The Session #30: Beer Desserts

The SessionIt’s the first Friday of the month, and that means it’s time for The Session for beer bloggers across the web! The Session is a group blogging project that any blogger (whether or not they regularly write about beer) can participate in: each month a different “host” is selected and they get to determine the topic that everyone will write about. The posts are published on the first Friday of the month and all the results will be compiled into a big list by that month’s host.

This month’s Session honors falls to Beer 47, and the theme is Beer Desserts:

Beer may not be a common ingredient in desserts but when it is used properly, the results can be very delicious. A couple of desserts that I’ve tried making in the past have been beer brittle (pictured above) and stout chocolate cake. Another common beer dessert is a beer float.

For the August 2009 edition of the The Session, Beer 47 will hosting a discussion about Beer Desserts. What beer desserts have you tried and liked? Disliked? What beer styles work well with dessert and which ones do not? Do you have any beer dessert recipes that you enjoyed and would like to share?

Cooking with beer is something I do infrequently, and I’ve only made one dessert type dish: beer cupcakes, made with Guinness Stout. (The original recipe doesn’t appear to be online anymore.) And frankly I’ve not had many desserts using beer as an ingredient—though I’ve drooled over the beer ice cream, beer cheesecake, and Irish stout cake, and love the idea of the beer float. The only desserts I can think of that I have had that probably qualify are of the baked variety, but I’d hardly turn down the opportunity to try others.

I would imagine that the beers you would ordinarily pair with a dessert (stouts, fruit beers, chocolate beers, and so on) would also work rather well as an ingredient. For instance, here’s a recipe for Cherry Beer Cake that uses “cherry wheat” beer; though I have to say I think a chocolate stout would work very well too.

Some other style/recipe ideas: a crème brûlée made with a Porter or Brown Ale; fruit cobbler made with a fruit beer (something with blackberries or raspberries would be delicious); artisan cheese made with beer (for those who like a more savory dessert—and there’s a cheesemaker local to me who makes a beer cheese); carrot cake with cream cheese frosting made with Imperial IPA.

(I stole that last one from Randy Mosher, who recommends the unlikely pairing of Imperial IPA with carrot cake in Radical Brewing.)

And really, let’s not overlook beer itself as the dessert. Pour up a snifter of an Imperial Stout or a Barleywine, something rich and strong and complex, and that for me would be as good as a slice of cheesecake.