Beeramisu -- My kind of dessert

Beeramisu -- My kind of dessert

I believe it was the great Archimedes that famously postulated Beer + Tiramisu = Beeramisu, thenceforth enlightening the masses to the goodness of desserts made with beer. Some historians contend with this belief, arguing that beeramisu was nothing short of divine creation, citing an obscure heretical version of the Bible which reads, “And on the seventh day, He rested… and ate some wicked awesome beeramisu.”

The fact is — the exact origins of beeramisu are unknown and shrouded in mystery. OK, so it probably didn’t derive from some mathematical theorem or antediluvian Biblical verse, but it certainly is no original creation of mine. It was Paul Barbano’s The Bartenders Beer Cookbook that originally turned me onto the idea years ago. Armed with this inspiration, I’ve ventured to make my own on many occasions, tweaking the recipe ever so slightly and testing out different craft beers to find my favorite version.

About two months ago, I was asked to host a beer and dessert pairing for the first-ever LA Beer Week. I was happy to oblige, and I immediately set out to concoct the best damn beeramisu recipe I possibly could. Having experimented with porters and bocks in the past, I wanted to try an even darker beer, perhaps one brewed with coffee beans for extra depth. There it was. The little light bulb in my brain had a flicker of rare genius — AleSmith Speedway Stout. Rich with flavors of roasted chocolate and coffee, it proved an excellent complement to the espresso and cocoa powder called for in my adapted recipe.

As an added bonus, you’ll have a good few glasses of beer to wash it down with. Why not have your cake and drink it too?

If Speedway Stout is not available in your area, well, first of all, I’m sorry — it really is badass stuff. The good news is, I’m sure there’s a craft brew near you that can work its own wonders. Click for a list of great beers for beeramisu.

AleSmith Speedway Stout Beeramisu Recipe

¾ c heavy cream
2 eggs
pinch salt
1 c powdered sugar
1½ Tbsp vanilla extract
2 8-oz tubs mascarpone cheese
5 fl oz AleSmith Speedway Stout
2 shots espresso*
40 ladyfinger cookies
cocoa powder

In a chilled mixing bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks, making sure not to overbeat. (Cream will begin to lose glossiness if overbeat.) Set aside in refrigerator. Rinse bowl, and beat eggs and salt until volume doubles and color lightens. Add sugar, vanilla, and mascarpone. Mix to combine. Fold in the reserved whipped cream. Set aside in refrigerator.

In a shallow dish, stir together the Speedway Stout and the espresso. QUICKLY dunk both sides of the ladyfingers into the beer and coffee, literally for about a second on each side. Arrange them in a single layer in an 8″x8″ glass casserole dish**. Spread a layer of the mascarpone/egg/cream mixture on top of the ladyfingers. Sprinkle on a liberal amount of cocoa using a fine mesh sieve. Repeat with a second layer of ladyfingers, mascarpone mixture, and cocoa. Chill in the refrigerator, covered, for two or more hours before serving. Serves 10-12

* 2 tsp instant espresso powder dissolved in 4 fl oz of hot water may be substituted for espresso, or you may use 4 fl oz  coffee brewed double-strength.
** This recipe can also be placed in individual ramekins or cups, rather than in a large casserole.