I was perusing the shelves of Whole Foods on a recent shopping trip, searching for ingredients, flavors, and beverages to translate into dessert. I tracked down a bottle of chocolate stout hiding in the corner of the cooler and immediately, a few ideas crossed through my mind. I checked the vegan-friendliness of my finding (Young’s Chocolate Stout), and headed to check out.
Whether you’re looking for another socially acceptable way to drink before noon, or just want to give your brunch a little extra something, coconut chocolate stout pancakes are the way to go. Most of my pancake recipes are built off of my basic recipe, a vegan version of the pancakes I’ve been making since I was a kid, unchanged for the past several years. I supplemented this recipe with chocolate, a few different forms of coconut, and chocolate stout. Coconut and chocolate stout is not the most common combination, but the two flavors go together like PB+J. Google confirmed that I was on to something, because coconut chocolate stout does exist! I haven’t been able to confirm the veganness of any of those stouts, so I guess marrying the flavors in pancake form will have to do for now.
The rest of the bottle went into cupcakes (don’t worry, I got two!). Besides translating s’mores into pies, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and a myriad of other treats, the flavors and components of the s’more have remained relatively unchanged in the culinary world. Perhaps a bit of peanut butter makes its way into the campfire treat occasionally, but more often than not, we’re dealing purely with marshmallows, chocolate, and graham cracker. I decided to go with a grown-up take on the s’more with this cupcake by infusing the batter with chocolate stout and coconut, then topping it with buttercream, marshmallows (toasted, of course!), and a homemade toasted coconut graham cracker cut into the shape of a heart.
I declare the chocolate stout experiments a success. The creaminess of the stout makes for a wonderful rich flavor that pairs well with other chocolate elements, and provides a bit of leavening in a cake. I’m hooked! Earlier today I was baking with oatmeal stout. What are your favorite ways to incorporate chocolate stout or other beers in baked goods or cooking?