August 3, 2009

Session #30: Beer Desserts

This month, David Jensen at Beer 47 asks us beer bloggers to blog-tificate on Beer Desserts, that is, dessert that features beer as an ingredient. You'd think by my last post that I'd already known this was the upcoming topic, but you'd think incorrectly.

Here's the snippet from my previous post dealing with this very subject that starts with two beers I chose to pair with the beer dessert I'd prepared:

O'Hanlon's Original Ruby Stout and Ale Asylum Mercy Grand Cru: I found this bottle of port barrel-aged stout at Beverage Warehouse in LA, and...I knew I had to try it. The Grand of an ultra limited release from this Madison, Wisc. brewery and came into my possession c/o Tom Griffin, the Barrel Guy, which is an entirely different story altogether! I have many fine dessert beers in my possession, but for dolce, the mere appearance of port and the mere mention of Grand Cru made them custom-fit for a wine-themed beer dinner...These unique brews helped wash down the vanilla bean Tripel pot de creme, found on the Homebrew Chef, Sean Paxton's dessert recipe page. I've made creme brulee before, but this was my first (and certainly not last) pot de creme. It required reducing 12 ounces of the aforementioned Affligem Tripel into mere tablespoons, but it was worth it.

Now, just in case there's a story in The New York Times on beer desserts the way there was one on beer cocktails (cheers to Joe Ruvel), I posted a pre-scoop update on David's topic at SF Beer Examiner. Writing there about other area beer desserts, many of which are in ice cream form (stout flavors, stout reduction sauces, and one I've gotta try--21A Watermelon Wheat ice cream), I'm always puzzled when I see bitter beers suggested as dessert pairings. I love sweet beers (Gimme a bourbon-barrel-aged Imperial Stout over a DIPA any day), it's no surprise I think beer is the perfect dessert accompaniment, and "spice" as it were. I still wake up in a cocoa sweat when I dream about the Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse Sean made for the National Homebrewers Conference dinner--decadent mousse with two kinds of chocolate and Hazelnut Brown Ale, topped with malted barley and paired with a flabberghastingly great Chocolate Stout (both Rogue ales).

That's it. This is killing me. I know I've got some chocolate hazelnut gelato in the freezer. The only question is, am I going to float it in a chocolate stout, a coffee stout, or one of the chocolate coffee stouts I've got?

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