Cooking with St. Stefanus: Beer & Dessert

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“When you have something a bit acidic or sugary, that you want to balance, soften it with beer.”

Have you ever made dessert with a craft beer? According to renowned Parisian restaurateur, Robin Grenier, there is absolutely no reason why beer can’t be one of your key dessert ingredients – he actually recommends it!

Beer can add a new dimension to a classic dessert (not to mention being quite the talking point!). Take a look at our video to see what else Robin had to say:

Here are our top tips for adding beer to sweet dishes:

• When planning a beer dessert, think about baking. Beer is a mild leavening agent so, as well as adding a lightness to baked goods, it will also help them to last longer.

• Practically, make sure you use a big bowl. Most beers will foam on contact with other ingredients and you don’t want to be creating any more washing up than necessary! Alternatively, whisk the speciality beer first to release some of the excess carbonation and let it settle before adding into your recipe.

• When considering which speciality beers to use, there are some basic pairings that can help guide your decision. For instance, stout beers go extremely well with chocolate while brown ales work in caramel-based desserts and can also enhance nutty flavours. Fruitier ales or wheat beers are an easy choice to add depth to any fruit-based dessert. In terms of texture, thick, darker beers will give good body to heavier desserts like pies. Light beers work well in lighter desserts like cakes and are better suited for lighter desserts like ice cream or vanilla cakes.

• Ultimately, the one rule to follow is to never cook or bake with a beer that you would not drink. The beer will have an impact on your final dessert, so make sure that you choose a quality speciality beer.

Do you have any top tips for using beer in dessert?

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