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Archive for Beer & Hard Cider

TIP OF THE DAY: Have An Oktoberfest Party

This story comes to us from CraftBeer.com, the website for fans of American craft beers.

Prior to the advent of electricity, brewing was of necessity relegated to specific times of the year: spring and fall. In order for brewing to take place, the environment needed to offer up the right temperatures for brewing and lagering—the step where beers are aged—often in caves in the era pre-electricity.

Fall, which brought both ample ingredients from the harvest and the right temperatures, was considered the best brewing season.

For several generations, we’ve had temperature-controlled brewing systems. Today’s brewers have on-demand ingredients from anywhere in the world. Overnight air freight can deliver the yeasts that allow brewers to create the recipes they want.
 
 
MÄRZEN, GERMAN FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH

So why do we drink March beer—Märzen (MARE-zen, sometimes spelled Maerzen in English)—in the fall?

In 1553, Bavarian Duke Albrecht V decreed it illegal to brew beer in Bavaria between April 23rd and September 24th. These months are typically too warm for brewing without risking bacterial growth that spoils beer.

Thus, brewers ramped up production in March to have enough supply for the next five months. These March beers, Märzens, were brewed stronger and lagered so they would keep throughout the summer.

A Bavarian Märzen is copper-red in color with a full-bodied maltiness—a little spicy and dryish. It has what is described as a rich bread-crust-like malt flavor.
 
 
WHY IS MÄRZEN DRUNK FOR OKTOBERFEST?

The term “Oktoberfest” did not have a connection to Märzen-style beer for another 300-plus years, 62 years after the first Oktoberfest.

The first Oktoberfest celebration began with the Royal Wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the royal event.

 

Marzen Beer
[1] Märzen beers have reddish hues (photo courtesy Craft Beer).

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest Beer

[2] Oktoberfest beer from Sierra Nevada.

 
According to legend, a brewer ran out of the then-traditional fall beer, the Dunkel—a group of malty, dark German lagers that range in colour from amber to dark reddish brown (Dunkel means dark).

Instead, he served a beer similar to Märzen.

The first named “Oktoberfest” beer is a Märzen-style beer that was brewed for the Munich Oktoberfest in 1872 (it seems to have taken a long while for marketing to take over).

The celebration became an annual festival in Munich, running from the third week in September through the second week in October*.

HAVE YOUR OWN OKTOBERFEST CELEBRATION

Oktoberfest/Märzen beer has become a very popular style for U.S. brewers to produce. If you’re a lover of malt, look at your local selection of American craft brews for examples. Just a few examples:

  • Anaheim Brewery | Oktoberfest Lager | Anaheim, California
  • Cape May Brewing | Oktoberfest | Cape May, New Jersey
  • Chuckanut Brewing | Old Fest | Bellingham, Washington
  • Due South Brewing | Oktoberfest | Boynton Beach, Florida
  • Enegren Brewing Co. | Oktoberfest | Moorpark, California
  • Lumberyard Brewing | Oktoberfest Marzen | Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Meadowlark Brewing | Festbier | Sidney, Montana
  • Pedal Haus | Oktoberfestbier | Tempe, Arizona
  • SanTan Brewing | Oktoberfest | Chandler, Arizona
  • War Horse Brewing | Rolling Storm | Geneva, New York
  •  
    Pull together as many selections as you like, and call the crew over for your own little Oktoberfest*. Also scan the shelves for Dunkels to compare.

    And if you have as good a time as we think you will, plan another tasting next month, with pumpkin beers and ales.
     
     
    CHECK OUT THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BEER IN OUR BEER GLOSSARY.
     
     
    PLAN YOUR OKTOBERFEST PARTY

    How To Plan An Oktoberfest Party

    Oktoberfest Foods

    Oktoberfest Burger With Pork Schnitzel & Beer Cheese Sauce

    ________________

    *The 2017 Oktoberfest in Munich runs from September 16th through October 10th.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Have A Shandy Party

    Shandy Beer Drink
    [1] A shandy made with spicy ale (photo courtesy Whole Foods Market).

    Ginger Beer
    [2] A ginger beer shandy leaves out most of the alcohol (it’s less than .5% ABV) and adds the flavor of ginger. Here’s the recipe from Homemade Hooplah.

