Let me digress and share briefly why I love dark beers, stouts and porters in particular. There’s a time and place for light beers and you’ll never catch me criticizing the quenching Corona & lime beach standby but I really, really enjoy a dark beer. Dark beer has a much more complex flavor profile in a way similar to that of white bread versus whole wheat (or other whole grain, for that matter). Dark beer can have notes of chocolate, smoke, vanilla, and other flavors that clearly compliment sweets like ice cream. The particular variety that you should seek out for this recipe is up to you, but I’d encourage an oatmeal stout for the same reasons oatmeal cookies are the standby in an ice cream sandwich. See? You don’t need a food science degree or be a foodie to see that it is a combination worth trying. The higher alcohol content of most dark beers takes this small serving of sweets from really good to positively divine.
As for the ice cream, I typically choose a good quality vanilla bean or chocolate. The chocolate and stout can be pretty rich but sometimes you really want something rich. This would also be a good occasion to make your own ice cream. I’m a big fan of using fewer ingredients of higher quality with fewer steps and this is one of the many examples of how I do that in my little kitchen.
Here’s the how-to:
Scoop 2 scoops of ice cream into a jar. I like the wide mouth pint in this application, but use what you have that is more like a glass and less like a bowl. You’ll want to drink what remains when the ice cream is melted, I promise.
Slowly pour the beer over the ice cream, being wary of a slow and steady eruption of foam that may occur. I consume about a third of a bottle of beer (so small a quantity, I know) with a scoop of ice cream. Get crazy and use a whole half a bottle, Wildflowers; I won’t tell anyone. I use a super handy beer bottle cap designed to keep it from going flat so I can have fresh beer for the next night. If you are hung up on the ice cream to beer ratio, go with whatever you’d do for a root beer float.
Some like to leave the ice cream in beautiful ice cream-bergs to slowly melt at their own pace but I like to break the ice cream up with my spoon so there’s ice cream and stout in every bite.
Cheers, Wildflowers! What ways will you enjoy beer and ice cream, together or separate, this summer?