Chocolate Flanders Strawberry Jam Cups

I’ve been cooking and baking with beer for a while now, unfortunately not writing the exact recipes down because I started taking our favorite recipes and began substituting or adding beer to it… Luckily enough most of the time it worked out good to great. Problem, as mentioned, I have all recipes in my head and never wrote them down… so I decided to change that and start putting everything to paper (or screen)

Last Friday, the day of my Barley’s Angels Rhein-Main Beer & Chocolate pairing it came over me again and I had to make something for my ladies. Obviously something with cocoa this time. Since I wanted to start the tasting with a homebrew, a Flanders Red, it was an easy decision to use it for my recipe because we have it on tap and I didn’t have to open a bottle. And I wanted it to be a fairly quick and easy recipe.

After a few minutes browsing through my recipe-box I found a Chocolate Cup recipe. All it said I need was chocolate couverture, nuts and mini muffin or praline papers.

The chocolate I planned to pair with the Flanders Red was a 75% dark chocolate bar from Columbia, which has a well-balanced sweetness and roundness that will remind you of butterscotch… mmmhh!!

Instead of nuts I used beer infused low sugar strawberry jam for the center to increase the fruitiness and counters the acidity of the beer. All in all it didn’t take much longer than 25min with just a little chocolate mess and a chocolate scented house 😉

So here’s what you need:

  • 100 gramm [3,5 oz] Pralus 75% Colombie (or any 70%-80% dark chocolate should work)
  • 2 oz Flanders Red  [or perhaps 1 to 10 sips more because you’ll have to test if the beer is still good in between the first steps 😉 ]
  • ~100 gramm [~6 tbs] Low Sugar Strawberry Jam
  • 3 gramm gelatin
  • 20 mini muffin or praline papers

Directions:

Add water to a pot and bring to a boil. Add the chocolate to cereal bowl and put bowl in pot and reduce heat to medium. Stir chocolate until it’s melted

Line a mini muffin tin or baking tray with mini muffin papers. Add about 2 teaspoons of chocolate to the muffin papers (about 1/3 full). Use the back of a spoon to “paint” the sides of the mini muffin papers. Make sure to cover the entire paper. Chill in fridge until the chocolate has set [5 to 10 minutes]

In another pot add jam and beer; stir until well combined; heat without bringing to a boil. Add gelatin to beer-marmalade mix, stir and let it rest until mixture thickens.

Fill the chilled chocolate cups with beer-jam mixture until just below the top.

Add a small amount of melted chocolate to the top of the beer-marmalade, making sure to cover the entire mound of beer-jam, smoothing to make a flat top. Chill until set, about ten minutes

If you still have beer left over give it a try and see if the beer’s still good and pairs well with the chocolate cups. 🙂

Happy cooking & Cheers!

Thanks for reading

 

 

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Hungry B[e]erliners turn out for Sausage & Beer Market

The second year of the Wurst & Bier Markt on Feb. 8th in Berlin was a smash hit. The organizers Slow Food Berlin, Wurstsack and Heidenpeters teaIMG_6882med up with the Markthalle Neun crew to host this tasty event.

Thousands of hungry and thirsty people from Berlin and from across the globe showed up to consume beef- and pork-centric sausages and craft beer made by twenty constructive butchers and twenty craft breweries from Berlin, Germany or around Europe!

IMG_6869A large variety of Pils’, Pale Ales and IPA’s were featured to suit the dazzling array of cured sausages, smoked sausages, fresh ones and aged ones. But also a fine selection of darker beers and not to forget Berliner Weisse were offered alongside vegetarian food options, something for all tastes!

There was beer and sausage-themed merchandise available as well as sausage and beer pairings presented by Hendrik Haase aka Wurstsack and Koyka Stoyanova from Berliner Beer Academy, who demonstrated how sausage and beer accompany each other and which works best together.

So there’s the overview… let’s talk about the [some of the] beers that stood out for me and which I happily consumed ;)!

BrewBaker

BrewBaker // I started off with – how could it be otherwise – their Berliner Weisse, a cloudy blond and crisp Weisse with a slightly fruity aroma and refreshing tart flavor. I’ve had it before from the bottle and was very pleased with it, but from tap it’s even better.

Ale-mania // Next up was Fritz’ Gose, his Saison and Belgian IPA. I had the chance to zwickel the Gose and Belgian IPA a couple weeks ago while visiting his brew house in Bonn and was very happy to sample both again. The highlight was his Saison though. Very fresh, peppery and a great balance between coriander and orange peel, nice body and smooth.

The Monarchy // After two old German beer styles, I couldn’t leave out The Monarchy’s Methusalem, an Adambier – old traditional Dortmund style. It’s a strong sour beer brewed with lots of hops. Aromas of dried fruits, caramel, dark malt and old wine. Flavor is bitter-sweet, full bodied with a vinous and tart-sourish finish. Good stuff!