    Passionfruit Shandy
    [3] This Island Shandy from Tommy Bahama uses passion fruit juice instead of lemonade.

    Mexican Shandy

    [4] How about a Mexican shandy? This recipe from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen, with Corona beer, lemonade and mango juice.

     

    Like beer? Mix it with a juice drink like lemonade or fruit soda to create a shandy.

    You can buy shandy in a bottle (photo #1)—artisan beer companies make it—but you can make your own, varying the beers, mixers, proportions and garnishes.

    In fact, “make your own” is an idea for a summer weekend get-together. Tips for how to set up a shandy bar at your next gathering are below.
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF SHANDY

    Shandy is short for shandygaff. It’s beer diluted with a non-alcoholic beverage. It’s a traditional British pub drink that mixes lager with lemon soda, ginger ale or ginger beer. Carbonated lemonade, cider or other citrus-flavored soda can be used.

    Whatever you use—you can even use ginger beer—you’ll find that shandy is a refreshing summertime drink. The shandy tradition dates back to the 17th century. Today, English publicans blend an English ale or beer with various lemon and lime beverages.

    No one knows the origin of the word, but the first known print reference is from 1853. The tradition no doubt began earlier.

    Shandy is a surname in the U.K.; and in Ireland, the name is a variant of Shaun (John). Gaff is an old term for a fishing hook or spear.

    Perhaps the drink was first mixed up by a steward named Shandy, to hook in customers? Or in honor of the master of an estate, for whom the drink was first served?

    Maybe, like the Cold Duck, it was an ad hoc thing: There wasn’t only half as much wine or champagne needed for guests, so some clever person thought to mix them together.

    What about an Arnold Palmer? It arrived centuries later. Here’s the difference between an Arnold Palmer and shandy.
     
     
    DIY SHANDY: CREATE A SHANDY BAR

    It you’re looking for a Labor Day activity, how about a make-your-own shandy bar? Just assemble the ingredients, print out brief “instructions” and put them in a frame next to the beer.

    Instructions can include: (1) Shandy is half beer, half non-alcoholic drink.(2) Create your own signature shandy with the soft drink and proportions of your choice. (3) Be neat and clean up your spills!

    Supermarket shelves are awash with citrus soda: orange, Fresca, Seven-Up (lemon lime). Our favorites are:

  • Pellegrino Limonata, Aranciata and Aranciata Rosso
  • Dry Soda blood orange
  • GuS Meyer Lemon, Sparkling Grapefruit, Valencia Orange
  •  
    So take stock of the options, then stock up.

    Shandy Bar Ingredients

  • Lager beer (plus wheat beer, IPA or nonalcoholic beer, if you’d like to present different options—check out the different types of beer)
  • Ginger beer* as a non-alcoholic option
  • Citrus soda, sparkling lemonade, sparkling soda
  • Ginger ale
  • Lemonade: plain, sparkling, Mike’s Hard Lemonade
  • Berry lemonade: blueberry, strawberry, raspberry (muddle the berries and mix with regular lemonade)
  • Sparkling cider
  • Optional: Bitters
  •  
    Shandy Garnishes

  • Lemon wedges
  • Lime wedges
  • Berries
  •  
    Glass Rimmers

  • Citrus Zest
  • Coarse salt
  • Flavored salt
  •  
    Plus

  • Glasses (start with small-to-medium size)
  • Swizzle sticks to stir
  • Paper towels for spills
  • Napkins
  •  
    A COMPARATIVE SHANDY TASTING

    If you don’t want a DIY shandy bar, gather whatever shandy brands you can find and have a tasting.

    Samuel Adams makes Porch Rocker, if you can still find it (the distribution period is through July). Anheuser-Busch’s Shock Top Lemon Shandy is available through August. Also look for Harp Lemon Shandy, Labatt Shandy and Saranac Shandy Lager and Lemonade.

    Fentiman’s brews two soft drink shandy styles, non-alcoholic shandy and a low alcoholic version brewed to .5 ABV ABV (1 proof), which allows it to be sold as a soft drink.

    An Arnold Palmer is not related to a shandy, except that they both use lemonade. Here are the differences.

