Boozefood – The Entire Beast Beer Bread

By The Gentleman

Beer Bread

As usual Christmas is a time of gift vouchers and, lets be honest, you’d rather get a gift voucher from some obscure relative than have them try and guess what sort of stuff you actually like. Gift vouchers are great, particularly when you can use them on something that will help you make tasty treats, like the cookbook I used my gift voucher on, The Entire Beast: From Ear and Beer to Ale and Tail by former Masterchef contestant Chris Badenoch. Badenoch’s philosophy is all about using the whole animal and treating beer as you would wine, something that can enhance your cooking and dining experience by pairing the right beer with the right meal. I went straight to the one of the easier yet tasty recipes, Beer Bread, because I’m all about beer and baking.

The Entire Beast

Beer Bread

Makes 1 Loaf

375g Self-Raising Flour

40g Raw Sugar

1/2 tsp Maldon Sea Salt

1 bottle (360ml) Baird Brewing Suruga Bay Imperial IPA

20g unsalted butter

Suruga Bay Imperial IPA

Preheat your oven to 170 C and grease and line a loaf tin. Grab a big bowl and sift in your flour, sugar and sea salt. Make sure you sift it otherwise you’ll get an overly dense loaf that’s more like a brick than bread. Mix your sifted dry ingredients to make sure they are combined. Grab your beer and slowly start to pour it in, using a fork to mix the batter. You’ll end up with quite a think and sticky batter that is a bit lumpy. Make sure you leave a little bit of beer in the bottle (a teaspoon or two). Pour your batter into the prepared tin. Melt the butter and add the remaining beer to your butter and stir to combine. Pour the melted beer butter over the top of your batter. This will give it a nice crust on top and enhance the malty, hoppy beer aroma. The recipe says to bake for 50-60 minutes but for me it only took just over 40 minutes. I recommend checking it after 30 minutes and then 10 minutes, sticking a knife or skewer through to see if it is still moist. When your knife comes out clean remove from the oven and leave in the pan to cool for a bit before turning it out onto a cake rack to cool completely. You should eat the bread within 2 days or freeze it, but I seriously think it won’t last that long.

Beer Bread

There are few things nicer than the smell of baking at home and the Beer Bread does not disappoint. It has an amazing aroma that is equal parts baked bread and beer, with the malt and hops of the beer giving it an almost caramel smell with a hint of citrus. Cutting into it for the first time just enhanced these flavours, making me salivate at the thought of that first bite. I was very happy with how much it puffed up to look quite like a rustic loaf of bread and not a brick. It also cut quite easily even though it was still warm when I had the first slice. Seriously you need to enjoy this warm with just some butter and sea salt before you go adding delicious jams or other condiments. The bread also has a lovely texture, it’s dense like a sourdough but definitely a bread texture and not cake. You can really tell it’s bread when you get to the bottom crust, it has that slightly chewy consistency. The Imperial IPA, with its strong beer flavour, imparts a whole lot of malt and hop flavour to the bread. It tastes beery in the best possible way, but it’s not overpowering or out of place. Different beers would give you a different flavour profile, leaving lots of room to experiment, as well as options for pairing the beer with interesting additions like honey, black pepper or various herbs. Experiments that I am more than willing to try.

 

After making the Beer Bread I have a good feeling that The Entire Beast is going to be a welcome addition to my cookbook collection. The bread was delicious and so easy to make and that gives me confidence that the rest of Badenoch’s recipes will be equally as tasty.

 

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Boozefood – Baird Brewing Suruga Bay Imperial IPA Hummus

By The Gentleman

Beer Hummus

We here at the Cocktail Challenge think hummus is pretty amazing. Many a lazy evening has been spent convincing ourselves that hummus counts as dinner (for the record, it does in extreme cases of laziness!). We also think beer is pretty amazing too so when I saw the Brooklyn Brewshop had a recipe for beer hummus I knew we had to give it a try.