Brewcifer

Brewcifer // On the board: Hops & Needles and Spark. Two brews who stood out for me on this day. I’ve heard about Brewcifer – a gypsy brewery from Hamburg – but never had a chance to try his beer, so it was long overdue. Both ales are definitely not your average beers. Hops & Needles, a pale ale brewed with spruce tips: sweet malty aroma with citrus hops and hints of oranges and pine needles which all repeat in the flavor. Spark, a chili spiced IPA, was …awesome! Who knows me gets the idea how I react when I hear chili beer, and hoppy chili, well that’s just right up my alley! It’s brewed with Bhut Jolokia, so you get a little spice – and only the spice not the unwanted green bell pepper flavor!! – but it’s surprisingly mellow with nice citrus hop aromas.

There were many other good beers that made it in my glass: Cherry on Top by Freigeist, From Asia With Love and Imperial Chocolate Mint Stout by Pax Bräu, Backbone Splitter and the new Black Nizza by Hanscraft; Schoppe Bräu’s XPA and Holy Shit and Wildwuchs’ Fastmoker Pils.

Last but not least two new craft breweries that surprised me with their solid brews. Flying Flying TurtleTurtle, a brew collective of Dan Stein, a Detroit native who moved to Europe eight years ago and Thorsten Schoppe, brewmaster of Schoppe Bräu, poured two brews – their Return of Pils and Kickstarter Pale Ale – from … well…. a flying turtle! One would describe it as a craft beer bike, they call it their “infernal machine” or simply an eye-catcher!

BRLOSecond BRLO, a craft beer start-up of three dedicated college friends, presented a Pale Ale and a Helles. BRLO? Did they forget a letter or two? No, I was told. BRLO is the old Slavic term for Berlin and by adding -in it changes to “swamp” or “dry patch of land in the wetlands”. And their name speaks for itself, traditional handcrafted beers, brewed with sustainable, local ingredients reinterpreted for the modern craft beer enthusiast!

In a nutshell, it was a incredible day with delicious bites and amazing sips for every taste topped off with great talks and even greater people. I hope I get to go again next year and recommend everybody who’s in the area shouldn’t miss stopping by Heidenpeters in Markthalle 9 Tuesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday afternoons and try one of their house beers or guest brews. It’s worth it!

Next up: BrauKunst Live in Munich. See you then!

Cheers!!

Berlin, Berlin….

“Berlin, Berlin, we’re driving to Berlin…” – actually I’m flying – to explore Deutschland’s great capital with the hubby… and maybe have one or two local beers 😉

IMG_0671-0

Last time I was there was in 2001 and hubby has never been, so I’m sureo lots has changed and our list of sights & places we want to see is long: Reichstag, Brandenburger Tor, Checkpoint Charlie, of course, Siegessäule, Holocaust memorial and the Berliner Dom to only mention a few…

Oh and did I mention we happen to be there right when this years Wurst & Bier market (sausage & beer fest) returns to Markthalle 9 for the second time this Sunday in Berlin Kreuzberg…. what a coincidence 😉

Last year it was a complete success! They were flooded by people who curious about how those two traditional German crafts accompany each other.

Many local craft butchers and breweries but also Brewers from all over Germany will be there to show off their brews and pair some of them with local artisan sausages and other specialities.

There will be sausage & beer tastings, show brewing & sausage crafting, and special beer & sausage pairings such as “Räucherbier und Geräuchertes” [smoked beer and smoked sausages] with Rory Lawton from Berlin Craft Beer and Franz Pozelt from Slow Food Berlin!

I’m looking forward seeing, smelling and tasting what this diverse city, a place with so much history has to offer, how it changed and how I will walk through the streets now compared to when I was in my teens, with a different mindset and a much better camera 😉
I’m excited to see a few of our friends and craft beer family again, to meet new people and as always find some excellent and interesting brews!

Hope to meet you there until then,

Cheers!

Ratsherrn Westküsten IPA

It seems like the year 2014 passed by in a blink of an eye and leaves us with memories of an eventful year in the craft beer world. There were ups and downs, brewery openings and many excellent beers, we saw big victories for small craft breweries and small ones for the big. But when I look back it’s almost dizzying when I think about making a list with all the successful brews I’ve tried. I hope that 2015 will be just as exciting and flavorful …

In this spirit I’ll continue with the first beer review of 2015:

IMG_8064During these freezing temperatures everyone is dreaming of the sun, the beach and the ocean. Ratsherrn’s Westküsten India Pale Ale, a brewery from Hamburg, gives at least the impression of Spring or Summer.

It pours clear and bright golden topped with a finger wide, fine-pored fluffy head. Aromas of citrus, grapefruit and passion fruit rise up into my nose, followed by decent hay and herbal (rosemary?) flavors.
The citrus aromas repeat in the first sip and quickly turn into a fruity-floral bitterness. Again, I taste a hint of sweet herbs.
It has soft carbonation, is gentle on the tongue and has a little to medium body.
The finish is short-lived, with a malty, fruity sweetness and a touch of pink grapefruit.

The Westküsten India Pale Ale is a nice brew but a little too sweet and not what I expect from a typical West Coast IPA. Otherwise, tasty local [despite its 6.2%] and as a beginners-IPA