    We like to use shot glasses or juice glasses for this type a from-the-bottle beer tasting. It lets everyone try a small amount of each brand, and return to their favorite with a larger glass.

    WHAT’S GINGER BEER?

    Ginger beer is like ginger ale with a buzz. The big difference between ginger beer and ginger ale is that ginger beer is brewed (fermented). Most ginger ale is just carbonated water that’s been flavored with ginger, although some artisan brands brew their ginger ale.

    Since ginger beers are naturally fermented, they have less carbonation and often develop a beer-like head when poured into a glass. Some ginger beers are sold unfiltered and appear cloudy, so gently invert the before drinking or pouring, to re-incorporate any separation.

    Plus, the ginger flavor is more intense—much more intense.

    Today’s brewed ginger beers are categorized as non-alcoholic drinks because their alcohol content is less than .5% (1 proof), which meets FDA requirements.
     
     
    RECIPE: IPA SHANDY

    Like IPA (India Pale Ale)? It’s the most trending style of beer in the U.S.

    This shandy update from Whole Foods Market combines “a hoppy craft IPA and a throat-tickling ginger beer.”

    Shandys are generally made with lagers and wheat beers. If you’re not a hops fan, use one of those instead.

    You’ll also notice that the ingredients are beer and ginger beer. Play around with substituting lemon-lime carbonated drinks for the ginger beer, to see what you like best.
     
    Ingredients Per Tall Drink

  • 1 bottle (12-ounces) IPA, chilled
  • 1/4 cup ginger beer, chilled
  • Optional but recommended: 3 dashes orange or ginger bitters†
  • Garnish: orange slice (studded with cloves, if you like)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the ale, ginger beer and bitters in a tall beer glass and stir lightly to blend (but not hard enough to break the bubbles).

    2. GARNISH and serve.
    ________________
    †The original Angostura bitters have a ginger undertone. They have recently released Angostura orange, in the $8.00 to $9.00 range. Connoisseurs may wish to spring for the fine artisan orange bitters from Bitter Truth in the $29.00 to $30.00 range.
     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Ice Cream & Beer Pairings

    Don’t let National Ice Cream Month (July) pass without doing something special.

    A year ago, Baskin-Robbins sent us ice cream and beer pairings of their favorite flavors, We found the article in our drafts folder, which inspired today’s tip:

    Love beer? Love ice cream? Don’t hesitate to serve them together. Beer floats like the Guinness Float have been popular for several years. The recipe is simple:

    Add ice cream to the glass and top with beer.

    If you prefer hard cider to beer, this tip works for you, too; maybe even better, given the sweet succulence of some ciders.

    You can experiment with other types of beer floats, as well as open a beer to serve with a dish of ice cream, plain or à la mode.

    Beyond floats, have a dish of ice cream or a sundae. You could have a cone, but the idea of a cone in one hand and a beer in the other is too much of a balancing act for us. (Perhaps that’s where a beer drinking helmet comes in handy.)

    In fact, have a pairing party with some basic flavors (chocolate, coffee, vanilla). The pairings go far beyond lambic and fruit ale. How about:

  • Chocolate ice cream with kriek, a cherry-flavored Belgian ale, regular or chocolate stout.
  • Coffee or mocha ice cream with stout, especially coffee stout and Imperial stout.
  • Vanilla ice cream with lambic, a raspberry-flavored ale, chocolate or coffee stout.
  • Spicy beers with spicy ice cream: cinnamon, pumpkin pie, etc.
  •  
    The pairing concept works with sorbet, as well. We just polished off an Angry Orchard Summer Honey Cider with some Lactaid vanilla ice cream.

    We’ve previously covered beer-and-ice cream articles, such as:

  • Make Your Own Beer Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Stout Ice Cream & Beef Float Recipes
  • Peanut Butter Cake With Beef Foam
  • Spiced Beer & Apple Pie Float
  •  
    You can make those recipes, but why not strike out on your own to find the pairings you like best. You can pair beer with ice cream or sorbet. Just follow three simple rules.
     
     
    HOW TO PAIR BEER & ICE CREAM

    1. Start with basic flavors. Once you know what you like, you can go for the more comples.

    2. Avoid beers that are bitter, crisp or dry. Instead, choose those with some residual sweetness.

    3.Look for a beer with notes that match the ice cream. Different beers can have notes of chocolate, citrus, coffee, fruit, spice. For fall, e.g., there’s pumpkin ale to go with pumpkin spice ice cream.
     