 

Baird Brewing Suruga Bay Imperial IPA Hummus

2 cans of chickpeas, drained and well rinsed

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup homemade tahini (or shop tahini if that’s easier)

1 lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup Baird Brewing Suruga Bay Imperial IPA

Toasting Sesame Seeds

Toasting Sesame Seeds

First make your tahini, because it is easy as and so tasty. In a pan, on medium heat, toast 3/4 cup of sesame seeds. Stir or shake the pan constantly because the sesame seeds will start to burn quickly. Once they’ve got some nice colour on them remove from the heat and allow to cool. Pour into a food processor and blitz. After giving your sesame a good mix start adding oil to smooth it out. You can do it without the oil but it takes longer and won’t get as smooth. I used Sesame Oil to enhance the sesame flavour, but you could use a mild olive oil or other neutral oil. Add a tablespoon at a time till you get your desired consistency. I opted for about 3 and a half tablespoons of oil. This should make roughly the half a cup you need.

Tahini

Tahini

Now you’ve got your tahini place all the other ingredients, except the beer, in your food processor and blend. Slowly pour in the beer and make sure you push down the sides so everything is mixed in. Blend until desired consistency is reached. If you make your own tahini you’ll probably want to add extra lemon juice and beer, to taste, because the tahini has a pretty intense sesame flavour. Once you reach your desired flavour and consistency refrigerate until party time.

Almost there

Almost there

Baird Brewing’s Suruga Bay Imperial IPA was probably not the best choice for beer hummus. This has nothing to do with the taste, which was a really strong, profound hop and malt flavour that had a really nice richness and just a bit of citrus to the finish. The bottle also looked really nice, a Cocktail Challenge prerequisite, with the fireworks display chosen to represent the beer’s “fireworks-like festival of hop character” giving the label a really bright, colourful look. No, the reason the Suruga Imperial IPA wasn’t a good choice was because it’s damn expensive here in Australia! I only chose it because I’ve had my eye on it for a while, wanting to try some Japanese craft beer, and figured this was a good reason to splurge and buy a few bottles. We only want the best for our readers. Any IPA would be fine.

Baird Brewing Suruga Bay Imperial IPA Baird Brewing Suruga Bay Imperial IPA

Be warned, the recipe makes a lot of hummus! You could definitely halve or even quarter the amount to make just a small quantity for yourself, but we made it for when some friends came over so a lot of hummus wasn’t an issue. It’s also super easy and may start you on a hummus addiction. The homemade tahini definitely gives it a really strong sesame flavour, even with the added beer and lemon juice. We think the beer helped highlight the sesame flavour of the tahini. The hummus was also really rich with some complex flavour from the beers high ABV and bitter hops. Instead of the zingy citrus Brooklyn Brewshop got, our hummus had an almost nutty flavour with just a touch of citrus in the aftertaste and some bitterness. It was really delicious and quite different to any other hummus we’ve had.

Beer Hummus

Beer Hummus is an easy and tasty treat that we think any beer or hummus lover will like and we look forward to it satisfying us on many a lazy evening.

 

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Boozefood – Triple Choc Double Nut Beer Brownies

By The Gentleman

Beer Brownie

It’s been a while but we’re back with some more Boozefood and we think you’re going to like love this one. There’s not a lot of things that can compare to the sheer delight of biting into a gooey, chocolatey, crispy brownie. Try and fine one, it’s going to be difficult. I’ll wait…Back? Good. Anyway, anyone on a diet may want to look away now because these Triple Choc Double Nut Beer Brownies have enough sugar and chocolate to put you in a coma.

