Beer culture is flowing strong in Southern California these days. So much so that the hops-and-barley beverage has now become a common ingredient in desserts served in many Los Angeles-area restaurants and cafÃ©s.
It began with quirky beer and ice cream floats and, according to a story by Joshua Lurie writing for the Los Angeles Times, the sweet beer craze has now spread to shakes, cakes, gelato, fritters and even candy.
Essex Public House in Hollywood has created two beer floats: the Espresso Biru with Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout, vanilla ice cream and crumbled Oreos, and the Blueberry Bomber, made with chocolate ice cream and Sea Dog Blueberry Wheat Ale. Owner Greg Link says it tastes like a blueberry pancake.
Jason Bernstein and his partner Tai Kim own The Golden State, an L.A. cafÃ© that does beer in a big way. Their signature collaboration is a float that pairs North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout and â€˜brown bread ice cream,â€™ which is vanilla ice cream streaked with caramel and loaded with caramelized Grape-Nuts.
Southern California area pastry chefs have begun using citrusy wheat beers, tangy sours, and bitter pale ales, plus stouts and porters with chocolate and coffee notes to lighten cakes and to create floats, shakes and popsicles.
Chrysta Wilson of Kiss My Bundt Bakery uses the Mexican beer Tecate to make a Tecate Cake, which she says is moist, light and crumbly thanks to the beer’s carbonation. At Nick + Stef, executive chef Brian Kiepler developed a boozy bread pudding made with house-made brioche, Guinness, Valrhona milk chocolate, Jameson caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
To read the complete Times article, which includes links to recipes for Beer Brittle and Tecate Cake, click here.
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