Monday, January 5, 2015

Stone Smoked New Year

Recipe Pairing Flavors:
A chewy, medium-bodied dark brown brew with aromas of smoky malt tinged with orange.  Cocoa nibs and caramel soon follow in the flavor, not far behind another hit of orangey citrus, that finishes long with hoppy bitterness balancing zingy orange zest.



How about a Porter to carry you into the New Year?

No, not those guys who help you ascend Mount Everest or scale the heights to your lofty penthouse suite atop the Vegas strip.

I'm talking about the one that some claim was the favored drink of England's 18th century porters.  And I'm told, they were a hard-working lot who labored from dawn to dusk and carried, well, just about anything.  From furniture to cargo or dishware to machinery, if something needed schlepping, these guys were the wheels.
But wheels with a thirst for a drink potent enough to carry them through a long and arduous day.  Then along came some enterprising English brewer who created a strong, dark brew made from new ales blended with sour or stale mild ones.  Just strong enough to be fortifying, but yet not strong enough to be immobilizing, this 18th century version of an energy drink took off like a charm and quickly adopted the name of its most ardent supporters.

Well, since that time, Porters have waxed and waned in popularity, but today, they’ve been reinvigorated by the craft beer revolution – as is apparent in Stone’s chocolate and orange accented holiday offering.

For here, the traditional chocolate and orange pairing gets the full Smoked Porter treatment, and what results is a blend of complementary flavors just screaming to be added to a full flavored dessert.  And my full flavored answer is a slice of Chocolate & Orange Smoked Porter Pie with its intense chocolatey flavor and a mouth filling texture lying somewhere between dense fudge and cakey brownie.

And with a healthy splash of Stone’s Smoked Porter with Chocolate & Orange, the pie gains an extra depth of flavor, as butter, bittersweet chocolate and orange zest meets smokey malt and bittering hops.

So, welcome to a New Year tempered with both bittersweet and citrus, that’s all wrapped up in a jolt of energizing Porter.

Serves 8 – 12

4 tablespoons butter
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (8 oz.) bittersweet chocolate

3 large eggs
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest (grated or finely chopped)

Set oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 325°F.

Butter sides and bottom of a 6x2 cake pan, then line the pan bottom with buttered wax paper.  Place the prepared pan on a sheet pan or within a larger oven-proof container and set aside.

Combine the butter and salt and melt together in a small saucepan placed over medium heat.  Once melted, remove from heat and add the chocolate, stirring until mixture is completely smooth.  Cool to room temperature. 

In a medium bowl, gently whisk the eggs, then add the vanilla extract, beer and orange zest.  Whisk briefly, before adding the cooled melted chocolate and butter mixture.  Whisk just to combine so as not to incorporate too much air and pour into the prepared pan.

Transfer the prepared pan and sheet pan or larger pan to the oven.  Carefully pour about ½-inch of boiling water into sheet pan or larger pan, then close the oven door and bake for 60 minutes until pie is firm in center

Transfer the prepared pan to a rack to cool.  Once cool, chill in the refrigerator until firm.

To unmold, place cake pan atop stove burner set to low heat for about a minute, then invert pan over a plate and tap bottom to loosen.  Peel wax paper off bottom of pie, then place another plate atop pie bottom and flip over to present the pie top side up.

To serve, cut into thin slices with a long, thin knife.

1 comment:

  1. Yet another luscious, enticing entree has been set before us! Thank you for inspiring us once again with your outstanding recipes and photography!