Winter time means that as breweries begin releasing their heavier beers, bakeries begin offering stout desserts. Let’s look at the science behind baking with beer, the most popular options available, and best of all, where to find them!
Why beer? Well, according to Lori Rice, Author of Beer Bread: Brew-Infused Breads, “it’s more the base of the beer that is adding a grainy, nutty, bitter, or fruity quality. If you want a deeper flavor, go for a bolder-flavored beer.” The addition of beer helps to make cakes extra tender by adding moisture. Additionally, because of the natural leavening properties, it gives extra lift to any baked goods.
Guinness is no doubt the first beer everyone thinks of when it comes to baking as it’s the most accessible. Richer stouts and porters have low carbonation and various levels of sweetness and dryness. So, we see them working incredibly well with anything chocolate related. They can add extra notes of chocolate, plus hints of vanilla, coffee, caramel, and even coconut. But we can think beyond cake batters when it comes to stout desserts. These beers can lend themselves well to icings, caramels, fudges, and even whipped cream!
Look out for other baked goods that might include stouts. We occasionally see it added to bread, brownies, cupcakes, puddings, even truffles and tiramisu.
Beer desserts aren’t exclusive to stouts, however. Brown ales and amber beers are similar to stouts and porters in that they can exhibit a lower level of bitterness than other beersThey also provide a nuttiness that does wonders for bread, cookies, and pies. Additionally, we see the citrusy components in, say, a lager or wheat beer, work in various lighter, non-chocolate cakes.
If you’re concerned about your kids getting tipsy from consuming a chocolate stout cake, relax, they won’t. Only minimal amounts of beer are added and because the cake has been baked, the alcohol evaporates.
The world recently celebrated International Stout Day. Thus, we can expect a number of new stout releases, and with them, bakers exploring new dessert options. If you don’t have the patience to wait until St. Paddy’s to tuck into one of these adult-themed desserts, we’ve compiled a list of stout desserts. If you’re interested in tasting one of the more general beer desserts you can always look here.