Chocolate Stout Tart + 5 Unique Beer Dessert Recipes

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He would say their love story began with a mutual affection for good beer and dessert.  She wouldn’t deny him that bit of nostalgia…most days.  [Lately her moods changed with the tide, the phases of the moon, the direction of the wind.]

She would say their love story began with a conversation, his kindness evident with every word spilling from his sweet mouth. [ His sense of humor, intelligence, opinions, though less appreciated today, fused her soul to his many years ago.]

And what would they say now?  The moon is in the waning Gibbous phase, the tide is low, the winds wild.  A tempestuous phase in their many years together.  Both will agree something was lost along the way. A persistent trickle, not a gash, slowly absorbing into their everyday.  Yet, despite arriving at this volatile juncture they remain in awe of all that followed since their love story began.  So tonight, when the house is quiet, the day almost done, they will split a beer, nibble on some chocolate, and each wonder silently: what’s next in our love story?

Chocolate Stout Tart

tart dough recipe adapted from David Lebovitz

chocolate stout filling adapted from Ambrosia Baking

Serves 6-8

Ingredients for Tart Dough:
1 cup + 5 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar

8 tablespoons or 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cubed

1 large egg

Ingredients for chocolate stout filling:

1- 11 ounce bottle of Guinness, reduced to 1/4 cup

1 + 1/4 cups heavy cream

9 ounces of dark chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon of vanilla

a generous pinch of kosher salt

Fresh whipped cream and crushed pretzels for topping

Directions:

Using a food processor fitted with a blade attachment mix the flour, salt and sugar until combined.  Add the butter and pulse until the butter is pea-size.  Next add the egg and continue to pulse until the dough comes together and is smooth.  Remove dough from food processor and shape it into a disk.  Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes up to overnight.

Flour a clean surface and roll the dough until it is about a 13 inch circle.  Transfer dough to a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Press the dough firmly into the tart pan and in the corners of the pan.  Trim any excess by running the side of a knife around the top of the tart.  Hold onto any scraps for patching.  If there are any holes in your tart, use the excess dough to patch them.  Prick the dough five times with a fork.  Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

When ready to bake the tart shell, pre-heat your oven to 400F.  Line the frozen tart with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake until the tart is golden brown about 25 minutes but check after 15 minutes.   Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  Next make the chocolate stout filling.

Pour Guinness into a small pan and bring to a simmer.  Reduce to about 1/4 cup.  Remove from the heat and set aside.  Grab a second sauce pan and heat the cream until it just begins to simmer.  Using a medium bowl, add chopped chocolate, vanilla extract, salt and 3 tablespoons of reduced Guinness.  Remove simmering cream from the heat and pour over the chocolate mixture.  Let it stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until completely blended and very smooth.  Pour the chocolate ganache into the cooled tart shell .  Spread evenly using a spatula.  Refrigerate for at least two hours or until the ganache has completely set.  Just before serving, top the tart with fresh whipped cream and crushed pretzels.  The tart is best the day it is made but will last up to two days in air-tight container in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!

5 Unique Beer Desserts You Must Check Out!

Beer + Brownies = Tasty Beer Brownies!  How Sweet It Is has the recipe for you.

If you are a fan of IPAs check out the Beeroness’ recipe for IPA Lemon Bars.  I am intrigued!  While you are there check out her recipe for beer doughnuts with IPA lemon curd.  Again, intrigued!

Don’t wait until the next holiday season to make Food 52’s gingerbread bundt cake with chocolate glaze.  Seize the day or rather the cake.

Gimme Some Oven’s honey beer bread looks like the perfect vehicle for a generous smear of salted butter.  Yum!

 

 

Baileys Butterscotch Pudding Pie + 5 Unique Pudding Pie Links

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She drove home from the hospital in silence, headlights of passing cars illuminating her briefly before disappearing into the night.  If she hadn’t been alone, one might have noticed the smeared mascara underneath her tired, blue eyes.  Or maybe they would have noticed her wrinkled blue scrubs, a bit of blood splatter on the right leg from a man, or rather, a boy she attempted to save just hours before.

[“Please don’t let me die!” He pleaded while grabbing her shirt, yanking her stethoscope.  She, now, a metaphysical lifeline to a boy nearly gone.  When his grip on her softened, she removed his hand from her shirtsleeve and placed it across his heart.  Stupid kid, she thought.  Look what you have done.  No, she wasn’t cold, but removed.  After all, how could one carry the pain of so many? Damn near impossible.  She had tried.]

The headlights of her station wagon grazed the moonlit snow as pulled into the driveway of her picturesque, yet, modest colonial standing dark and peaceful at midnight.

