I have a deep seated desire for finding ways to add beer to as many of my recipes as possible. Well… actually, don’t all of us craft beer drinkers?
In addition to adding dark beers to dishes such as beef stew and chili, I’ve recently been on the look out for ways to add beer to desserts. As someone who likes coming up with recipes on the fly, one factor that held me back from baking desserts with beer was the risk factor of adding too much or for that matter too little beer and throwing off the texture of a dessert. So when my keg of chocolate oatmeal milk stout was close to finishing I felt it was time to gather up my courage and pick a dessert to incorporate it into. Brownies were the most obvious choice because of their dense, moist, and chocolate forward nature.
Though I like a dense and fudge-y brownie after a full meal, an opportunity arose for me to bake beer brownies for breakfast. As you may know I recently brewed a rye pale ale on March 18th at Rockaway Brewing Company along with my fellow Brewminaries and the owners of Bitter & Esters. Being that brew day was set to start at 10am I decided to bake them as a morning treat and source of energy prior to our long brew day. Needless to say we ended up waiting until brew day was over to try them and ended up pairing them with my chocolate oatmeal milk stout.
Now before I tell you how they turned out I’ll share with you how I prepared and then baked them…Although I’d baked brownies many times in the past, I chose do a quick google search for ‘chocolate stout brownies’ and found a delicious sounding recipe for Triple Chocolate Stout Beer Brownies that I knew I’d be able to follow.
- 12 ounces chocolate stout or any dark beer
- 1 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (more to taste is using a roasty tasting beer)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup Heath bar bits
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Step One: Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a 13x9x2 baking pan or aluminum pan with aluminum foil, letting foil extend 2 inches beyond each short side of pan.
Step Two: Whisk together the beer and cocoa powder.
Step Three: Whisk in the melted butter and sugar
Step Four: Whisk in one egg at a time. Note: Room temperature eggs will incorporate faster then fridge temperature eggs.
Step Five: Pour and then whisk in the flour and salt followed by both types of chocolate chips
Step Six: Once all ingredients are well incorporated i.e. the batter is nice and smooth, slowly pour it into your prepared baking pan and use a spatula to make sure it’s level.
Step Seven: Bake 42 to 45 minutes in preheated oven, until top is shiny and dry, and a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out with out moist crumbs attached. Then remove the pan from the oven and let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack.
(Picture for this step is above)
Yield: 32 medium sized brownies
So, how’d they turn out?
These were probably the most chocolatey and decadent brownies that I’ve ever baked. Because I didn’t use any baking powder they were quite dense and best enjoyed by slowly savoring each small bite. When paired with my chocolate oatmeal milk stout the sweetness of both the brownie and the beer complemented each other without becoming cloyingly sweet. I should note that while at times I found myself nitpicking at the dense texture of these brownies, everyone loved them and asked me for the recipe.
So how would tweak this recipe to make it even better? Next, time I will probably take steps to make the brownies a touch less sweet and dense. For example, I may use less sugar or swap out the heath bar bits for more dark chocolate chips, use a less sweet beer, and add a touch of baking powder to add a bit of fluff to the texture.
Remember folks, just as brewing involves a fair amount of experimentation, so does baking. Therefore, I’d recommend trying this recipe as is and then feel free to tweak it to your liking.
Cheers and Keep On Brewing…and baking/cooking with beer!!!