What a better way to celebrate Valentines Day than with good beer and chocolate. I’ve always heard how well the two pair, but have never actually tried them together. A few weeks ago, I was eating a cadbury egg while drinking one of my homebrew bourbon oaked brown ales. Sure enough, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the toasty chocolate grains in the brown ale paired up with the rich milk chocolate.
I decided on a whim, I’d have some friends over this evening for some stouts and chocolate. Here’s what’s planned:
The Beer: Darkhorse Plead the 5th Imperial Stout, Great Lakes Brewing Blackout Stout, Lagunitas Imperial Stout, Founders Kentucky Breakfast Bourbon Aged Stout, Southern Tier Imperial Choklat Stout, AleSmith Imperial Speedway Stout. The tops of my list will be the Blackout Stout – if you haven’t had this yet, it just hit the stores recently and is outstanding. The Plead the 5th is excellent too. I’ve never had the Lagunitas, S.T., or the AleSmith, but from reading Beer Advocate, AleSmith’s Speedway Stout is probably one of the top stouts in the country right now. And of course, the best for last and my personal favorite, Michigan’s own KY Breakfast Stout.. I may save this one for when my friends leave.. I’m not sharing it with anyone!
The Chocolate: I have a brownie recipe that always turn out to be the absolute best brownies ever. Only this time, I altered the recipe some for the occasion; instead of using regular vanilla, I used some homemade extract I made with vanilla beans soaked in bourbon. I used a little more than the recipe called for, and could really smell that bourbon-vanilla coming through the chocolate. Here’s the recipe: Perfect Fudgy Brownies.
So that’s that! I hope everyone has a fun and safe Valentines Day. I’m off to chill this beer and sample some of those brownies. I’m going to try and save some for my friends, but they are smelling amazing and my wife is already eyeing them up.