Creating Desserts With Beer

Creating Desserts With Beer

As an accompaniment to dessert, beer is a well-matched partner.  Take it one step farther, and it doubles as a secret ingredient that adds a voluptuous quality to a large variety of desserts.  Many styles of beer are available, with flavor, aroma and carbonation factors that marry-well with different styles of dessert: 

  • Carbonation and yeastiness make batters crisper, and help cakes and sweet quick-breads to rise. 

  • Depending on style used, beer may enhance the chocolate or dark-fruit aspects of sauces, or highlight the lightness of macaroons, bread pudding and lemon pound cake.

  • When adding beer as an ingredient to cakes, choose a recipe that uses water, milk, buttermilk or yogurt.  Use a beer with compatible flavors as a substitute for half of the liquid.  

  • With fruit pies, you may use up to 4 oz. of beer, but add an additional tablespoon of flour to the filling.

  • Beer such as Framboise (raspberry), Kriek (Cherry), Pesche (Peach), or Seasonal Spiced Beer can be used as a gentle flavoring in desserts – a tablespoon may be all you need.  Follow-up with the same beer as an accompaniment.  You may wish to warm the beer and enjoy as a sipper.

  • When pairing beer with desserts, look for beers that have similar qualities to the foods they serve.  Keep in mind, however, that a super sweet dessert can sing with the high hoppiness of a double IPA or Belgian Tripel. 

  • Chocolate loves strong, dark beers, particularly Belgian Strong Dark Ale, Barleywine, Robust Porter or Imperial Stout.

  • The best digestifs are strong and on the sweet side.  Wood aged Barleywine, Imperial Stout, Scottish-Style Ale, Imperial Blonde, Robust Porter, Belgian Dark Strong Ale, Belgian Dubbel and Quadrupel, Rauchbier, Doppelbock, Eisbock, Olde Ale, or Christmas Seasonal.

  • Sippers – especially spiced beers - may be enjoyed slightly cooled or as a tasty warmed treat with an added cinnamon stick. 

Desserts Made-with-Beer & Compatible Beer Pairings
  • Decadent Cheese Cake with Belgian Chocolate sauce, served with Belgian Strong Dark Ale
  • Fruit Pies and Fruit Desserts, served with American Wheat beer or Belgian Witbier
  • Oranges drenched in Belgian Witbier, served with Kriek
  • Apple Bread Pudding made with Russian Imperial Stout – add a topping of caramelized pecans in sauce, and serve with an oak aged Belgian Tripel or BrewHouse Amber
  • Dark Beer Cherry Sorbet, served with Belgian Dubbel
  • Cherry Beer Ice Cream, served with Imperial Blonde
  • Iced Walnut Souffle made with Aventinus Weizenbock, dressed with orange custard sauce and served with Biere Brut
  • Chocolate mousse made with Vienna Style Lager, served with Doppelbock
  • Laurel River Honey Swirls made with Dark Lager, served with Belgian Strong Ale
  • Peach and Raspberry Crisp made with Summer Seasonal Wheat Ale, served with Belgian Tripel
  • Fruit and Nut Breads made with Spiced Beer, served with Dopplebock
  • Coconut Macaroons made with Sobo Ale, served with German Weizenbier
  • German Chocolate Cake made with Schwarzbier, served with Belgian Strong Dark Ale
  • Oatmeal Cookies made with Oatmeal Stout, served with Scottish-Style Ale
  • New Orleans Pecan Pie made with American Strong Ale, served with Imperial Stout
  • Chocolate Truffles made with Porter, served with Chocolate Stout
  • Apple or Elderflower Fritters made with Dark Wheat Beer, served with Berliner Weisse
  • Sugared Pecans made with India Pale Ale, served with American Barleywine
  • Tiramisu made with Sweet Stout, served with Oatmeal Stout
After Dinner Cheese & Beer Pairings

Many people like cheeses as an after dinner treat – try cheeses from the Belgian Trappist monasteries:  e.g., Grand Reserve with Chimay Trappist Cheese or Roquefort. 

Other satisfying beer-cheese combinations are:

  • Barleywine and Stilton Cheese

  • IPA and Bleu Cheese

  • Hefeweizen and Chèvre

  • Fruit Beers and Brie

  • Stout and Aged Cheddar

  • Smoked Porter and Smoked Cheese

Other Recommended Dessert & Beer Pairings:

  • Banana Orange Crepes with Hefeweizen

  • Lemon Custard Tart with Blonde Ale

  • Strawberry Shortcake with Witbier

  • Banana Cream Pie with Dunkelweizen

  • Flan or Crème Brulee with Pale Ale

  • Caramel Apple Tart with India Pale Ale

  • Lemon Pound Cake with Amber Red Ale

  • Lemon Shortbread and fresh berries with Pilsener

  • Fruit Trifle with Helles

  • Almond Biscotti with Oktoberfest or Marzen

  • Italian Canolli with Olde Ale

  • Toffee or Butterscotch Pudding with Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy

…and don’t forget the coffee with a splash of Russian Stout!


You Should Also Read:
Beer Bread Cookery - Moose Drool Muffins
Beer Cookery With Decadent Chocolate
Delicate Pairings of Beer and Cheese

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