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ cups room-temperature beer
  •  
    Plus Toppings As Desired

  • Sauce
  • Mozzarella and other cheeses
  • Meats, vegetables, herbs
  •  
    ________________

    *King Arthur Flour’s Pizza Dough Flavor is a blend of cheese powder, garlic and natural flavors. You can blend your own to taste. Use approximately 1-1/3 teaspoons per cup of flour, in any pizza crust recipe.

     
    Preparation

    1. MIX and knead together all of the dough ingredients until you’ve made a smooth, soft dough. You can use your hands, a mixer or a bread machine. Cover the dough and allow it to rise for 30 minutes, or for up to 2 hours.

    2. PREHEAT the oven to 450°F with the pizza stone on the lower rack. Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a 10″ to 12″ round.

    3. PLACE the rounds on parchment paper, if you’re using a pizza stone. Otherwise, place the dough on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. For a thin to medium crust, bake the pizzas immediately. For thicker crust, let them rise 30 to 60 minutes.

    4. TRANSFER the pizzas, parchment and all, to the baking stone; or place the pans in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, top as desired, and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until the bottom crust is crisp and the cheese is bubbly, browned and ready to eat

    TIPS

    To end up with mozzarella that’s gently melted (not browned and hardened):

  • Add the meat or vegetables after 5 minutes of baking time.
  • Add half the cheese after 15 minutes baking time (i.e., 10 minutes after the meat and veggies).
  • Bake for 3 minutes, add the remainder of the cheese, then bake for an additional 2 minutes, until the second addition of cheese is barely melted.
  •  
     
    THE HISTORY OF BEER
     
    THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BEER

     
      

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    PRODUCTS: Favorite Gifts For Father’s Day

    Are you old enough to remember when a Father’s Day gift meant a new tie? Today, how many dads even wear a tie most days?

    Here are five items that most dads would much rather have.

    CASA NOBLE TEQUILA

    We discovered our favorite tequila last fall, when we had the privilege of tasting every expression. You can see our review, but the bottom line is: This tequila is so fine that even the blanco (silver) can be sipped straight.

    There are the five standard expressions: Blanco, Joven, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo.

    There are also rare, older expressions like Casa Noble’s Alta Belleza: Only 563 bottles were made for the world market, at $1,200 per bottle.

    But you can treat a tequila-loving dad to a bottle of this great tequila starting at less than $40 for the blanco.

    Our review includes a cheese pairing for the different expressions.

    Here’s the Casa Noble website.
     
     
    MAGNUM HIGHLAND CREAM LIQUEUR

    We’ve been fans of Irish cream liqueur since Bailey’s was first imported to the U.S. Now, Scotch drinkers have t heir own cream liqueur: Magnum Highland Cream Liqueur. A blending fine Speyside Scotch malt whisky with rich cream from Holland (the ancestral home of Holstein black and white dairy cows), we highly recommend it for gifting as well as personal imbibing.

    It’s 34 proof (17% alcohol by volume), with an SRP of $27.99 per 750ml bottle. If you can’t find it locally, CraftSpiritsExchange.com will ship it nationally.

    Try it in an adult milkshake, or make an egg cream with Magnum, chocolate liqueur and soda water.
     
     
    THE MOZZARELLA COMPANY: PECAN MASCARPONE TORTA

    Mascarpone is a rich, creamy cheese made by heating heavy cream and then curdling it with an vinegar instead of rennet. It’s a first cousin to clotted cream. The Mozzarella Company makes four mascarpone torta, the newest of which is flavored with crushed pecan pralines.

    It is a wonderful dessert served with ginger snaps and strawberries; or stuffed into dates or dried apricots. The torta can dessert for two people; maybe four if you’ll settle for a small wedge.

    Other flavors, for appetizers or the salad course, are ancho chile, basil and tomato basil. The tortas are $12.95 each from the Mozzarella Company.

    Mascarpone is the fresh cheese used in tiramisu. Here’s more about mascarpone.

       

    Casa Noble Tequila Blanco

    Magnum Cream Liqueur

    Pecan Praline Torta, Mozzarella Company

    [1] Casa Noble Tequila. [2] Magnum Highland Cream Liqueur. [3] Mozzarella Company’s Pecan Praline Torta (photos courtesy of their respective brands).

     

    Sansaire Sous Vide Machine

    Scrappy's Artisan Bitters

    [4] The Sansaire sous vide machine cooks in your own pot. [5] Scrappy’s artisan bitters for cocktails and mocktails (photos courtesy their respective brands).

     

    SANSAIRE SOUS VIDE

    You don’t have to be a gourmet cook to love sous vide cooking, an easy way to prepare everyday recipes as well as fancy ones. The sous vide technique was developed in France to easily cook fine meals on trains, many portions at a time. Sous vide guarantees, for example, that a steak or piece of fish will turn out exactly as the client wishes. The quality of the food it produced attracted fine French chefs and caterers.

    Sous vide machines quickly appeared in some of the world’s best restaurants. And now, you can have one at home.

    The benefit of Sansaire is that it cooks food in the pots you already have; it’s not a bulky countertop machine. Its in the $168 range. Here’s more information.
     
     
    SCRAPPY’S: COCKTAIL BITTERS SET

    Bitters can add interest to simple drinks like a vodka tonic or balance the sour and sweet flavors of sours and fizzes.

    They’re essential ingredients in cocktails such as the Manhattan, Negroni, Rob Roy, Rum Sizzle, Sazerac and Singapore Sling. But modern mixologists have been using new varieties of artisan cocktails to create new flavors in their drinks.

    Bitters are non-alcoholic essences extracted from aromatic barks, flowers, fruits, herbs and root. For most of their existence, they have been made for botanicals known for their medicinal properties (that long before alcohol was a leisure drink, it was used as medicine).

    With the boom in artisan bitters over the last 20 years, they are now being made in flavors that have no root in homeopathy, but give great flavor accents to cocktails:

    Aztec chocolate, black walnut, blood orange, cardamom, celery, cherry, chocolate, cranberry, cucumber, fig and cinnamon, grapefruit, habanero, lavender, lemon, mint, peach, rhubarb and others.

     
    Whether you’re making a dry Martini or a Cosmopolitan, a splash of bitters provides a note of sophistication.

    For mocktails, add them to club soda.

    And try the latest use for bitters: add them to coffee, hot and iced.

    The eight-flavor set shown, from Scrappy’s Bitters, is $38.99 for eight flavors.

    For a set of 12 flavors from Fee Brothers is $99.90.

    Individual bottles can be purchased in the $8-$13 range.

      

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