Beer Brownie

Triple Choc Double Nut Beer Brownies adapted from Kitchy Kitchen

Ingredients

100 g semi sweet chocolate

115 g of butter, browned

4 eggs, at room temp

2 cups brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder – I used Mörk’s 65% with River Salt

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I didn’t use any extra as the Mörk was already salted)

1 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoons Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

1/2 cup Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar

25 g Lindt Dark Almond Chocolate

3/4 cup mixed chopped nuts (I used almonds and pecans)

Beer Brownie

Directions

Preheat oven to 175C

Sift together the flour and cocoa powder. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate. I just do it in the microwave because I’m lazy, but you may want to go the whole hog and do it in a bowl over boiling water. In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter until it just turns golden brown (about 5 minutes). Combine the butter and melted chocolate, you may want to do this over a low heat but make sure you scrape it real good so none of the chocolate burns, then add your beer (and take a swig for yourself, you’ve earned it).  In a separate bowl beat together the eggs and sugar until thick and shiny (2 minutes). Continue beating on low while adding flour mixture and wet ingredients alternatively. Finish with the bitters, nuts and your broken up almond chocolate, folding in. Do not over mix. Pour into a buttered and lined 9 x 13 pan. The baking time will really depend on your oven. It could take up to 40-45 minutes, but in my Fan Forced oven it only took 25 minutes. I recommend putting it on for 20 minutes and then checking the middle with a skewer to see how it is going. You want them to be just set and not too dry.

Beer Brownie

Waiting for these things to cool down was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to endure in my life. Yes that’s right, MY LIFE! The smell was just heavenly, chocolate and nuts, and people were wondering in off the street thinking we were having an open inspection (yes real estate humour!). The flavour didn’t disappoint either. I explained to The Lady that they were a dense, gooey chocolate overload with a crispy, cracked top and she replied calmly, “It’s not just a brownie, it’s a way of life”. I knew there was a reason I liked her because it’s true. You’re either one of two people, those that like cakey brownies or those that like gooey, cracked brownies. This one is for all the gooey people out there (a statement that would be so wrong, but it’s brownies so it’s so right). It’s set just enough to hold its shape and not crumble when you take a bite out of it. As soon as you bite into it you’re mouth is filled with chocolate, but it’s not overly sweet thanks to the use of good quality bittersweet dark chocolate. The nuts provide some crunch and a nice change of texture to the gooey chocolate. The beer and the bitters provide a malty, spicy aftertaste that sits pleasantly on your tongue. I really can’t say too much more about these brownies because it’s just making me want to eat even more of them.

Beer Brownie

So do yourself a favour and make yourself these brownies. It may not change your life (it’s more likely to shorten it), but damn you’ll get lost in a moment of chocolatey heaven you’ll never want to end and that’s something we can all do with every now and then.

Beer Brownie

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Boozefood – Red Wine Chocolate Cake

By The Gentleman

Last weekend The Lady went on a trip to Melbourne to visit a friend of ours. Her weekend was filled with cake, coffee, and cocktails. All the essentials in life. Upon returning, I was fearful that she may be in cocktail/coffee/cake withdrawal so I baked her a welcome home present. May I present to you – The Red Wine Chocolate Cake!

Wine Cake

Props go to the very talented people at Smitten Kitchen for providing the inspiration for this recipe, which I made a little extra boozy and indulgent because that’s what we do at The Cocktail Challenge.

Red Wine Chocolate Cake
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (145 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) white granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
3/4 cup + a good splash extra, I used Innocent Bystander Syrah
2 teaspoon Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
1 cup + 1 tablespoon (133 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Wine Cake

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment. This is a one bowl recipe so grab a large bowl and on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy. Add the egg and yolk and beat well with the electric mixer, then add the red wine and the chocolate bitters. The batter takes on a lovely purple colour at this stage and may look a little uneven, but that’s alright. Next you’re going to sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together, right over your wet ingredients. On a low setting mix the mixture until it is 3/4 combined, then grab a spatula and fold the rest together. At this stage I tasted it and decided to add a splash of extra wine. The mixture isn’t too wet so it can take the extra liquid.  Transfer the batter to your prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. The top of the cake should be shiny and smooth when it’s done. Cool in the pan on a rack for about 10 minutes, then flip out of pan and cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack.

