Bean Me Up, Scotty

DDC-Peche-MortelCoffee notes are pretty common in any beer brewed with chocolate malt (itypically stouts and porters), while some go so far as to brew with actual coffee beans. Take Péché Mortel from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel out of Montreal. French for “mortal sin”, this Imperial Stout has almost a molasses-like consistency with rich espresso tones and an impressive 9.5% ABV.

Likewise, Rogue’s Mocha Porter combines a slight earthiness to a coffee and chocolate flavor, though comparatively lighter in body and alcohol content. In spirit of the enigmatic revolutionary on the label, this beer is brewed with the appropriately-named Rebel™ & Liberty™ Hops grown by their own Rogue Farms. Other noteworthy labels include Stir Stick Stout from Winnipeg’s Half Pint’s Brewing, and the Coffee Porter from Mill Street Brewery.

rogue-mocha-porterThrow back to 2007 and my very first job. I called myself the ever-pretentious term “barista”, though I really just made coffee for a living. My “favourite” customers were the ones would come through the drive through asking for their lattes steamed to 180°, burning the milk just so their drink would stay warm an extra five minutes.

Humans aren’t usually able to detect the difference between 179° and 180° Fahrenheit, though I’m sure there are some exceptions. Unfortunately, marshmallows can. Which is where a candy thermometer comes in handy. Measuring a specific temperature is a bit more objective than “when it’s done”. I’m sure it’s possible to make these without one, but you’re leaving a lot more up to chance.

Not everyone thinks about where marshmallows come from, do they? Are they concocted in a lab from unpronounceable chemicals? Harvested from some alien plant matter? A Marshmallow plant does exist, but tastes nothing like the sweet gooey mess we know best. The reality is that someone in a factory (or a kitchen) had to make them from sugar and bovine hooves (i.e. gelatin). Yes it’s true – marshmallows are not vegan, nor even vegetarian. But they do contain simple, easy-to-pronounce ingredients (not that this makes them healthy in any way).

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The following recipe I made with a lovely espresso milk stout from Fuggles and Warlock Craftworks called Bean Me Up. Full production out of their Richmond, BC location doesn’t open up until Fall 2015, but I have exceedingly high expectations. Mainly due to their“Geek Culture” branding with references to video gaming, and pop culture. Plus there’s this video they made for their brewery announcement (see below).

Mocha Stout-mallows

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Equipment:

  • 9 x 9″ glass pan or casserole dish
  • Stand or hand-held mixer
  • Candy thermometer
Prepping the pan:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • Vegetable oil
Marshmallows:
  • 3/4 cup stout beer, divided
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 3 envelopes of Knox gelatin (or 7 teaspoons)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil (for the pan)
  1. Before you begin, prepare the pan the marshmallows will set in. Sift together powdered sugar, corn starch and cocoa powder onto a large plate. Next, grease a 9 x 9″ glass casserole dish or pan with vegetable oil. Add a teaspoon or two of the cocoa powder/sugar mixture to the casserole dish, ensuring the sides of the pan are coated as well. Set aside.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup of the stout with the instant espresso granules. Whisk until granules are dissolved. Transfer the mixture to the refrigerator to cool. Make sure it is COMPLETELY cool, or all is lost.
  3. Pour the cooled coffee into the bowl of a stand-up mixer (or you can use a large bowl and a hand-mixer). Carefully sprinkle gelatin over the cooled coffee mixture and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining 1/4 cup of stout. Attach the candy thermometer attached to the side of the pot. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Turn the heat up to moderately high heat and bring the mixture to a hard boil and cook for 1 minute, until the candy thermometer reaches 240⁰ F.
  6. Lower the whisk attachment and turn it on low. Carefully add the boiling liquid to the gelatin mixture. Turn the mixer to high and beat for 8-10 minutes, until the mixture has doubled in volume and holds stiff peaks.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish or baking pan, smoothing out the top until it’s evenly disbursed. The marshmallow fluff will have a consistency of hot mozzarella cheese that stretches to infinity – try your very best not to touch it with your hands or you may have regrets.
  8. Dust the top with a few tablespoons of cocoa powder/sugar mixture. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 4 hours or overnight to set.
  9. Take a knife and run it around the edges of the casserole dish or pan. Invert the marshmallow sheet onto a large cutting board.
  10. Using a sharp knife, cut the marshmallows into 1-inch cubes. Store the marshmallows in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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Don’t forget to toast them.

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