You aren’t always aware of the nexus of a true obsession. It may only be in hind sight that the catalyst is revealed upon agonizing inspection of your past. For me, however, the spark was breathtaking, an obvious birth of a fixation that lead to this blog. That trigger was Bison Honey Basil Ale. A beer that begged to be turned into Beer Creme Brulee, my first post.
If you enjoy this little blog that I have, and are as fascinated as I am with turing beer into chewable treats, you don’t have me to thank, you owe the lovely folks at Bison Brewery a debt of gratitude. As do I, or course.
For this post, I used Bison Chocolate Stout, an excellent example of the genre.
Chocolate Stout Covered Beer Caramels
For The Caramels:
2, 12 oz bottles, LOW HOP Pale or Amber ale
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup heavy cream
For the Chocolate:
1 1/2 cups 50% dark chocolate
1/4 cup Chocolate Stout
1 tsp flakey sea salt (optional)
In a large sauce pan over medium high heat, add one of the 12 ounce bottles of pale or amber ale. Allow beer to boil and reduce until thick and syrupy and only about 1 tsp remains, about 20 minutes. Set aside. (Note: if you want a lower level of beer taste, skip this step and substitute the “extract” you have just made with 1 tsp of vanilla extract in the later step that calls for the beer extract)
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, making sure the paper goes up and over the sides of the pan, set aside.
In a different large sauce pan over high heat, add the butter, brown sugar and remaining 12 ounce bottle or amber or pale ale. Bring to a boil while stirring. Once the caramel has reached a boil, clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot, taking care that the tip doesn’t touch the bottom. Add the cream and allow to boil untouched until the liquid reaches 240 degrees. Don’t stir after the cream has been added or you’ll scorch the cream. The caramel will reach 200 degrees rather quickly,but will take more than 20 minutes to reach 240. The last few degrees climb quickly so stay close to your pot.
Once the caramel has reached 240, remove from heat. Add the reduced beer “extract” that you have set aside and stir until the bubbling has subsided. Pour it into prepared loaf pan, allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Remove parchment paper from pan and lay on a flat surface. Cut into 6 sections, the caramel will still be very soft. Cut six strips of wax paper. Roll each section of caramel into a log in a strip of wax paper. Refrigerate the logs until firm, about 3 hours.
In the top of a double boiler add the chocolate and the stout, stir over low heat until melted and creamy, about 5 minutes. Don’t over heat or your chocolate will seize.
Cut each log into cubes. One at a time, place the cubes into the chocolate with a fork. Roll around until covered, remove and add to a piece of wax paper. Once 4 cubes have been covered in chocolate transfer the cubes to the refrigerator, repeat with remaining caramels. Chill until set, about 10 minutes, sprinkle with flakey sea salt prior to serving if desired.