Wine Cake

Chocolate Cream

300ml Thickened Cream
1 teaspoon Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
1 teaspoon Mörk Dark Chocolate and River Salt Cacao Powder

Whip your cream. I showed off and did it in a mason jar. No going to the gym for me. Once your cream is pretty whipped, add in the bitters and cacao powder, and whip a little bit more to incorporate. You could maybe add a little bit more of either, but I think the cream was delicious as it was. It had a fantastic flavour, which wasn’t too sweet so it paired well with the cake and didn’t make things too intense. The bitters give it a spice flavour that has a bit of a kick and the cacao powder provides that chocolate flavour, but with the bitterness again making it very tasty without being sickly. You can definitely dollop a big spoonful of this cream on your cake and not worry too much (well maybe you should worry about your waistline, but ain’t nobody got time for that when cream and cake are around). The leftover cream is also amazing added to a Mörk hot chocolate or to flavour your coffee.

Wine Cake

The cake doesn’t really rise and it ends up being a low cake, which feels very much like a dessert cake. Really you can eat cake anytime, and you should, but some cakes just gravitate towards a certain time of day. The mix of wine and bitters also lend it to being an after dinner cake, a fine way to finish off an enjoyable evening. Adding the bitters was a last minute but rather amazing move. We had run out of vanilla essence and I was going to add some brandy or the like instead but then I remembered the bitters I had got from a friend. Chocolate bitters for a chocolate cake, perfect. The bitters just enhanced the flavour and smell so much. Instead of just being chocolate there was a depth to the aroma, a whole host of spices coming out to play. That depth carried over to the flavour, which was so nice. A wonderful blend of spices and chocolate that wasn’t too sweet and really invited you to eat more. In the Smitten Kitchen article they said the wine doesn’t completely cook out. I couldn’t taste booze per se, but some of the fruity flavour of the red wine was there. The red wine also helped make the cake very moist, and deliciously dense. Next time I’d like to really use my Mörk cacao powder in the cake as well. They may scold me for not using it for hot chocolate, which is devine by the way, but the Mörk powder has such a wonderfully deep, dark, and bitter flavour that I think would really add to this already amazing cake.

Wine Cake Wine Cake

Slathered with the chocolate cream this is one fine dessert that is perfect for impressing that special someone. The Lady was certainly happy to see it on the counter when she got home and for a moment she forgot all about her wonderful time in Melbourne and was glad to be home. Good cake will do that to you.

Wine Cake

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Now Serving – Bourbon Chocolate Brownie Milkshake

By The Gentleman

Bourbon Milkshake

This cocktail almost crosses the boundary between Boozefood and Now Serving and represents a bit of a personal victory for us. When I first found the recipe that inspired this drink, The Lady was very reluctant. You almost couldn’t get more indulgent or bizarre. The Lady thought it was madness, adding a brownie to a milkshake, to which I responded “Madness?! This! Is! Cocktails!” Eventually my pester power won her over and the super indulgent Bourbon Brownie Chocolate Milkshake was born.

Bourbon Milkshake

Bourbon Brownie Chocolate Milkshake

90mL Bulleit Bourbon
1 ½ Chocolate Brownie Squares chopped plus 1 for garnish
3 scoops chocolate ice cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 Bourbon Chocolate Sauce plus extra for garnish

Blend the ingredients together in a milkshake maker. Depending on how thick you like your milkshake, you can add extra milk or ice cream to get the desired consistency. You will also end up with small bits of brownie still in the drink – perfect! When it’s done, drip that chocolate sauce around the inside of a Mason Jar for extra chocolate goodness. Pour in the drink then skewer the remaining brownie to garnish.

You should know that in the photo I’ve actually used twice the amounts listed. I did this because the recipe I based this on and the photo I used showed the drink overflowing with these quantities. I thought this would be enough but when I poured the first batch in, it barely filled the jar. I don’t know what size jar was used in the photo but our drink looked pretty sad so we made another batch to top it up. I also decided to make my own chocolate sauce because we didn’t have any in the house plus that’s how I roll. Besides, making my own meant I could add extra bourbon, because you can never have too much bourbon.