[Tonight the kids would be asleep.  And her husband?  Passed out in their loveless bed, entangled in the sheets, snoring, farting, reeking of beer.  At least he was in bed.  A welcome change, really, to the nights when he chose to pass out on the living room floor among the toys that were never picked up and the dog hair that blew around the matted carpet like tumbleweeds.]

She sat in her car inside their cluttered garage (bikes, broken toys, Costco bags of toilet paper and paper towels, trash cans permeating the bitter night air) and thought briefly about not going inside.  Is that really an option?  Of course not.

The house-keys slid easily into the lock, reminding her she was home.  She placed her jacket on the overcrowded coat hat rack, someday I’ll organize this, and walked into the kitchen.  Dirty dishes were piled high in the sink, dried ketchup smears decorated their kitchen island, beer cans acted as cairns, marking where his latest, desperate internal battle took place. 

[She sighed.  12:15 AM .  Instead of tackling the mess in the kitchen and the one sleeping in her bed, she would have a drink, ring in the new year with a cold glass of Baileys. ]

The family dog slept curled up against the over-stuffed, milk stained Lazy Boy chair.  She lowered herself into the chair, careful not to wake the dog or spill her drink.  [Did it matter?]  She muted the TV , watched the lovers and strangers in Times Square kiss, desirous for an imagined fresh start.  She understood that craving.

The blue glow from the TV lit her scrubs just enough for the blood splatter to reappear. She rubbed a single finger across it.  The blood soaked in and dry now.  [For a moment she thought of licking  her finger.  A single lick of his blood: water, salt, red and white blood cells, microscopic bits of him dissolving on her tongue and living for as long as she lived.]  She held the glass to her mouth, let the ice cubes hit her lips and took a long sip of the creamy, sweet Baileys.  This year she would save the only life she could save: her own.

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Baileys Butterscotch Pudding Pie

pudding recipe adapted from Aida Mollenkamp’s Keys to the Kitchen

chocolate wafer crust adapted from Williams Sonoma

Serves 6

Ingredients for Pudding:

5 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup of water

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups of milk (not fat-free)

2 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2-3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Crème

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

whipped cream for topping (optional)

chocolate shavings or crushed chocolate wafer cookies for topping (optional)

Directions:

Grab a medium bowl and whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch until well combined.  Set aside.

Add the brown sugar, salt, and water to a medium saucepan placing the pan over medium-low heat.  Stir until the sugar dissolves and begins to bubble.

Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, without stirring, until the mixture becomes thick and dark, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add the milk and heavy cream.  (Be careful! It will bubble.)  Whisk until all butterscotch bits at the bottom of the pan dissolve.

Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.  Do not step away, the mixture could boil over!  Once it reaches a rapid boil, decrease the heat and slowly pour half of the butterscotch mixture to the egg yolks, whisking well to combine.  Now add the custard to the remaining half of the butterscotch mixture.

Whisk over medium heat until the custards just begins to gently boil and coats the back of your spoon, about 3 minutes. ( The custard is ready when it coats the back of spoon.  To be sure, draw your finger across the back of the spoon.  Your finger should leave a mark through the custard and not run back together.)  Remove from the heat.  Add butter, Baileys and vanilla.  Stir until butter is completely melted and the custard is smooth.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve.  Pour custard into a bowl and chill, uncovered, until very cold and pudding like, about 4 hours.   I chilled it overnight.  Transfer to air-tight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

The pudding can be made two days ahead.

Chocolate Wafer Crust

Ingredients:

1 + 1/4 cups crushed chocolate wafers

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoon sugar

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.

Place chocolate wafer cookies in a Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin until they resemble crumbs.

Stir together cookie crumbs, melted butter and sugar in a bowl until the crumbs are moist.  Pat mixture firmly and evenly into a 9 inch pie pan.  Be sure to cover both the bottom and sides of the pan.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Cool completely before filling.

Crust will last, unfilled, for several days well covered and at room temperature.

Assembly!

Add pudding to pie crust, filling it to the top.  (You will have leftover pudding.)  Top with fresh whipped cream, shaved chocolate and/or cookie crumbs.  Chill until ready to serve.  Enjoy!

**Add the pudding to the crust no more than a day before serving it.  The crust will start to get soggy after a couple of days**

5 Unique Pudding Pie Links

Looking for a unexpected spice in your life?  Head to A Cozy Kitchen and make green chili chocolate pudding pie.  Sounds weird but I bet it is delicious.  Embrace the weird.

Vegans rejoice! Ambitious Kitchen has a recipe for vegan chocolate avocado pie that sounds amazing!

A fudgey layer of chocolate pudding covers a sweet chocolate cookie crust and is topped with a light and airy vanilla pudding.  Intrigued? Want the recipe?  Head to Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for the recipe.

Butterscotch pudding meets cheesecake and makes this amazing pie by Bake or Break. Check it out!