     
    BASKIN-ROBBINS PAIRINGS

    These pairings were recommended by John Holl of All About Beer Magazine. with his comments in quotes. They’ll give you more ideas on how to pair.

  • Cherries Jubilee with Barleywine. “A barleywine coaxes out the rich cherry and rum flavor in this ice cream. Bittersweet and leather flavors emerge as well, begging for this combo to be enjoyed in dad’s favorite leather chair.”
  • Chocolate with Belgian Quad. “This beer is bursting with flavors that love chocolate. Two classics with great depth and rich sweetness that only get better with each lick and sip.”
  • Jamoca Almond Fudge with Blueberry Ale. “Brewers are taking the sweet, tangy, earthy blueberry and adding it to caramel-tinged ales, making it a perfect complement to this frozen coffee, nutty, chocolatey concoction. Lively fruit flavors pair wonderfully with the chocolate flavored ribbon.”
  • Mint Chocolate Chip with Coffee Porter or Stout. “The ale already has some cocoa and java flavors and it mixes nicely with the roast of the chocolate chips and the herbal, cool mint flavor of the ice cream.”
  • Peanut Butter N’ Chocolate with Doppelbock. “Nutty and creamy, with an assertive chocolate base, the ice cream brings out the best in this malt-forward dark brown lager.”
  • Pralines ‘n Cream with a Pilsner or a Mango Ale. “The classic pilsner style, with sweet cereal-like malt takes the place of a cone when paired with this southern-style treat. Additionally, two of the most popular beer styles this summer are mango-flavored pale ales and India pale ales. The nuttiness and sweetness of the ice cream balances out some of the more assertive beer flavors, creating a delectable combination.”
  • Rocky Road With Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. “A candy lover’s dream! The stout has sweet chocolate, rich espresso and generic red berry flavors that party hard with the almond, marshmallow and deep chocolate of the ice cream. Rocky Road adds creaminess to the hearty beer and this combination makes for an excellent ice cream beer float.”
  • Vanilla with Peach Lambic. “Sweet and creamy vanilla gets a boost from the lambic, which is fermented with peaches and aged in barrels. Slightly spicy and effervescent, the fruity character of the ale will act like a sauce for the ice cream. This lambic style helps to recreate the classic peaches and cream combination.”
  • Very Berry Strawberry with Hefeweizen. “It’s the start of a fruit salad. Bright, vibrant strawberry mixes with the banana esters in the classic German Hefeweizen. The sweet berry will also help control the assertive spice bite of the clove flavor found in the beer and counter the acidity found in the lemon wedge often served as a garnish on the rim of the glass.”
  • Watermelon Splash Ice With Gose*. “Gose is brewed with wheat and salt and is predicted to be the beer of the summer, making it a perfect companion to the hot weather staple – watermelon. Pronounced “Gose-Uh,” look for variations that already include cucumber, prickly pear, or yes, even watermelon flavors.”
  • ________________

    *Gose is an old, top-fermented German sour beer that originated in Goslar. An unfiltered wheat beer, cloudy gose beers have a spiciness from the addition of ground coriander seeds, a sharpness from the addition of salt, and a lemony tartness. Some are also flavored with syrups.

     

    Guinness Float
    [1] Beer floats combine two of summer’s favorite refreshers: beer and ice cream (photo courtesy Silver Moon Desserts).

    Coffee Stout Float
    [2] A coffee stout ice cream float. Here’s the recipe from Beautiful Booze.

    Brown Ale Ice Cream Sundae
    [3] A vanilla ice cream sundae with salted caramel and honey peanuts, served with brown ale. Here’s the recipe from Somewhere Over The Kitchen..

    Angry Orchard Summer Honey Cider
    [4] If you’re not a beer lover, try hard cider instead. Angry Orchard’s seasonal Summer Honey Cider is a good start (photo courtesy Sanura Weathers).

    Baskin Robbins Strawberry Ice Cream

    [5] Strawberry ice cream with a Hefeweizen? Who knew? (Photo courtesy Baskin-Robbins).