 

Bourbon Chocolate Sauce from Craving Chronicles

2/3 cup thickened cream
2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
170gm milk chocolate, chopped (bittersweet might be better but this was all I had)
1 tablespoon Bulleit Bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and brown sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture just starts to boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate,  stirring until it has melted and combines. Stir in your bourbon and vanilla. Taste and try not to eat it all at once.

Bourbon Sauce 2 Bourbon Sauce

You can use it immediately or transfer it to a heat safe, airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. It will thicken a bit in the fridge so when you go to use it either get it out well before or heat in a microwave safe container on defrost for 10-20 seconds or warm slowly on the stove top.

Bourbon Milkshake

The Chocolate Bourbon Sauce has a delightful boozy flavour as you only stir the bourbon in so it doesn’t cook away but instead, mixes with the chocolate and becomes so smooth. It’s very hard not to eat all the sauce before you even get to making the drink! The drink itself is an overload of flavour in the best possible way. Three shots is maybe a touch too much, depending on your relationship with bourbon, but The Lady and I are on good terms for now so we found it quite enjoyable. The bourbon gives the drink a real spiciness which shines through the whole drink. The chocolate flavour is really subtle which was unexpected given how much ice cream and sauce it had. The real star though, is the brownie. It doesn’t quite break down completely, so you’ll get little bits of brownie in each mouthful AND I totally recommend dunking the brownie garnish in the drink. It stays fairly solid yet soaks up all the boozy flavours. Biting into it at the end is amazing, an explosion of bourbon spice mixing with the chocolate of the brownie. Heaven.

Bourbon Milkshake

If you’re thinking of mixing up the Bourbon Chocolate Brownie Milkshake (and why wouldn’t you be) you might want to clear your schedule. It’s decadent, indulgent and extremely bad for you in the best possible way and will leave you in a state where you’re in capable of doing anything else but lie down on the couch feeling rather satisfied with yourself.

 

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Boozefood – Orange Gin Biscuits

By The Gentleman

 

So somehow The Lady and I managed to be cooped up on World Gin Day. I don’t even know how this happened, but it did, and it almost ruined our day until I realised we had sufficient stocks of gin to break it down gin-style at home. I whipped up a cheeky gin and tonic for The Lady, but thought ‘this is World Gin Day I’ve got to do something a bit special’ so lo and behold Orange Gin Biscuits. Adapted from the Mojito Cookies on Giraffes Can Bake, which I still want to try and make, they were the perfectly gintastic baked good I was looking for to celebrate this wonderful spirit.

Melbourne Gin

Servings: 18-24 suggested but I got 48

Ingredients

For the cookies:

170g unsalted butter, room temperature

300g caster sugar, plus extra for rolling cookies in

Zest of half a navel orange

2 egg yolks

120ml sour cream

2 tbsp navel orange juice

1 tbsp Melbourne Gin Company Gin

1 tbsp juniper berries, ground

375g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Orange Gin Biscuits

For the glaze

60ml Melbourne Gin Company Gin

3 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp navel orange zest

1 tsp juniper berries, ground

2 tsp navel orange juice

Orange Gin Biscuits

Directions

1. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.

2. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed (beware of flying sugar here, why is creaming butter and sugar always so messy?). Add the orange zest, orange juice, gin, juniper berries and egg yolks and combine. Beat in sour cream until just combined. Recommended – you’ve got the gin out, you’re working up a sweat in the kitchen, you DESERVE a gin and tonic. Go on.

3. In a separate bowl, gin and tonic in hand, add the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk to stir and aerate (I was too lazy to do this and instead put all the dry ingredients in a sieve and added them that way). Gradually add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and combine on a low speed until all mixed in.

