Saturday, December 26, 2009

Celtic Kitchen Recipe for Rogue Chocolate Stout Cake

I came across this recipe online in the Irish American News' Celtic Kitchen. Thanks to Julianna Leber for posting it and suggesting my beer, and to the reader who requested it. Time to dig out the bundt pan and do some baking!

Chocolate Stout Cake
Makes 1 2-layer cake or 6 mini bundts
1 c. stout (Guinness or a Rogue chocolate stout)
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (+ 2 T.)
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
2 large eggs
3/4 scant c. sour cream

1 c. heavy cream
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, in bits

Butter and flour (with 2 T. cocoa) pans. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Heat stout and butter in heavy pan and stir. Add cocoa powder and mix completely. Let cool. Whisk dry ingredients together. With electric mixer, combine eggs and sour cream. Add stout mixture to egg mix and beat to combine. Add four mixture and mix slowly, just to combine. Using spatula, fold ingredients together to mix completely. Pour into pans and bake 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Mini bundts will be 10 minutes shorter. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then remove and cool completely.

In heavy saucepan combine cream and chocolate and stir until fully melted. Set aside and cool until almost spreadable. When ready, frost or pour ganache over cakes, top with whip cream and serve.

Merry Christmas!!

To twitt or not to twitt, when you've been tweeted...

I have resisted twitter, but now I've been tweeted... what is a beer to do?
  • Rogue Chocolate Stout. It's like all the best sex you've ever had poured into a bottle and served by a sexy lady.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

To knead or not to need beer bread...

What a wonderful surprise to my wondering eyes... a Chocolate Stout Beer Bread recipe posted on Maria's Golden Oven uses Rogue Chocolate Stout inspired by a no-knead method. I may not need bread but I love a loaf with a crunchy crust and lots of flavor and texture inside. Maria writes this bread may be better than the beer itself... I don't know about that, but it is up to you to decide! I'm thinking this would make great French Toast, yummy toasted with Peanut or Almond Butter and Bananas, or toasted for a BLT (bacon is one of my feel good / comfort foods to cook, and eat!)

Photo Caption: I invented this recipe after being inspired by Jim Lahey's no-knead method. It's even better than beer itself! At least I think so.

2 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
5/8 cups chocolate stout beer (I used Rogue beer from OR)

1. Whisk all the dry ingredients together. Add the beer and mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon. If it's not really sticky to the touch, mix in another tablespoon or two of water. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 12 to 18 hours.

2. When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Using lightly floured hands or a bowl scraper or spatula, lift the edges of the dough in toward the center. Nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough to make it round.

3. Place a tea towel on your work surface and generously dust it with wheat bran, cornmeal, or flour. Gently place the dough on the towel, seam side down. If the dough is tacky, dust the top lightly with wheat bran, cornmeal, or flour. Fold the ends of the tea towel loosely over the dough to cover it and place it in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it is almost doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.

4. Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F, with a rack in the lower third, and place the covered 4 1/2- to 5 1/2-quart heavy pot in the center of the rack.

5. Using pot holders, carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Unfold the tea towel and quickly but gently invert the dough into the pot, seam side up. (Use caution - the pot will be very hot) Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes.

6. Remove the lid and continue baking until bread is a deep chestnut color but not burnt, 15 to 30 minutes more. Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to gently lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Seeing, Listening and Haiku'ing Beer

ng your own haiku ... and drinking it too...
how sweet it is!
Captain Hops, thank you!

The lookin
g glass photo was taken during the Brewers Association Media Luncheon at Great American Beer Festival. I spoke about Rogue Hazelnut Brown Ale, which was paired with the molten chocolate cake and Andy from BA took this photo through a glass of Rogue's elixir.

Beer and Comfort Foods... sounds like Umami! CraftBeerRadio has posted a mp3 of me talking about beer and flavors during the GABF Tasting Panel... its here is the marquee

Beer is food according to Rogue Advocate, Sebbie Buhler. Some of our favorite comfort foods (and haute cuisine) are best enjoyed with ales, lagers, stouts and porters. This tasting experience will touch on the versatility of beer as the ultimate beverage for sweet, salty, bitter and sour along with the fifth sense, Umami. Explore the flavors of Rogue Creamery Cheese, Nueske's Bacon, and Tcho chocolate; paired with a selection of beer from Rogue Ales

Friday, December 4, 2009

Beer and Cheese 101

When pairing beer and cheese, consider the classic Ploughmans
Lunch in Britain -- a pint of bitter, a wedge of cheddar, pickles & picked
onions, charcuterie and a baguette.
The variety of craft beers & styles
and artisan cheeses that are available can be daunting, so here are a few
tips and rules of thumb to break!

