Everywhere I look food bloggers are preparing celebratory dishes for St. Patrick's day in the same way, with Guinness!
While I claim to love everything, (it's a growing problem) I have to say that extra dark stout beers are not high on the list. The last dark beer I tried was on the aforementioned (previous post) Scotland trip, and I didn't even drink half of what was given to me. It was good, but so filling! Afterward, I felt like I had eaten a large, yeasty piece of bread. My husband on the other hand, likes them just fine. When I saw this recipe for chocolate pudding made with Guinness I knew it would be something we both could appreciate.
The recipe comes from epicurious.com. There's a nice little write-up from the chef who concocted it and dubbed it "Chocolate Guinness Goodness". You'll find it here under "editor's note".
The finished dessert mimics a frothy pint of stout. Using a 70-ish% dark chocolate will yield the nicest dark stout appearance. I'm not quite sure if my chocolate had the right percentage of cacao. I had several unmarked blocks in my stash so I just used what looked darkest.
I like the ease and simplicity of this recipe. The main players are the usual: egg yolks, sugar and cream.
The cream and stout are cooked together in a sauce pan until slightly bubbly, but not boiling.
One thing that I altered slightly was the topping (or "froth") that consists of freshly whipped cream and a Guinness reduction. For me, leaving this component unsweetened was really off-putting. It had a yeasty, flat taste that I just couldn't get off my tongue. I added 3 tablespoons of sugar and it became much more harmonious with the sweetened chocolate pudding. The topping is definitely the most Guinness-like tasting portion of this dessert. If you are serving this to little ones, you may want to make a plain vanilla topping and forgo the Guinness reduction completely.
The Guinness reduction is really quite beautiful to look at. After about 20 minutes of simmering, the stout becomes a rich amber color and a little syrupy in consistency.
|4||large egg yolks|
|½||cup sugar plus 3 tbsp.|
|1½||cups Guinness Stout|
|1¾||cups heavy cream|
|4||ounces high-quality bittersweet (70 to 72% cacao) chocolate, finely chopped|
In large nonreactive mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar. Open can of Guinness and slowly pour into 4-cup measuring cup, pouring down side of cup to reduce foaming. Pour 1/2 cup of Guinness into heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add 1 1/4 cups cream and whisk to combine. Set over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until bubbles just begin to form at edges. Remove from heat, add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Slowly pour hot chocolate mixture into eggs, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. Return mixture to saucepan and set over moderately low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens. Divide pudding among glasses, leaving at least 1 inch of space at top of each. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and set. Meanwhile, pour 1 cup of Guinness into small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to moderately low and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 1 tablespoon, about 20 minutes. Pour syrup into small bowl and let cool. Beat remaining cream and 3 tbsp. sugar until soft peaks form. Add 1 tsp. (or more to your liking) of the Guinness syrup and beat until combined. Divide cream among 4-6 glasses of pudding and serve.
To me, the chocolate pudding portion tastes much like a brownie. It's strange, the Guinness adds a certain something.... something I cannot adequately explain. I would never know I was having stout with my pudding, if it were not for the cream topping.
This recipe is certainly a keeper. My picky husband likes it and I'm sure that those passionate about stouts will love it too.
I think Guinness just got a little higher on my "love" list. However, at the top of the list is my favorite Black-and-Tan...
...who couldn't be bothered to lift his head for a photograph! He had this comment: "zzzzzzzzzzzzz".