Indulging in a chocolate is very similar to the feeling of cracking open an ice cold beer, but few people imagine that the two can actually be paired...
As Easter rolls around, the good news is that beer can be an inseparable partner of chocolate. Certified Cicerones (beer sommeliers) agree thatmilk chocolate tends to pair better with traditionally chocolatey beers, like porter or stout, whereas dark chocolate pairs better with beers of high intensity that may not be as obvious, like dubbel or a Belgian strong dark ale.
Tshepo Tloubatla, Beer Culture Manager at the SAB & AB InBev Africa, says that both chocolate and beer are complex foods, meaning their combination is that of dynamic flavours. “Chocolate and stout are a match made in heaven. They complement each other with their decadent, rich and smooth qualities. Dark beers are all brewed with a portion of roasted dark malt, which gives distinctive chocolate notes.”
Brewers have taken this pairing further by using cocoa as an added ingredient – which is what SAB did when they created a chocolate infused version of their popular Castle Milk Stout, further cementing the beer’s perfect pairing with chocolate recipes.
Both variants of Castle Milk Stout pair perfectly with chocolate cakes and pudding, so here are two delicious chocolate desserts that you can try – guaranteed to make your Easter even sweeter.
Dark Chocolate & Ale Truffles
Hands on Time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes (30 for cooling and 10 for cooking)
Oven Temperature: Stove top
In this recipe the beer takes the place of most of the cream, which is normally used when making a ganache.
- 175ml Castle Milk Stout
- 50 ml double cream
- 125g light muscovado sugar
- 450g dark chocolate (chopped)
- Pour 75ml of Castle Milk Stout into a saucepan along with the cream and sugar. Stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved then add the remaining ale, bring to a boil then remove from the heat and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
- Place the chocolate into a bowl and pour over the warm ale. If the liquid is too hot the mixture will split. Stir slowly but constantly to melt the chocolate.
- Cool to room temperature, then roll into truffles. Coat with cocoa powder and keep in the fridge until needed. Remove from the fridge 20 minutes before serving
Tip: Choose Castle Milk Stout to help complement, rather than contrast, with the bitterness in the chocolate.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Makes: 1 cake
Hands on Time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Oven Temperature: 150 °C
This cake will complement Castle Milk Stout Chocolate Infused. The beer has a wonderful smoky nose and sweet palate with plenty of dark chocolatey undertones which match well with decadent cocoa-based desserts.
- 300g dark chocolate (chopped)
- 200g muscovado sugar
- 175ml boiling water
- 225g unsalted butter (diced)
- 6 eggs separated into yolks and whites
- A pinch of sea salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C, then grease and line a 23cm cake tin.
- Add the chopped chocolate and sugar to a food processor and blend until it forms a powder then add the boiling water, butter, yolks and salt. Blend again until properly mixed.
- Whisk the egg whites in a clean, grease free bowl until the stiff peaks stage, add a spoonful of egg white to the chocolate mixture then carefully fold this back into the egg white, a spoonful at a time
- Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean after being inserted into the middle. Cool the cake and refrigerate until needed.
Tip: Make sure to use high quality chocolate with a high cocoa percentage – a cake that is too sweet will jar with the bitterness of the stout.
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