     
    THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BEER, a photo-glossary.

      

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    RECIPE: More Stout-And-Sweet Recipes

    Following our recent recipes for Chocolate Cheesecake Stout Pops and a Chocolate Stout Float, we have stout for breakfast (French toast) and stout for dessert (a rich chocolate cake).

    Why stout? Stout is more popular in recipes than other beers because its more robust flavor carries through in the cooked recipe. Here are the history of stout and the different types of stout.

    RECIPE #1: STUFFED FRENCH TOAST WITH STOUT CUSTARD & BOURBON CREAM CHEESE FILLING

    Wow, what a mouthful of a name. This recipe, created by Heather Lewis of Beer Bitty and sent to us by CraftBeer.com, is also a mouthful on the fork.

    Use your favorite breakfast stout custard batter and stuffed with cream cheese frosting spiked with bourbon.

    What is breakfast stout?

    Breakfast stout is the name given to a creamy stout with a coffee aroma, that’s brewed with coffee, bitter chocolate and oat flakes. Coffee-infused beers have been made by American craft brewers since the early 1990s, but this was a leap forward.

    The first breakfast beer was conceived by Dave Engbers of Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, Michigan (along with a bourbon-barrel aged Kentucky Breakfast Stout). It debuted in 2003, made in the style of American Double/Imperial Stout.

    While other craft brewers followed suit with breakfast stouts and porters, the original remains one of the more popular breakfast stouts on the market. If it’s pricier than other beers, it’s because it the coffee-handling equipment and chocolate equipment add multiple steps to the brewing process [source].

    The bottle label features a young, towhead boy with a napkin around his neck, lapping up a bowl of cereal (photo #3). Some states, including the brewery’s home, Michigan, forced the brewery to eliminate the child on the grounds that it encouraged young people to drink. Really, Michigan? Has the legislature nothing more important to legislate?

    A second label was created for Michigan showing only a cereal bowl on a table. You can see the revised, tongue-in-cheek label here.

    Other brands subsequently introduced breakfast beers, including Dogfish Head Beer For Breakfast Stout, Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Breakfast, One Barrel Brewing Company’s Breakfast Beer Imperial Coffee Stout, 21st Amendment Brewery’s Toaster Pastry India Red Ale, Uiltje Brewing Company’s Full English Breakfast and Wicked Weed’s Barrel Aged French Toast Imperial Stout.

    Ready for breakfast? Prep time for the French toast is 30 minutes. If you can’t find breakfast stout, you can substitute chocolate stout, double stout or milk stout.

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

    For The Egg Batter

  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup breakfast stout
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  •    

    Stout French Toast

    Glass Of Stout

    Founders Brewing Breakfast Stout

    [1] A special French toast recipe, with multiple dimensions of flavor (photo courtesy Beer Bitty). [2] A glass of breakfast stout: Drink it with the French toast (photo courtesy True Beer). [3] The original, and favorite, breakfast stout from Founders Brewing.

     
    For a pumpkin variation, add 2 tablespoons pumpkin purée and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; omit the vanilla extract.
     
    For The Bourbon Cream Cheese Filling

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 ounces bourbon (substitute pumpkin purée, stout or vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  
    For The Toast and Toppings

  • 1 loaf braided challah bread, cut into 1-1/2″ slices
  • Butter for cooking
  • Maple syrup
  • Garnish: chocolate chips, blueberries, blackberries
  •  
    Plus

  • More breakfast stout for drinking
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the cream cheese filling. Beat the cream cheese, butter and salt in a stand mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the bourbon and mix until well combined. Reduce the speed to low; add the powdered sugar and mix until fully incorporated. If the mixture feels a bit loose or if a sweeter filling is desired, add an additional tablespoon of powdered sugar, at bit at a time until a spreadable frosting consistency is reached.

    If preparing the filling in advance, or if you have leftovers, cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to a week.

    2. PREHEAT the oven to 200°F and make the French toast. Create a pocket in each slice of bread by using a paring knife to cut horizontally into the bottom or side crust. Carefully fill each pocket with 2 tablespoons or so of cream cheese filling. You can use a pastry bag or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off, but a butter knife also works well.

