A "good beer" used to mean a frosty Corona... always out of the bottle. Topped with a lime on a hot day, I couldn't see how beer could get any better. Over the years though, I've discovered an entire new world of Craft Beer and as I've matured, a wholly new array of flavors and nuances has pleased my palate.
A chance stop at the Kona Brewing Company on the Island of Oahu, my husband and I not only enjoyed fabulous food, but enjoyed tasting seasonal craft brews only available in the islands. With a surprise favorite being a ginger brew featuring big island grown ginger, a close second was the Pipeline Porter. Enhanced with 100% pure Kona coffee, the beer brings rich and balanced flavors while not being too heavy. My favorite porter of all time, I'm ever so thankful to now find it in my local San Diego stores.
While I'm not always in the mood to drink heavier Porter-type beers, I've found that baking and cooking with them adds a lovely depth to chocolate treats as well as meaty dishes such as stews or chilis.
With last night's 49er super win, I'm even more excited for our annual Super Bowl Party, now only 2 weeks away. Planning my super menu, I couldn't help but add these Rich Frosted Brownies with Porter to the list. However, I did feel the need to test the brownies before game day... you know, for quality assurance purposes.
Inspired by a recipe that I had clipped and lovingly saved from last February's Bon Appetite magazine , I put Kona's Pipeline Porter to work. Reducing the porter and then adding it to chocolate, butter, sugar and eggs, the brownies bring a deep, rich flavor that no one will know came from beer. With notes of coffee in the beer, the brownies gain a richness that melds beautifully with a hot cup of coffee, or, if you are so inclined, a nice frosty brew.
Rich Glazed Brownies with Pipeline Porter
Fudgy and covered with a delightful chocolate glaze, these beauties will earn top honors on your Super Bowl Table, or... simply as an afternoon treat.
adapted from Bon Appetite
1 cup Porter (we used Kona Brewing Company Pipeline Porter)
12 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chopped
1/2 cup low fat Greek Style yogurt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
4 oz. dark chocolate chopped
2 Tbs butter
remaining 1/4 cup reduced porter
1/4 tsp kosher salt
In a small saucepan, bring the porter to a simmer and cook until reduced to about 1/2 cup (12-15 minutes). Cool. Reserve 1/4 cup of porter for the glaze.
Melt the 12 ounces of dark chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat or in a double boiler with the 1/2 cup of butter, stirring frequently until smooth.
In a medium bowl, wisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Gradually add the melted and slightly cooled chocolate, whisking until smooth. Add 1/4 cup of the Porter and whisk a few times to blend. Fold in the flour and salt, then pour into the prepared pan.
Bake the brownies until the surface begins to crack and a tester inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 35-45 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool for at least 20 minutes.
While brownies are cooling, melt the 4 ounces of chocolate for the glaze along with the 2 Tbs of butter. Add the reserved 1/4 cup of reduced porter and 1/4 tsp of salt and whisk until smooth.
Remove the brownies from the pan, and carefully remove from the foil. Pour the warm glaze over the brownies, and allow to cool until the glaze is set. Cut into squares and serve.