there’s beer in my ice cream

You’ve read about Humphry Slocombe’s ice cream book here before. Foodforfun has also detailed the purchase of my new ice cream maker as well as the adventures that followed. Today I’ll further those adventures and offer up a tale of combining two rock-star consumables: beer and ice cream.

I’ve enjoyed mixing stout and other dark beers with vanilla ice cream as a float, both in restaurants and at home. The caramel, chocolate, and coffee notes in a dark beer play off the creamy, cold chill of vanilla ice cream to make a fantastically fun adult dessert. (Though don’t even think about combining ice cream with high-hop beers such as pale ales. This can only end with a “yuck” and subsequent dump down the drain.)

Always up for pushing the culinary envelope, I wondered what would happen if beer was an ice cream ingredient, rather than just a pour-over. HS came through for me with multiple beer-flavored ice creams in its above-mentioned cookbook. Butter Beer intrigued me most (though Guinness Gingerbread might be next on my list), so I gave it a whirl. Introducing it as “a simple flavor that combines two of our most popular flavors, Brown Butter and Stout,” HS offers this as one of many wildly amazing flavors sold in its San Francisco shop. And because I was obsessed smart enough to buy the book, I can enjoy it in my Minnesota kitchen as well.

The Butter Beer verdict? Still swooning as I write. Flavors of oatmeal stout, cream, and browned butter played off each other well, melding to make a rich and creamy and not-too-sweet batch of ice cream. While “yeasty” seems more of a thumbs-down sort of descriptor for ice cream, it was a plus in this case, as the slightly sour and yeasty notes balanced the deep earthy sweetness offered up by the molasses and brown sugar. (In the Did You Know category: brown sugar is simply white sugar with molasses mixed in. Make your own by stirring together 2 tablespoons molasses for every cup of white sugar. After picking this tip up over two years ago, I’ve yet to buy packaged brown sugar.) But back to Butter Beer ice cream–amazing solo, it would also pair well with chocolate syrup or blend with malt powder for a killer malted milk.

While I’m nuts about this discovery and thrilled to have answered my question of how beer-flavored ice cream would taste, I’ll  note that my husband and parents–willing taste-testers, all–turned up their noses at it. Butter Beer is not a flavor for everyone. But anyone who loves a culinary adventure and loads of complex flavor will enjoy very much.

oatmeal stout-browned butter ice cream

oatmeal stout-browned butter ice cream

Butter Beer Ice Cream

from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle oatmeal stout
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

In large heavy-bottomed nonreactive saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, tilting pan back and forth to cook evenly, 5 minutes or until butter starts to brown lightly. (As the recipe wisely notes: “careful! brown is good, black is burnt”)

Immediately add stout and brown sugar to saucepan; stir to dissolve. Cook over medium heat 15 to 20 minutes or until reduced by half and is slightly sticky to touch. Add molasses; stir until well blended. Add cream, milk, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until hot but not boiling.

Fill large bowl or pan with ice and water. Place large, clean bowl in ice bath and fit bowl with fine-mesh strainer.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and granulated sugar until well blended. Remove cream mixture from heat. Slowly pour about half of hot cream mixture into yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Transfer yolk mixture back to saucepan with remaining cream mixture; return to medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with rubber spatula scraping bottom of saucepan so it doesn’t scorch, 2 to 3 minutes or until liquid begins to steam and you can feel spatula scrape against bottom of pan.

Remove custard from heat; immediately pour through strainer into clean bowl set up in ice bath. Let cool, stirring occasionally. When custard has cooled, cover bowl tightly. Refrigerate 1 hour or preferably overnight. When ready to freeze custard, transfer to ice cream maker; churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Can be stored frozen up to 1 week. Makes 1 quart.

49 thoughts on “there’s beer in my ice cream

  1. The ice cream looks wonderful–and I’m really tempted to go buy some molasses! I hate trying to use brown sugar because it always turns into an infuriatingly hard rock before I can even use half of it up.

    • Tracy, you’ve outwitted me! Would have to look up the answer 0-: Though that sounds about right. Slowly heating the egg mixture with the cream before combining it all helps, too. Then the strainer eliminates any egg that did cook (of which I managed to have a fair amount–arrgh). Glad you like. Wish I could send you a carton as you burn the midnight oil. Almost there!

  2. When I saw the title of this post, I thought it was going to be about a beer float, a drink I have heard of but never dared try. You might have changed my mind about that.