Dreaming of peach season in January?  Check out my peach ricotta pudding cream pie recipe.  Swap out the fresh peaches for frozen and you’ll have a bit of summer in January.

Chocolate Stout Cake with Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Frosting + 5 Stout Desserts You Should Make For St. Patty’s Day!

csc0036When you marry a Fitzpatrick and live near Boston it is necessary to celebrate St. Patty’s Day. Before we had kids, Bubba and I would head to an Irish pub and drink green beer. Before I met Bubba, I drank way to much green beer and listened to bad Irish bands at the Black Rose with my college roommate, Amy, also an Irish girl.  When I was a kid, my grandmother made corn beef and cabbage and gave us green carnations on St. Patty’s Day. I guess in some way I have always celebrated this holiday. This year with a new baby in the house, C and G to take care of, and a complete lack of energy, our celebration will be minimal. Sure I will have a beer to celebrate. I just may fall asleep shortly after I finish it. I may even attempt to make this corn beef and cabbage recipe. Maybe Bubba will help the kids make a leprechaun trap this weekend.

I am not sure how we will actually celebrate this holiday. So in anticipation of a busy weekend and not enough sleep, I made a chocolate stout cake with vanilla bean mascarpone frosting a few days early. This was my first attempt making a chocolate stout cake. I love chocolate, but I am not a huge fan of stout beer, so I was a bit hesitant to try this recipe. I am so glad I gave it a shot anyway, because it is by far one of the tastiest cakes I’ve made! The chocolate and the stout are similar in that they both add a dark, bold flavor. The sour cream keeps the cake super moist. The sweet vanilla bean mascarpone frosting adds the perfect balance of sweetness to a slightly bitter crumb. Overall, I love this cake!

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The recipe suggests serving the cake with a stout beer like Guinness. Bubba tried it and said it is a great pairing. Who knew?

csc0020I chose mascarpone (Italian style cream cheese) instead of traditional cream cheese because I had a container of it in the fridge. While making the frosting, I got distracted by N’s crying and over-beat it. The butter and cream cheese separated a bit. I almost threw it out, but Bubba said it still tasted good. I went ahead and frosted the cake, and, yes, it did still taste good. Next time I make cream cheese frosting, I’ll follow these tips by Joy the Baker.

Have a great St. Patty’s Day!

Chocolate Stout Cake with Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Frosting

recipe slightly adapted from Simply Recipes

serves 6-8

Ingredients:

1 cup stout of stout beer, like Guinness

10 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 cups superfine sugar

3/4 cup sour cream

2 eggs

1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch spring-form pan with butter. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Set aside.

Add the beer and butter to a large sauce pan and cook over medium-high heat until the butter is completely melted. Add the cocoa powder and sugar. Whisk together until combined. Remove from heat. Allow it to cool to room temperature.

In a separate bowl beat together the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined. Add the sour cream mixture to the butter & beer mixture and whisk together until fully incorporated.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the beer-butter mixture and whisk together until it just comes together. Do not over whisk!

Pour the batter into the prepared spring-form pan. Drop the pan on the countertop a few times to shake out the air bubbles in the batter .

Bake for about 50-60 minutes, but check doneness at 50 minutes. Cool completely in pan, on a wire rack. When cool, run a knife around the edge to separate the cake from the pan. Remove the ring from the pan. Carefully transfer cake to cake stand. Spread on the frosting and serve with a nice, cold stout. Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Frosting

recipe inspired by Simply Recipes cream cheese frosting

will frost 1 8 or 9 inch cake

Ingredients:

1/2 cup or 1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature

8 oz of mascarpone cheese

2 cups of powdered sugar, sifted

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean, scraped

pinch of kosher salt

Directions:

Beat the cream cheese for a few minutes on medium speed. Add the butter and beat until smooth.  Scrape down the bowl.

Add the vanilla extract and vanilla bean. Slowly add the powdered sugar and a pinch of salt. (Add more powdered sugar if you want it sweeter.)

Refrigerate the frosting for about an hour to help it to firm up. Spread on cooled cake and serve!

5 Stout Desserts You Should Make for St. Patty’s Day!

If you love Guinness and you love vanilla ice cream try a Guinness Float! Gimme Some Oven has the recipe for you.

Two of Bubba’s favorite things is bacon and beer. I may need try this beer candied bacon recipe from Tide and Thyme very soon!

Do you love cupcakes and chocolate covered pretzels? Try My Baking Addiction’s stout cupcakes with chocolate covered pretzels. Sounds amazing!

Guinness. Chocolate. Pudding. Yes, it exists. Head over to Sprinkle Bakes for the recipe.

I love snickerdoodles. Heather Cristo came up with a twist on the traditional cookie just in time for St. Patty’s Day. Head over to her blog for the Guinness Snickerdoodles recipe. I hope to make them soon!