A dinner made with beer

Recently we were on a salad eating kick, and we always like to have a slice of nice bread with our salad. However, we were out of bread so I decided to whip up a batch of beer bread yet again. This time I tried a recipe from Farmgirl Fare. I made the Garlic Herb version with a bottle of Avery White Rascal.

I skipped the glaze. It turned out pretty well, especially toasted with some butter.

Because it’s starting to feel like fall, I settled on making french onion soup for dinner this week. I wanted to make a vegetarian recipe, so I modified this recipe from the Craftzine blog. My modifications were:

  • Cooking the onions with a small amount of vegetable broth rather than a slew of butter
  • Using a bottle of Maredsous along with the vegetable broth to make the stock, instead of sherry. I used 4 cups of vegetable broth, one bottle of beer and probably about one extra cup of water to make sure we would have enough broth to go with all of the onion
  • I added dried thyme to the broth for some extra flavor
So many onions:
After simmering with the beer vegetable broth:
I then ladled the onion soup into a soup crock, topped it with a slice of the beer bread mentioned earlier, and covered it with cheese. After baking in the oven for a few minutes and then using the broiler to finish the top, it was ready to eat!
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Making beer bread

Since I came across this recipe for different types of beer bread on Bake at 350, I knew I wanted to try it. My previous experience with beer bread was delicious. A softball party for team “Beer Me” was the perfect opportunity to bake up a batch, or two as it turns out.

I decided to make a loaf of the orange nutmeg for the party and a loaf of gruyere and rosemary for my husband to take to work.

The recipe calls for self rising flour which we don’t have and I’ve never used it before. My husband pointed me to wikipedia which says you can make your own self rising flour by adding 1 tsp of baking power and 1/2 tsp of salt to regular flour. I combined those ingredients with a bottle of beer (Avery White for the orange nutmeg bread), 3 tablespoons of sugar, zest from an orange and freshly grated nutmeg.

For the gruyere and rosemary bread, I used a bottle of Real Ale Pale Ale.

I then baked the breads for 1 hour at 350. The bread smelled wonderful.  When I took it out, the orange rosemary bread was drizzled with a fresh squeezed orange juice and powdered sugar glaze.

The gruyere rosemary bread was covered with butter.

While the bread looked tasty, it wasn’t quite as good as I hoped.  The baking powder must have been too old because the bread turned out too hard.  I also think a sweeter bread would have been better.

Making stout into cake

Yes, I really did bake two cakes this week. The second one was for my husband’s birthday. This is the second time I’ve made this chocolate stout cake from use real butter.  Yes, the recipe really is in that blog post after you scroll past all of the pictures.

This year, I changed two things from what I did last year. I substituted half of the butter for applesauce to make the cake moister (which worked) and I used a milk chocolate icing that my husband bought rather than the fudge icing I used last year. I recommend the fudge icing. Both years I used Guinness in the cake because we happened to have some and it’s not fancy enough for my local beer snob to drink.

Guinness, butter, and applesauce, oh my!

Heating the stout and butter, and then after the butter melted, adding the applesauce:

Mixing in the cocoa powder:

Mixing eggs and sour cream:

Adding the chocolate mixture:

Ready for the oven!

Out of the oven!

First layer iced:

Done!