Beer Cooking Catastrophes

Apparently the theme of our latest column installments is struggle. Sometimes you’ve got to dump a batch of beer. Other times, when you experiment with beer in your food, you’ve got to dump that too.

Too-Sweet Strawberry

Since the Voodoo Vanilla milkshake experiment went so well, why not try it with another beer/ice cream combination? Strawberry and peach flavors go well together, so I thought I’d try making a shake with strawberry ice cream and Dogfish Head Festina Peche beer.

The problem with this combination was the ice cream. Almost sickly sweet, no amount of Festina Peche would save it. I eventually gave up, because that’s a waste of some pretty fine beer.

The lesson? Make sure all your ingredients actually taste good.

Green Bean Fail

I almost don’t want to admit I tried this. We had green beans, onions, canned crushed tomatoes, and Harpoon IPA. You see where this is going. We tried making an IPA stew of sorts: cooking down the beans, onions and tomatoes with the beer.

The result was slimy with a weird orangey-pink color and off-putting bitter taste.

The lesson? Don’t cook anything down in beer unless you’re following a recipe.

S’Mores Bar Flop

When trolling the internet for beer/food recipes, I stumbled on the Beeroness, a veritable treasure trove of good-looking recipes. Chocolate stout s’mores bars? I couldn’t make them fast enough. The recipe calls for Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. I had some Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout on hand, so I used that instead. And there’s where I went wrong.

The bars would not set. I left them in the oven way longer than 22 minutes, and still the chocolate part was gooey, with a texture not unlike chocolate pudding. They also tasted way too boozy. The issue here was the difference in ABV between the two beers. Clocking in at 10 percent, the Brooklyn was almost double the alcohol content of the Youngs, which has 5.2 percent.

The lesson? ABV can seriously affect your cooking results, you may want to follow the recipe on that one.

This bar was cut from the outer edge of the baking dish. Also, it’s been refrigerated. That’s why looks like it set.

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