4. Place teaspoon sized drops of dough on baking sheet with at least 2 inches space between each one. Sprinkle with caster sugar. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

5. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes until they are slightly golden and set.

6. Combine the glaze ingredients in a bowl and brush over warm cookies with pastry brush. Leave cookies to cool on wire rack.

Orange Gin Biscuits

So I made a few changes to the recipe from Giraffes Can Bake. I chose navel oranges specifically because after doing a bit of digging I found that Melbourne Gin Company gin is distilled with navel oranges so ideally the two flavours would compliment each other. Juniper berries were chosen, obviously, because juniper is the cornerstone ingredient of any gin, plus I had never really baked anything with juniper so I was curious to see how they would flavour something baked.  I toned down the amount of sugar as the navel oranges would be quite sweet anyway in comparison to the tart lime in the Mojito Cookies. I also upped the amount orange juice in the biscuits and the glaze because I not only wanted the sweetness but really wanted the biscuits to taste of orange. I hand ground my juniper berries so they were quite big bits still, which I didn’t mind because they gave the biscuits a bit of character, but with a spice grinder you could get them down to a really fine powder. Generally laziness also meant I just sprinkled my biscuits with some sugar as opposed to coating them. The biscuits do spread quite a fair bit and I probably overloaded my trays with too many biscuits, some emergency surgery was required to separate a few. I struggled to get my biscuits as thin as Giraffes Can Bake, I found the mixture quite sticky and hard to spread, so it meant the biscuits were a little chubbier but hey that’s just more to love right?

Orange Gin Biscuits

Sitting here, thinking about the biscuits, all I can think of is how fresh they tasted. Not fresh as in ‘just out of the oven’, although I did sample one as they were still warm which is my major weakness in baking, but the freshness from the orange. Every bite fills your mouth with this delicious fruity orange flavour. I don’t normally glaze my biscuits, again lazy, but here you can’t not do it. The glaze just takes these biscuits to the next level as it gives them a second dose of the core flavours of gin, orange and juniper. I’d say that the gin doesn’t really impart a particularly strong flavour, instead it helps to bring out the full orange flavour without making the biscuits too sweet and gives the biscuits a really botanical, spicy sort of smell. It’s not like just putting orange juice in the biscuits, I think the gin and the juniper give the flavour some complexity that is quite nice. I probably could have cooked my biscuits for a little longer. Still, overall the texture was quite nice. The sour cream, which I’d never used when making biscuits, definitely gives them a bit of tanginess and helps them stay quite light. Being a little chubbier they had a lovely fluffy, cakey sort of texture with a slightly crisp outer. Inside they were also quite moist and again I think the glaze has helped stop them from drying out.

Orange Gin Biscuits

We may not have made it our for World Gin Day but that doesn’t mean we didn’t celebrate in style. These Orange Gin biscuits worked perfectly as they were packed full of flavour, giving an orange kick to your taste buds that you won’t soon forget or regret, and the base biscuit recipe from Giraffes Can Bake provides a lot of opportunities to explore new flavour combinations. Now go on and treat yourself, you deserve it.

 

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Boozefood – Double Bourbon Cornbread

By The Gentleman

 

I was lucky enough to go to America last year and while I was there, obviously, I indulged in as much American food as I possibly could. I gorged myself on 99c pizza slices, key lime pie, bagels, Southern-style biscuits, fried chicken and waffles and deep fried pork chops. By the end of the trip The Lady was pretty sick of seeing my latest food snaps. Disappointingly what I didn’t get to try was cornbread. There was just too much to see and to do and to eat that I couldn’t fit it all in (time wise and in my belly). The trip to America did inspire me to explore American cooking and cornbread was pretty much the first thing I tried to make…even though I don’t like corn. Yes I’m sorry I have to admit it and any cornbread purists reading this may start screaming at the screen, because I don’t actually like corn I only use cornmeal and no actual corn kernels. Shock horror I know. Stay with me though because this is some tasty boozy cornbread with a decadent butter.