    Beer ice cream! Now that is not something I’ve never heard of but would definitely give a try. We have the ice cream maker attachment for our stand mixer, which is due to be put to use again soon. Maybe this ice cream will make it into the rotation. Thanks for being so adventurous!

    • I’m crazy in the kitchen–haha. The trick with the beer float is using the right kind of beer. Needs to be dark enough to not be nasty. An ice cream maker attachment for a stand mixer? I’m intrigued!

  3. I have an ice cream maker myself and I generally only use beer to cook with so this might be right up our alley – although I’m out of dark beer right now. Soon as I get some though……:)

  4. Oh goodness. You had me at “ice cream” but I love the way you describe flavour combos Liz – you make everything sound amazing. Brown butter, oatmeal stout, and cream? Sign me up!!

    • unfortunately this would not ship well 😦 Thanks for the kind words–hard to come up with new ways to describe flavors etc when it’s what I do all day long. Though there are worse gigs, I suppose. Your comment has made me hungry, so I am off to make a beer ice cream sandwich using sourdough chocolate banana bread. (just kidding–sounds a bit much even for me) Maybe I will make your choc cake in a cup? 😉

  5. We would like the Butter Beer ice cream (we love Guinness in baked goods). And we have been to HS and loved the ice cream. San Francisco is having an ice cream “revival” and HS and BiRite are some of the best.

    • lol–I have the BiRite book (Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones) and have blogged about it, too. If I remember correctly, that’s the ice cream batch that did my phone in. What I won’t do for a good ice cream! HS would be a great reason (among many) to live in California.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Hannah! Have popped over to landfoodlife, but waiting until I have a bit more time to look around more. This ice cream was a (delicious) adventure for sure.

  6. Sounds amazing!! I love beer in just about anything and I love tinkering with alcohol and ice cream. So many good flavor combinations to be had. I really need to give this a try and soon! Also I hope you held on tight to your phone this time around! =)

    • heehee–no picture of the custard this time. You should try this for sure–it’s just so so so good. Love that you posted on facebook–thank you!!

  7. Beer&ice cream? oooo doesn’t need to be summer that I’d love it!! 😀 Thank you for that interesting recipe, absolutely worth of trying it myself!!!

    • Let me know if you do, Irena. Would love to see pictures of your batch 🙂 Nope, doesn’t need to be summer to enjoy ice cream. Love that you’re here–thanks!

  8. Pingback: there’s beer in my ice cream | Ta hendene til din kjære – se på dem og hold dem hardt Disse hendene skal du følge, leie og lede. Du skal få føle på varmen fra dem og kjenne en inderlig glede. De skal stryke deg og de skal holde rundt deg –

  9. Delicious! i love your amazing description 🙂 Around the holidays I made my own version of buttered rum and wassle with the obvious use of beer. It was quite tasty and would have been amazing over some vanilla ice cream or even better made into ice cream 🙂

  10. Reblogged this on Lilly Sue's Bites and Brews and commented:
    Liz over at Food For Fun has been so supportive of Lilly Sue’s Bites and Brews and I always love reading her nice comments and fun ideas. Liz shares a passion for beer and one of her recent posts she experimented with Beer and Ice Cream…MMM…what could be better? 😀

    • Thanks for combing by, Crave. Good call on the stout in gelato and beer float plans. You have excellent taste 🙂 Appreciate your comment. Happy Thursday to you, too!

    • Thanks for the visit 🙂 It has a strong molasses flavor, which is balanced by the stout. But because both flavors are fairly prominent, it’s not an ice cream for those who like milder tastes. I love it, but my husband does not. Wish I could send out samples!

    • Thanks for coming by, Eva 🙂 Yes, the fact that it froze–with all that beer–surprised me, too. It was still relatively soft after churning, but time in the freezer helped it much. Though it IS a quick melt, so you have to eat quickly!

    • Thanks so much 🙂 Love love love your idea of serving this ice cream for Father’s Day! This is why I love food so–it’s all about family, friends, love 🙂

  11. So my husband just bought the Humphry Slocombe book on our Kindle! I knew the name sounded familiar and then it clicked it was the one you have been reading. So excited for yummy ice cream goodness!

    • if you use the right beer, it’s a surprisingly awesome combination. Thanks for your comment and thanks for stopping by so many posts 🙂

  12. Pingback: a very long introduction, three recipes down, one to go | food for fun


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