It is all about Taste...
Aged cheese (parmesean, gouda, blues, cheddars) have a crystalline texture
from the naturally occurring glutanic acid, this is the basis of Umami. Some
argue Umami is the fifth taste sense (bitter, sweet, salty and sour are the core
four), others say it is just a sensation. It is hard to argue the pairing of an aged
cheese with a big flavored beer (lots of malt, and hop forward) is anything
but amazingly delicious, and quite pleasurable, thanks to Umami.

and Breaking Myths...
this headline sums it up:
Forget wine and cheese parties -- the true soul mate for fromage isn't
made from grape juice.

Janet Fletcher, a noted author of 18 books on food (Niman Ranch Cookbook),
wine, and cheese (The Cheese Course) , has a cheese column in the San Francisco
Chronicle. Her article in Februaury 2005 heralded the virtues of beer and
cheese ~ Janet had a beer and cheese epiphany, which is music to my ears!

Her article highlights pairing rules, suggestions and references from
Garrett Oliver (brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery, author of Brewmasters Table),
Lucy Saunders
( website, noted beer/food author) and
Tom Dalldorf (Celebrator Beer News editor). Her article is great read and reference.

Janet's pointers are bold
, along with a few of my pairing suggestions:

Pairing Pointers... Although you'll find many happy matches that
break the following rules, these guidelines are a good starting point
for thinking about beer with cheese.

Pair delicate beers with young, fresh cheeses.
Morimoto Soba Ale with a fresh chevre (goat milk), or the classic
pairing with Rogue Creamery Morimoto Soba Cheddar.

Juniper Pale Ale with Vella Dry Jack or Rogue Creamery Crater
Lake Blue (really!).

Pair rich malty beers with nutty, aged cheeses.
Dead Guy Ale or American Amber Ale with an Aged Gouda
(Willamette Valley) .

Hazenut Brown Ale with Rogue Creamery Raw Milk Sharp
cheddar or TouVelle.

American Amber Ale with Rogue Creamery Chipitle Cheddar.

Pair highly hopped, bitter beers with tart, sharp cheeses,
especially cheddars.

Youngers Special Bitter with Fiscalini Bandage Wrapped
Cheddar (other classic aged cheddars, WSU Cougar Gold,
Beechers, Jasper Hill, Grafton, Shelbourne Farms, Widmer Bros.)

Imperial Younger’s Special Bitter with
Rogue Creamery Echo Mountain (part goat, mostly cows milk).

Pair strong, sweet beers with blue cheeses.
Any Rogue Stout (Chocolate Stout, Shakespeare Stout, Imperial Stout)
or Old Crustacean Barleywine paired with
Rogue Creamery Blue (OR Blue, Crater Lake Blue, Smokey Blue,
Rogue River Blue, Oregonzola, Cave Man Blue, Echo Mtn Blue).
Bottom line: Cows do not eat grapes... (JackJoyce-ism)

Photo: Seb's beer and cheese class at Artisanal Premium Cheese Center in NYC

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Save room for dessert paired with chocolate stout

This week the Naked Pint book tour was in the land some call Munich on the Willamette or the City of Roses... BlueHour sponsored a dinner with Christina and Hallie, fellow Rogue colleagues attended and sent me the menu... first thing I notice, the name is wrong... Rogue Double Chocolate Stout will be released in 3Q 2010, also Double Chocolate is not twice the hops and barley and oats you find in "regular" Rogue Chocolate, but a totally different hop and grain bill! For the record on their book tour dinner, Blue Hour paired Rogue Chocolate Stout with their dessert Chocolate Oatmeal Stout Pot de Creme and dried cherry chocolate chip cookies... Yummmm, I hope the folks who attended this dinner saved room for dessert!

Since this post is about pairing beer and dessert and the various chocolate stout recipes, here is another pairing story.

Imperial Chocolate Stout was served at the National Homebrewers Conference in June 2009. Next summer (2010) this beer will be debuted in a 22oz bottle as part of the Double series (with Dead Guy and Mocha Porter)! Remember, Imperial, aka Double Chocolate is an evolution of the regular Rogue Chocolate Stout recipe, but not twice the ingredients.

Homebrew Chef Sean Paxton's dessert (for 800) was made with a keg of Rogue Hazelnut Brown Ale and many pounds of Tcho chocolate (in the mousse), sprinkled with roasted Crystal Malt and whipped cream was served in an edible chocolate cup, with pieces of Tcho's chocolates on the side -- paired with Japanese export bottle, Rogue Imperial Chocolate Stout. It was sublime! To Tcho or not to Tcho? I Tcho!