Bulleit Bourbon

Bourbon Cornbread adapted from Brother Jimmy’s BBQ Cookbook

1 cup cornmeal (or where I come from polenta)

1 cup all-purpose flour (plain flour)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bi-carb soda)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs (I used 3 medium ones)

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Boom!)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (about 250g)

2 tbs Bulleit Bourbon

Cornbread Ingredients

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F) and grease a 9-by-9 inch square pan or an 8-inch cast-iron pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour sugar, baking soda and salt.

3. In another large bowl, beat the eggs with the buttermilk and butter. Add the bourbon then add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix until just incorporated. Make sure you get all the little pockets of flour mixed in, flour can be crafty and decide to stay dry and clumped together. The devils.

4. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

5. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

Cornbread Dry Mix Cornbread mix Cornbread mix 1

While your bourbon cornbread is in the oven it is time to make the ‘double’ part of this double bourbon cornbread, the bourbon butter. Oh my god this butter was deadly, it just tasted and smelt so good. You can definitely adjust the levels of molasses and bourbon depending on whether you want a sweeter butter or one with a really nice kick. I thought this measure was spot on because the cornbread already has a bit of sweetness and I didn’t want the butter to go overboard.

Bourbon Butter Ingredients

Bourbon Butter

2 1/2 tbs butter room temperature

3 teaspoons molasses

1/2 teaspoon Bulleit Bourbon

 

Directions

1. Get your room temperature butter and chop it into cubes. Place the cubes in the bottom of a stick mixer or a bowl.

2. Add the molasses and the bourbon. Even though it says 3 teaspoons of molasses, molasses is a sticky thing so you don’t get the full 3 teaspoons.

3. With your stick mixer or electric hand mixer whizz the butter until it is incorporated with the molasses and bourbon. Depending on how cold your butter is this could take a minute or a bit longer. You’ll know though because the butter takes on this light caramel sort of colour and goes really creamy and smooth.

Bourbon Butter

Cornbread was my first attempt at bringing Southern cooking way down South to Australia and while at first everyone I’ve made it for has been skeptical, like me they have all come to love this staple BBQ side. The cornmeal (or polenta in my case) gives the bread this delightful graininess and texture that is unlike anything else I’ve really eaten. The bread has this very cakey density and I love that it gets crispy on the outside but still a bit moist in the middle. It also smells divine and tastes just as good as either a side with dinner or toasted the next morning for breakfast or both! I’m enjoying cornbread so much that I’m looking at getting a cast-iron skillet just to make it so I can try and make it even more authentic Southern-style (sans kernels of course).

Bourbon Cornbread 3

I didn’t think the bourbon in the cornbread really changed the flavour profile too much. It maybe toned down some of the sweetness and just added to the aroma. I think next time I’d like to maybe soak the cornmeal or the sugar in the bourbon to see if it gets a more intense flavour. The butter though. Wow. That is like next level cornbreading right there. I don’t think I can go back to plain butter after this. The molasses gives the butter this delicious sweetness and caramel sort of smell but the bourbon works to balance the sweetness and gives the butter this great aftertaste, kind of tangy, kind of boozy. This is all topped off by the butter just doing it’s thing, being creamy and tasty. I seriously need to be alone with this butter and a whole load of cornbread.Warm cornbread plus this butter is just….sorry I kind of drooled over the keyboard a little bit thinking about it again. The butter melts and it seeps into the cornbread, fusing the flavours together to give you something that is so goddamn good.

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Usually when you taste something that is amazing you’ll realise it has butter in it or it was cooked in butter. Butter just makes stuff awesome. In this case though, the butter is awesome because it has booze in it! Seriously, no kidding next level butter is happening right here. Once you’ve made this butter, which takes no time at all, you’ll realise what you’ve been missing out on. Pair this butter with cornbread and you’ve got a classic boozefood combination that you need in your life. Now go on and get some South in your mouth!

 

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