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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New Book – The Flavour Thesaurus : Pairings, Recipes and Ideas for the Creative Cook

By the Lady

Flavour Thesaurus

I have a secret to tell you. This isn’t a new book for me. I’ve had it for years. However, it may be new for you and that’s new enough for us all! I feel it is my duty to share this little gem with y’all, as it is not only useful for cocktail connoisseurs such as yourselves, but also perfect for the budding or full-blown professional chef.  Allow me to present to you The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit.

Flavour Thesaurus 1

This book is designed for those who have a particular ingredient, for example cherries, and are looking for a flavour to pair it with or even those who are looking to for an unusual or exciting flavour combination. The Gentleman uses it as his go to book whenever he’s experimenting with new cocktail syrups or cold brew coffees, tasty pairings such as cardamom coffee. Yum!

Flavour Thesaurus 2

The book is arranged into different sections which categorise the essence of that ingredient. Some examples of categories that would be useful to the cocktail connoisseur would be “Floral Fruity”, “Fresh Fruity”, “Citrussy” etcetera.  These sections make it much easier to search for flavours and you’re also sure to come across some unlikely and delightfully surprising pairings.

 

Aside from being a smart little kitchen and bar companion, The Flavour Thesaurus is absolutely gorgeous. The cover design and pages throughout are clean and stylishly timeless. The colour pairings work just as well as the flavour combinations do and is a well thought out extension of the book’s ethos. Additionally, similar to the old Russian and English classics my grandmother kept of her bookshelves with the gold trim along the pages, The Flavour Thesaurus has a sturdy and delightful cover accompanied by bright pink trim along the edges of the pages. To me, it feels like a nod to these classic novels, but with a modern approach. A modern kitchen classic with a bright and flavourful exterior to match the words within.

Flavour Thesaurus 3

The Flavour Thesaurus really is the perfect book for adventurous cooks and the cocktail extraordinaire who is stuck for inspiration or is feeling a little daring. I urge you all to go pick up your own copy. Not only will you be a master of modern mixology, but it’ll brighten up your life – and your bookshelf too!

 

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New Book- The Architecture of the Cocktail: Constructing the Perfect Cocktail from the Bottom Up

I may have been away from The Cocktail Challenge for a while but I have not been completely idle during that time. In the intervening months I have acquired a few more useful items, including this great book from Race Point Publishing titled The Architecture of the Cocktail: Constructing the Perfect Cocktail from the Bottom Up. The book is written by Amy Zavatto, who writes about wine, spirits and food for numerous websites, and drawn by Melissa Wood, with recipes and tips on how to build the perfect libation.

The Architecture of the Cocktail

The Architecture of the Cocktail

What really caught my eye with this book, apart from the fact it is about cocktails, is the unusual yet somewhat logical choice of using architectural blueprint style drawings to convey how to construct the perfect cocktail. Everyone knows mixing a good cocktail requires a lot of skill, otherwise you end up drinking a glass of rocket fuel, and for the amateur this means some solid directions on how to get there are essential.

Archi2

The book breaks down the process of crafting a cocktail beautifully and I love the way they have crafted unique symbols for the different element in cocktail making, giving the book a style and character all its own.

Archi3

With 75 recipes included the book covers most of your classic cocktails like the Manhattan, Cosmopolitan, Zombie and Corpse Reviver. I’m particularly interested in making a Bronx cocktail. They say nothing soft comes out of the Bronx and this mix of gin, sweet and dry vermouth and orange juice promises to deliver a full on hit of carefully constructed refreshing flavour. The book is stylish addition to any home mixers library.

The Bronx Coctail

The Bronx Coctail

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