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Beer-flavoured chocolates & ganache


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For my first eGullet post I thought I'd do something meaningful, so therefore it involves two favorite things - beer and chocolate.

For the grand opening of my husbands brewpub, I'd like to surprise him with some themed molded chocolates, the theme being beer. I'm thinking about a stout flavoured filling and perhaps something made with malt syrup and maybe a hint of hops. Anybody have experience with any of this? I've dabbled with making a stout flavoured ganache (Young's chocolate stout, cream, chocolate), but the stout flavour was way to subtle, ie. basically non-existing...

All ideas regarding this theme are most appreciated. I've only got the kitchen in my home, but a good supply of chocolate-making equipment (and experience) as well as access to good quality chocolate and all sorts of beery ingredients.

Thanks

Mette (no longer an eGullet virgin)

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Hmmm, beer and chocolate.  Such an interesting, exotic combination. 

The interesting thing is that there is a real affinity between chocolate and craft beer that extends far beyond stouts. Chocolate malt (the barley strain, not the soda shop concoction) is an ingredient in a number of beer recipes, notably brown ales, altbiers, bocks, porters and stouts. Beers made with chocolate malt will have chocolate flavors of varying intensities.

While this is the first I have heard of using beer as a filling for chocolate, the thought is not as far fetched as it might first appear.

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You might want to try using a barleywine. Barleywine is a high gravity beer, so it's got a lot of sweetness and complexity in it... very similar to a port.

Where is this brewpub at? Brewing is a hobby of mine. I actually just finished a chocolate stout that came out really tasty. I bought raw whole cocoa beans, roasted them, and steeped them in the wort when I mashed the grains. It's nice...

Stephen W.

Pastry Chef/Owner

The Sweet Life Bakery

Vineland, NJ

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I might skip the cream and use butter in your ganache. I find that butter carries liquor much better and the shelf life will be longer too.

chocolate, butter, beer...what more could one need in life?

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slightly off the malt/hops track a little, but how about ginger beer... or belgian fruit beers such as raspberry, apricot or cherry. Also St Peters Spiced beer with apple and cinnamon, or something similar

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There's a fellow in Brittany who's an expert confectioner (his shop is Le Roux, in Quiberon, http://www.chocolatleroux.com ) and he makes chocolates flavored with hops. I suspect he steeps hops in cream before making the ganache.

They're really good (and his C.B.S. or 'caramel-butter-salt' caramels are incredible.)

David L.

I edited your post to correct your link. W.D.

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I've dabbled with making a stout flavoured ganache (Young's chocolate stout, cream, chocolate), but the stout flavour was way to subtle, ie. basically non-existing...

What if you boiled down the stout to concentrate its flavour before adding it to the ganache?

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I agree with Carswell about concentrating the flavor. I have recently been making a champagne ganache. I reduce a bottle of high quality champagne down to about 1/2 of a cup. I taste it at this point to see if I liked the reduction. I then use 2 tablespoons of it to flavor the ganche made of 1/2 pound of E Guittard Prestige 62% chocolate, 1/2 cup of cream, and 2 tablespoons of Plugra butter. The taste was great but next time I think I will use 3 tablespoons of the reduction for the same amount of chocolate. I have tried reducing several champagnes and have found that high quality champagnes make a better tasting reduction. I suggest trying the reduction technique with several beers that you like. Taste the reductions as see which one you like the best.

Fred Rowe

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I have to second David Lebovitz' characterization of LeRoux's caramels. Many consider them to be the best in the world and I must admit that I have tasted none finer. I've not been to Quiberon but they are available in Paris in Denise Acabo's fabulous shop, a l'Etoile d'Or which is near the Moulin Rouge (metro: Blanche).

