Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tu Bastarda

"Ooh, what did you make?"
"Arrogant Bastard Brownies."
"You could have just said brownies."

It wasn't as though I planned a conversation like that to happen, or was even expecting it. But I must admit I was a little disappointed when no one said anything.

"Ooh, brownies! What's in em?"
"Arrogant Bastard."
"What, did you cut your finger and bleed on them?"

Nope, no witty banter. It would have been absolutely crushing if I wasn't so damn proud of them.
I'd been wanting to make a good beer brownie for a while, but all of the recipes I found that used beer resulted in brownies that didn't have any beer taste. What's the point, then? It's like an extra ingredient conservative housewives add when they want to be a little naughty.

"Oh, Martha, these brownies are delicious!"
"Thanks." *Voice drops to a whisper* "I added Guinness to the recipe!"
"You are simply too evil."

There were plenty of Guinness brownie recipes, many saying they were a perfect dessert for St. Patrick's Day. Bah. Not if you can't taste the beer. Although adding a whisky caramel glaze might be appropriate.

"Wow! What did you do to these brownies?"
"I made an Irish whisky caramel glaze for the topping."
"Ooh, Catholic or Protestant whisky?"
"Does it matter?"
*Pulls out gun* "Of course it fucking matters!"

I also found some recipes for brownies that used Young's Double Chocolate Stout. My problem with that is that you're adding chocolate to chocolate, and while I'm sure it's tasty (Double Chocolate Stout is divine!) I don't like to go overboard on flavors. I prefer distinct flavors that you can separate in your mouth and let your taste buds dance around. So I abandoned the stouts, and for a bit I thought about grabbing a good dark porter ale (like Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter) but I ran out of time and had to do my shopping at a regular old supermarket, where specialty beers are in low to no supply. But they did have a bottle of Arrogant Bastard Ale, and I realized how perfect it would be.
Arrogant Bastard is a very hoppy beer, which I don't normally go in for. Pale ales and the like tend to feature the hops in their brew, and I find it tends to overpower the other flavors of the beer. Not my favorite. On the other hand, a good hoppy flavor would contrast nicely with the chocolate in the brownie, and Arrogant Bastard has got nothing but good hoppy flavor.

So I browsed around and combined a few recipes, added my own little twists to em,  and here's what I got:

  • 12 ounces of beer (you Arrogant Bastard!)
  • 1 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup 60% cacao chocolate chips
  • Powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13x9x2 baking pan with aluminum foil, letting foil extend 2 inches beyond each short side of pan.
2. In large bowl, whisk together stout and cocoa powder until blended and smooth. Add sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and eggs - one at a time. Blend well.
3. Add flour and salt and whisk until batter is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread mixture in prepared pan, leveling surface with a spatula. Bake 42 to 45 minutes  until top is shiny and dry, and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.
4. Lift out brownie from pan by foil ends and transfer to a cutting board. Cut lengthwise into four strips and crosswise into eight, making 32 brownies. Dust lightly with powdered sugar.
These brownies turned out seriously good. The wheat flour probably made them a little more cake-ish then if I'd used all-purpose flour, so maybe next time I'd do a cup of each. It's not really my thing to post recipes (especially on a blog where I rant about politics), but I had to share. Try it. You'll love them.
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