Cooking with beer and food pairing to create the perfect balance of flavours teasing one’s pallets is not something new. Does beer struggle to conquer the world of desserts?
With a bit help from the Brewer’s Association, Randy Mosher & Anikó Lehtinen, a beer expert with a sweet tooth, we’ve complied our findings with a cheat sheet for beer pairings with dessert & a few recipes you can indulge in as well!
The Brewer’s Association Can’t Fail Guide to Matching Beer & Food
1) MATCH STRENGTH WITH STRENGTH: Delicate dishes work best with delicate beers, and strongly-flavoured foods demand assertive beers—no surprise there. Intensity of flavour is not any single thing, but a sum of the taste experience. In beer, it may involve alcoholic strength, malt character, hop bitterness, sweetness, richness, roastiness and more. In food, richness (okay, let’s just say it—fat), sweetness, cooking methods, spicing, texture and complexity all play a role.
2) FIND HARMONIES. Combinations often work best when they share some common flavour or aroma elements. The nutty flavours of an English-style brown ale and a handmade cheddar cheese; the deep, roasted flavours of imperial stout and chocolate truffles; the clean caramelly flavours of an Oktoberfest lager and roasted pork are all examples of this.
3) CONSIDER SWEETNESS, BITTERNESS, CARBONATION, HEAT (SPICE) AND RICHNESS. Certain qualities of food and beer interact with each other in specific, predictable ways. Taking advantage of these interactions ensures that the food and beer will balance each other, with one partner not throwing the match out of whack. These are specific interactions, different from the intensity-matching mentioned above. One sort of has to parse these out one-by-one as the situation demands, and find flavours that will enhance one another. The chart below lays out the specifics.
Now for some Recipes!
Preheat oven to 350F
Sift together the flour and cocoa powder. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a bowl over boiling water. In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter until it just turns golden brown. Pour the brown butter into the bowl of chocolate, scraping the pan to get the brown bits (this prevents it from overcooking), then add the beer. Beat together the eggs and sugar until thick and shiny (2 minutes). Continue beating on low while adding flour mixture and wet ingredients alternatively. Finish with the vanilla. Do not over mix. Fold in the chips. Pour into a buttered and floured 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
1. To make the churros. In a medium saucepan, combine beer, butter, brown sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat (make sure to actually bring the mixture to a boil). Add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes. 1. To make the churros. In a medium saucepan, combine beer, butter, brown sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat (make sure to actually bring the mixture to a boil). Add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beating well with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
2. Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip or just snip the corner off a gallon size ziplock bag and skip the tip.
3. In a medium bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
4. Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep saucepan to between 350 degrees F. – 375 degrees F. fill a large saucepan 2/3 full with vegetable oil and heat to 350 degrees F. Remove batter from refrigerator and slowly squeeze 3-inch long strips of batter into the oil. Fry in batches, until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes, flipping halfway through. Drain churros on paper towels.
5. Roll warm churros in cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Serve warm with the chocolate cajeta.
IPA LEMON BARS
1. In a food processor add the flour, powdered sugar, butter and salt. 1. In a food processor add the flour, powdered sugar, butter and salt. Process until well combined.
2. Press into the bottom of a greased 8X8 pan (for a 9×13 pan, double the entire recipe).Chill for 15 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350.
4. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool to about room temperature, about 15 minutes (this will help the crust and the filling to stay in two distinct layers.)
5. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour and corn starch. Add in the lemon juice and beer, stir until combined. Pour the filling over the cooled crust. Bake until the center has set, about 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before refrigerating. Chill for 2 to 3 hours before cutting. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.