    3. THOROUGHLY whisk together all the batter ingredients in a baking dish or pie pan. Place each slice in the egg batter, allowing it to soak for 10 seconds per side.

    4. MELT 2 tablespoons of butter in a large, heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, place the challah slices into the skillet to brown. Cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, adjusting the heat as needed, until golden brown.

    5. TRANSFER to a baking sheet and place the finished slices in the oven to keep warm while cooking the remaining slices. Serve warm, topped with maple syrup and berries, alongside a glass of breakfast stout.

     

    Chocolate Stout Cake

    Chocolate Stout Cake

    [4] and [5] A rich, moist stout cake from King Arthur Flour. Stout adds more dimension to the chocolate cake flavors.

     

    RECIPE #2: CHOCOLATE STOUT CAKE

    Stout and other dark beers are often described as having chocolatey overtones, so why not enrich a chocolate cake?

    The flavor of this cake is multi-dimensional: The presence of the stout gives it a much more interesting finish. The hops from the beer act as a counterpoint to the sugar in the cake. We used a chocolate stout for an extra hint of chocolate.

    It’s an incredibly moist cake, too, and its rich, dark color comes mostly from the beer.

    This recipe makes two tall, imposing layers; be sure your 9″ cake pans are at least 2″ tall, or use 10″ pans if you have them. For a smaller cake, see the last tip below.

    Prep time is 25 to 35 minutes, bake time is 45 to 50 minutes.
     
    Ingredients For The Cake

  • 2 cups chocolate stout, other stout, or dark beer, such as Guinness
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose Flour
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  •  
    For The Frosting

  • 1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  
    Preparation;

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8″ or two 9″ cake pans, and line them with parchment paper circles. Be sure your 9″ pans are at least 2″ deep.

    2. MAKE the cake: Place the stout and butter in a large, heavy saucepan, and heat until the butter melts. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the cocoa powder. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

    3. WHISK together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and sour cream. Add the stout-cocoa mixture, mixing to combine. Add the flour mixture and mix together at slow speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and mix again for 1 minute.

    4. DIVIDE the batter equally among the prepared pans. Bake the layers for 35 minutes for 8″ pans, or 45 to 50 minutes for 9″ pans, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes before turning the cakes out of their pans and returning to the rack to finish cooling completely before frosting.

    5. MAKE the frosting: Place the chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer in a heavy, medium-sized saucepan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until the mixture is completely smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Refrigerate until the icing is spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.

    6. ASSEMBLE: Trim one cake layer to have a flat top, if necessary (otherwise the layer will crack when you place it upside down on your cake plate). Line the edges of a serving plate with parchment or waxed paper to keep it clean, and then place the layer upside down on top. Spread 2/3 cup of the icing over just the top of the layer. Top with another cake layer, top side down, and repeat the process. If you baked three layers, add that one also. Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. Remove the parchment or waxed paper.

    TIPS

  • Here’s a step-by-step pictorial of the recipe process.
  • If you’re using salted butter, decrease the salt in the recipe to 1 teaspoon.
  • If you’re buying Guinness in cans 14.9 ounces), use 1 can and make up the difference in volume with water.
  • If you’re making 2 layers, be sure your 9″ cake pans are at least 2″ deep. If they aren’t that tall, use three 8″ layers instead.
  • If you have a scale, the batter for this cake weighs 5 pounds, 15 ounces or 95 ounces. A two-layer cake should have 2 pounds, 15-1/2 ounces of batter in each pan. For a three-layer cake, each layer should weigh 1 pound, 15-1/2 ounces.
  • If you use pure chocolate disks or chips, they’ll melt more quickly when making the frosting. King Arthur Flour used a bit of leftover tempered chocolate in the photos for this recipe.
  • For a smaller cake, downsize the ingredients as follows: 1-1/2 cups each beer and butter; 1 cup cocoa; 3 cups each flour and sugar; 2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder; 1 teaspoon salt; 3 large eggs; 2/3 cup sour cream. Bake in two 9″ round pans, at 350°F, for 35 minutes. Frost with Super-Simple Chocolate Frosting, with the optional espresso powder added. This downsized version also makes 30 standard-size cupcakes; bake them for 18 to 22 minutes, then remove from the oven, cool, and frost.
  •   

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    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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