the bite of the british snake?

the bite of the british snake?

Despite my promise to return one week later with a drink to accompany Great-aunt Helen’s Chicken Wings, it’s now been two weeks since reporting in. I’ll play the Mom Card and say it’s been another bunch of crazy weeks with … Continue reading

the drinks of Door County

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Life was sweet last week when food for fun took a quick trip to Door County, Wisconsin. Next on our list are the beverages enjoyed on my recent foodie vacay. Quick recap: A friend invited me to join her for … Continue reading

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.

cocktail flippin’

Mentioned in my last post was my delight in meeting other like-minded folk within the blogging community. My circle of friends has expanded in ways I’d never imagined as has my pool of ideas and inspiration. A recent find has been The Weary Chef. Like me, she feeds a husband and two young kids while also running around tending to the rest of her life. While I’ve only just discovered TWC, I’m already nuts about her Friday Happy Hour post. While you’ll find a handful of cocktail write-ups at food for fun, there’s nothing scheduled weekly. Yet I so like the idea of celebrating the end of a workweek with a fun adult beverage that I’m hoping to stop by TWC each Friday and make whatever it is she’s making (or at least an approximation, depending on my pantry).

In honor of my new Friday tradition, I’ve been inspired by a review of a just-opened restaurant (you must click on this link if only to see the box graters hanging from the ceiling) in the latest Minnesota Monthly. Borough’s bar menu features A Flippin’ Good Drink and for the name alone I already love it. But it gets better: this drink combines milk stout with bourbon and egg to taste “almost like bitter dark chocolate.” Anything with bourbon gets a Like from me and the whole concept sounded absolutely lovely.

Amounts were not given, so I guessed at two parts stout to one part bourbon. And the (raw) egg thing didn’t sit well with me as it smacked of health shakes circa 1970. But I love me a little egg white froth on a cocktail (ramos gin fizz, anyone?), so tossed one white in the mix. Into the cocktail shaker, then, went 1/2 cup stout, 1/4 cup bourbon, 1 egg white.

flippin' good, yes

flippin’ good, yes

Minimal shaking required as the stout provided plenty of foam, though the egg white gave it a boost as well as tamed some of the stout’s rougher edges. I gave it a blast of carbonated water after sampling as it was too strong for my taste, but the chocolate notes rang loud and clear. I hope to hit Borough soon to try the real deal, but for now will enjoy my homespun version of the flippin’ good.

Overall, my drink-mixing skills are bare bones as I have yet to develop a sense for what kind and how much of one spirit to mix with another. But if I continue hanging out at TWC and other fun cocktail posts (Putney Farms is another good one for fun drinks), I’ll eventually find my inner mixologist. If you have favorite cocktail recipes or blog suggestions that will help me get there, please holler back via comments or facebook. I’d love to have you at the party 🙂