Baking with Beer

I like holiday-themed dishes, even when they are not intended as such. One July 4th I made a Tiramisu and used food colouring to make red, white and blue whipped cream rosettes for the top. I decorated thumbprint cookies with green sugar for St. Patrick’s Day. Anything red and heart-shaped works for Valentine’s Day. In fact, check out this item I saw in a grocery store on February 14th:

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And, no, I didn’t buy it!

Around St. Patrick’s Day it is not uncommon to see recipes listing Guinness Stout as an ingredient. I must say, I don’t get the attraction of Guinness as a drink, but it does impart a rich flavour to various dishes, like stews. And baking with chocolate.

As far as I am concerned, there is very little that can make a dish with chocolate, butter and sugar NOT taste good. (Okay, the chocolate mashed potato mousse that my mom made once. But that’s the ONLY one I know of!) And sometimes adding too much else to a recipe is just “gilding the lily”. However, there is something about the depth (what do I know about beer, right?) of the flavour of the Guinness Stout that can enhance or complement a darker chocolate.

I have made chocolate cake with Guinness before, complete with green frosting. But I just came across a recipe for Guinness Brownies (turns out to be from Bon Appétit, altho that was not my source) that are, as someone I know says, to live for! They are very rich, with a soft, cakey exterior and a wonderful fudgey consistency in the middle. The Guinness is reduced and added to both the brownie batter and the glaze on top, so you get a nice hit of it but it’s not overpowering.

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Thank goodness I have somewhere to take these, otherwise I’d have to put them waaaay in the back of the freezer! So good!

Note: I forgot to mention that I did grease the tin foil after I lined the pan. I  read on the BA website that some people did not and had trouble with the brownies sticking to the pan. Next time I will use parchment paper, but I had run out of it.

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