Beer and the holidays

Its that wonderful time of year. Winter weather is starting to settle in around the country. There’s even a sharp chill in our own air. This is also the time of year when the beer shelves start to resemble the spice aisle. Life is good. Along with the great holiday beer, comes plenty of holiday meals. Here are a couple of recipes to liven up your next holiday dinner or party.

Wassail

6 pack of malty dark beer*
2 tart apples such as Macouns or Granny Smith cored and roughly chopped
1 stick of cinnamon
5-6 cloves
2 star anise
4 allspice berries
1 inch piece of ginger sliced
1/4 cup of brandy, rum, or whiskey

Bring all the ingredients to a slow simmer – Do not heat over 150 or you will start to cook off the alcohol. Allow the spices to meld and the apples to soften. Serve warm and enjoy.

*For the beer I prefer a malty sweet brown ale such as Turbodog. Any malty sweet dark brew will work.

Brewliscious Truffles

1# semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
4oz heavy cream
4oz beer*
2 tbls corn syrup
2oz softened butter
8oz chopped semi-sweet chocolate
Coco Powder
Walnut pieces

Place chocolate and corn syrup in a bowl. Bring cream and beer to a boil. Add cream mixture to chocolate and syrup. Blend until smooth. An Immersion blender works well here. Add the butter and continue to mix. Allow mixture to cool and hardened. After cooled, use a melon baller or small scoop to scoop out portions of the chocolate mixture. Using very clean hands or disposable gloves roll the chocolate into balls. Place them on a baking sheet. Put them back in the fridge to harden. Temper the 8oz of chocolate. Dip the hardened truffles in the chocolate to coat. Allow excess chocolate to drip off. A fork is perfect for this method. Then if desired, rolled the truffles in coco powder or walnuts. Return truffles to the fridge to harden.

*For beer you have several options – to beef up the chocolate flavors and/or add some coffee notes use a nice stout. To add fruity notes, a nice scotch ale, Doppel bock, or Belgian Strong dark/quad may be used. An IPA could add nice citrus and bitter notes.

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~ by thebrewgeek on Thursday, December 11, 2008.

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