Sunday, 28 April 2013

Beer Marshmallows! Yup you read that right.

Our ingredients including DDC's Aphrodisiaque.
Beautiful Vancouver in the background
We here at Fondue Voodoo like to see great craft beer put to use, primarily put into our beer glasses where it can go to a very good cause, our bellies.

While sitting in front of a wood fire late one night with my stout nightcap in one hand and a slowly roasting marshmallow in the other, booze induced fireworks of imagination blasted off in my head...ok so maybe more like a click of a burnt out lightbulb, but that's hardly the point...and so beer marshmallows were born.

Choose a good, heavy flavoured stout or porter so that the beer shines through.

In multiple trials we've used these solid offerings with great success, Dieu du Ciel's Péché Mortel or Aphrodisiaque, Powell Street Craft Brewery's Dive Bomb Porter and Parallel 49 Brewing Company's Ugly Sweater. Yeah, product testing is the worst... ;)

You could let your beer go flat first so that all you get is the beer flavour, but we prefer to enjoy our marshmallows with all of the beers bubbly characteristics so we left it fully carbonated. You will thank me later when you have your first beer marshmallow burp while giggling to yourself...

What you will need:
  • candy thermometer
  • 1 large bottomed, well greased baking dish or cookie sheet with tall edges
  • 1 cup stout or porter, divided into two 1/2 cup portions
  • 3 tbsp gelatin powder (equal to 3 packets or about 12 sheets)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites (I prefer to use dried egg white powder for this)
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or 1/2 stem vanilla pod, seeded (optional)
Dusting powder for the set marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn starch

Mix the icing sugar and corn starch together in a bowl and set aside for later use.

Powell Street's growler dispensing great
beer and wisdom
Add gelatin to 1/2 cup of the beer in the bowl of your stand mixer, gently stir and set aside.

Pour the remaining beer into a large heavy stock pot together with the white sugar, corn syrup and salt. Warm the sugars over medium low heat and occassionaly stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Once dissolved, increase heat to medium, and slowly bring to a boil. Do not stir during this stage. Allow the sugar mixture to boil until it reaches 118 degrees celcius (245 farenheit), just between a soft and hard ball on your candy thermometer.

Immediately, and very carefully! pour the hot sugars over the beer and gelatin in your stand mixing bowl and incrementally, but swiftly, turn it to high. Add the vanilla to the mixer and continue to whip the sugars and gelatine on high until it almost triples in volume and lightens in colour, approximately 10 minutes.

Almost there...
While the sugar mixture is being whipped, beat your egg whites in a separate bowl until they reach stiff peaks.

At the 10 minute mark add the egg whites and continue whipping until they are incorporated, about 1 to 2 minutes.

As soon as the egg whites have been incorporated pour into the greased baking dish and use a greased spatula to spread. Use some of the cornstarch and icing sugar mix to lightly cover over the marshmallows.

Place in fridge to set for 4 hours.

Parallel 49's Ugly Sweater dude gives the thumb's up
Once the marshmallows have set, remove from fridge and place on a cutting board dusted with the icing sugar and corn starch mix. Cut the marshmallows into cubes and generously dust each cube in the icing sugar mixture. Place on a wire rack and allow to sit for 3 to 4 hours to dry.

Once dried, put the marshmallows in a sealed container in the fridge. These are best within the first few days but can last for up to a me, there won't be any left...

In terms of serving you can have them as is, but we have also experimented with covering in chocolate and cashews, melting in hot chocolate, floating in a morning coffee for a breakfast beer chaser and charring with a blow torch which was both recklessly fun and delicious.

Now be careful kids, these surgery pillows of beer joy are additive, for good beer karma be sure to spread the joy around - your friends and family will approve.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Craft Beer Mustard

Mustard is the golden standard for everything in the Foundue Voodoo house, salad dressing, sandwiches, marinades and everything in between. I'd wash my hair with it if I could. I learned about DIY mustard using beer, and gave up buying mustard in favour of the tarragon pickled flavoured home spun version. The magic here is the love that goes into the craft beer and the patience required to leave the finished mustard in the fridge for 24 hrs while it settles down.

You'll need:
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp tarragon vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup stout - we used Central City's Red Racer Oatmeal Stout
  • 1/4 cup brown mustard seeds
  • 3/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric (for colour)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (for heat)
  • 2 tbsp honey
In a sauce pan warm the vinegars, stout, mustard seeds and mustard powder to simmer (Do not boil!) to soften mustard seeds, between 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add remaining ingredients and use a food processor to process the blend until it reaches a consistency you're happy with. Cool and place in a glass jar and toss it to the back of the fridge for a little rest.

Test the mustard after 24 hrs, if it's bitter allow it it continue to rest - the bitters will mellow after a proper chilly nap.

Once your happy with your mustard adjust the flavour by adding more vinegar and honey to your preference.

Enjoy on everything.