Two different ideas presented here strike me as very good ways to incorporate beer into chocolate:

The first is to make a flavored caramel using beer. A Belgian-style lambic with a strong secondary flavor (e.g., raspberry) sounds the most intriguing to me, although a Guinness caramel also sounds mighty appealing. Although it might sound weird, I think that the key to either of these would be a little salt to enhance the flavors. (I'm treating myself a copper caramel pot next in a couple of weeks at Bridge Kitchenware and I am definitely going to try my hand at doing this -- I would probably go to the extreme of making the beer caramels chewy and then "bottoming" them with chocolate.)

The second would be to infuse chocolate malt and other beer-making ingredients in the cream used to make the ganache. These are likely to be quite bitter, so I'd think about some flavors to balance that bitterness, maybe a little bit of texture, too. A salted cashew praline to go with the Guinness sounds pretty interesting to me.

:Clay

edited to fix grammar and punctuation

Edited by chocophile (log)

Clay Gordon

president, pureorigin

editor/publisher www.chocophile.com

founder, New World Chocolate Society

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I've had luck with freezing the center in the molds, then dipping. Your flavor seems quite apropos, and should be easy, considering all the champagne centers out there.

On another note: Hubby's homebrew library yielded a chocolate-flavored beer (along with garlic and chicken flavors. Never mind).

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  • 3 years later...

300 g beer - bring to a boil to destroy yeasts.

choice of spices - Wybauw says Gingko powder (then you won't forget where you left the truffles)

80 g liquid sorbitol

500 g milk chocolate

100 g butter

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I've done a beer ganache with raspberry lambic. I did it somewhat similar to the recipe Kerry posted but didn't add spices, didn't use sorbitol (I used trimoline), used 70% dark chocolate and didn't use butter (I used some additional cocoa butter). I'd have to find my notes to remember the exact ratios. I was trying to keep the sweetness level moderate and mask the base flavors as little as possible. I should add the disclaimer that it was not for chocolates, I rarely do those, it was a component for a dessert. I was happy with the result but, again, it wasn't going in a chocolate shell and didn't need shelf life.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Thanks. I don't thnk shelf life is important here as she is making them for a beer factory here-Carlsberg) for tomorrow evening. I guess they have some dinner or something there. I passed on Kerry's recipe toher and I will soon hear of the results. Why do all my chocolatier friends get all the orders? And then come to me for help?? Just kidding I guess. :raz: I had to find a cacao bean 3-D mold for another friend who got an order of 1000 a month for the espresso bar chain here=a cacao pod on a stick for mixing in coffee. Oh, I found it at chocolat-chocolat by the way.

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I just wanted to update you all on these truffles! Well, Rinat made them! She found Gingko at the healthfood store- some kind of tea? Anyway she made liquid sorbitol from her powdered sorbitol by mixing it with some of the beer(!). In the end, the ganache was slabbed, as she has a guitar. It was too soft, so she made another batch that was too hard and mixed the two together. In the second batch she left out the sorbitol and Gingko as she thinks she may have used too much Gingko. Well they were a great success in the end. She described them as such:" At first you open the box and you can smell the beer. The taste only comes out at the end though. She thanks all who helped and suggests that everyone tries it.

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300 g beer - bring to a boil to destroy yeasts.

choice of spices - Wybauw says Gingko powder (then you won't forget where you left the truffles)

80 g liquid sorbitol

500 g milk chocolate

100 g butter

Looks good. Is it possible to substitute corn syrup or glucose syrup for the sorbitol? What effect, if any does the specific gravity of the beer have on the amount of sugar used in the final product?

Thanks!

Dan

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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300 g beer - bring to a boil to destroy yeasts.

choice of spices - Wybauw says Gingko powder (then you won't forget where you left the truffles)

80 g liquid sorbitol

500 g milk chocolate

100 g butter

Looks good. Is it possible to substitute corn syrup or glucose syrup for the sorbitol? What effect, if any does the specific gravity of the beer have on the amount of sugar used in the final product?

Thanks!

Dan

I'm sure glucose would be fine as a substitute. I think the sorbitol is being added for shelf life, so I'm not sure if the SG of the beer has any influence.

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