Chocolate Stout Truffle Mousse Bars with Pretzel Crust
At a beer event in a crowded bar in Portland, Oregon last week I talked to a talented brewer about his participation in an upcoming brewing competition. “Really, I’m just going so that I can drink some more of their Yodo!” He laughs and talks about how much he loves the beer that Michael Kiser of Good Beer Hunting, organizers of the Uppers and Downers festival, helped brew for the event.
He’ll tell you how much he’s thought about the beer he’s decided to brew. He’ll tell you all day long about how much he admires the other brewers that are participating. He won’t, however, say anything negative about any of the other participants. The more you hang out with brewers the more you’ll notice a shocking absence of shit talk. Brewers want to collaborate, root for each other, learn from and teach each other. They want to share a beer and share secrets: that’s beer. Competition is friendly and often collaborative, making these festivals all the better for the spirit that fuels the conversations.
The Uppers and Downers Festival of Coffee Beer on February 20th in Chicago will be witness to the spirit of collaboration between talented brewers and coffee roasters. It’ll showcase the staggering creativity and innovation that have been the result of the bar being raised in craft beer over the past half decade. There is no doubt that if you were to listen in on brewers talking about the other guys beer, you’d hear overwhelming admiration and praise. Reminding us that the heart and soul of craft beer is just as impressive as the beer that’s being shared.
- 3 cups (3 wt oz) mini pretzel twists
- 2 tbs (25g) brown sugar
- 6 tbs (85g) melted butter
- 10 wt oz dark chocolate (62% cocoa content)
- 1/3 cup (74g) chocolate stout
- ¼ cup (40mL) heavy cream
- 1 tbs (14g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (226g) heavy cream, chilled
- ¼ cup (26g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup(72g) powdered sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp (6g)vanilla extract
- 2 tbs (34g) stout beer
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Add the pretzels and brown sugar to a food processor, process until the pretzels have turned to crumbs. While the processor is running add the butter in a slow stream. Allow to process until well combined.
- Spray an 8X8 pan with cooking spray, add the crust to the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Using your hands or a heavy bottomed mug press the crust until well compacted.
- Bake at 350 until lightly browned, about 12 minutes.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool.
- Add the chocolate, 1/3 cup stout, heavy cream and butter to the top of a double boiler over medium heat. Stir until all the chocolate has melted and is well combined, remove from heat, pour into an even layer on top of the crust.
- Allow to chill in the fridge while you prepare the next layer.
- Add the heavy cream, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high until soft to medium peaks form.
- Slowly add the vanilla and beer, mixing until peaks return.
- Add to the pan in an even layer, chill until set, at least two hours, and up to two days.