Sunday, November 15, 2009

In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy

The good folks at the Magic Hat Brewing Company sent us some samples of their new offerings, out just in time for keeping us from bringing yet another bottle of moderately-priced but still festive red wine to a friend's house for holiday feasting.

S., a recent Mexico by way of Austin transplant, sampled the beers with me. We had bottles of Howl, a black winter lager, and American Sour Ale, the '09 Odd Notion. Howl is pitch-black, with a light head that does not last long in the glass (which I prefer, but those comparing it with Guinness, a stout, will miss the foam) but provides plenty of bubbles, making this already fragrant beer even more enjoyable. The flavors are roasted, but our favorite part of Howl is the fact that it does not leave an after-taste: it is a full bodied and flavorful beer that will not take your mouth hostage for the rest of the evening.

We then moved on to the American Sour Ale, which S. loved and proclaimed worthy of the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, extremely high praise. This beers looks lovely in the glass - it pours Amber with a slight cloud. It is a sweet beer with smells of vanilla, but the best part is the tart flavor, which we both related to green apples. It is a great beer to pair with cheese and would provide a great counterpoint to heavier, creamy dishes.

Now that pastries and beer are all the rage in DC and to enjoy the flavor profiles of Howl in a different way, I am looking forward to making my own:

Howlingly Good Ginger Bread

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 (12 ounce) bottle Magic Hat Howl
1 cup molasses
1 orange for zest
For serving: Lemon Curd or Sweetened Whipped Cream

(May be substituted for 1 box gingerbread mix)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously butter an 8 by 8 inch cake pan and set aside. Using an electric mixer or a wooden spoon, cream together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and salt. In a saucepan, heat the Howl until bubbles form around the edges. Stir in the molasses. Alternately add the flour mixture and the Howl mixture to the creamed butter mixture, stirring well between additions. When all is incorporated, stir in the orange zest. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature, from the pan, with a dollop of lemon curd or whipped cream.

Recipe courtesy of Magic Hat Brewing Company. For more recipes, visit their website here.


asian said...

I never master the art of baking but thanks for the ginger bread recipe. This really would help a lot.

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jobsjobs said...

This sounds good! The ginger bread would be a great pairing for the red wine.


Novaultra said...

I already like Howl, maybe I'll make this!