What’s a better treat on Valentine’s Day than a box of chocolate and wine? A box of chocolate with a bottle of beer of course!
Now that it’s 2020, try shaking up your Valentine’s Day tradition by surprising your significant other with a homemade dessert and a bottle (or 6) of their new favourite beer. With hundreds of craft breweries in Ontario and an amazing selection of brews available at The Beer Store, there are so many fantastic options to choose from.
You can also make your Valentine’s Day gift even better with tickets for the Toronto Festival of Beer on July 24 to 26 at Bandshell Park. The combination of the two will make you a rockstar in the relationship and it will be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Just be sure to buy early while supplies last!
Without further ado, here are our picks for the 10 beer and desert parings to go with your tickets to #TOBeerFest 2020:
THE DESSERT: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (Source: https://bit.ly/30XtBPL)
9m – 11m
24 large cookies
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 cup Imperial Sugar Light Brown Sugar
- 1/2 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Using a paddle attachment, mix butter and both sugars. Continue mixing on medium speed for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Add in cocoa powder until evenly mixed.
- With mixer still on medium, add eggs, vanilla, baking soda, and salt and mix for 1 minute until smooth. Scrape sides of bowl making sure everything is incorporated.
- Turn mixer to low and add in flour, mixing until just combined.
- Fold in peanut butter chips.
- Using a large (3 tablespoon) cookie scoop, drop dough onto prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes until edges are set. Centers might seem under-baked – this is ok.
- Allow cookies to cool for 3 minutes on the cookie sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days.
THE BEER: Night Shift Stout From Broadhead
THE DESSERT: Chocolate Espresso Cake (Source: https://bit.ly/36wk6be)
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chopped
- 2 cups (256g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (50g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups (300g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter softened
- 4 large eggs
- 8 oz freshly brewed espresso
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (180g) buttermilk
- 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chopped
- 6 oz heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 8-inch round baking pans.
- Chop chocolate and melt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in small bowl.
- Whisk brown sugar, butter, eggs, espresso, and vanilla extract for 3 minutes. (Or about a minute with a hand-held mixer or stand mixer)
- Gradually add melted chocolate and continue whisking for an additional minute.
- Stir flour mixture into creamed mixture and then add buttermilk.
- Pour into prepared pans.
- Bake for 33 to 38 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out somewhat clean(not wet). Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes.
- Invert onto wire racks; cool completely.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.
- Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot.
- Pour hot cream over the chopped chocolate.
- Let sit for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth.
- Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake.
THE DESSERT: Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake (Source: https://bit.ly/2O2A6LU)
FOR THE BROWNIE LAYER:
- 3 1/3 oz all-purpose flour (3/4 cup)
- 2 oz unsweetened cocoa powder (2/3 cup)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 4 oz unsalted butter
- 7 3/4 oz granulated sugar (1 cup +2 tbsp)
- 2 eggs large, at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
FOR THE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE:
- 9 oz semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream divided use
- Pinch salt
- 2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
- 2 tbsp water
FOR THE RASPBERRY MOUSSE:
- 1 1/2 cups raspberries fresh
- 9 oz white chocolate finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream divided use
- Pinch salt
- 2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
- 2 tbsp water
- Pink food coloring (optional)
FOR THE VANILLA MOUSSE:
- 9 oz white chocolate finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream divided use
- 4 tbsp honey
- Pinch salt
- 2 tsp powdered gelatin unflavoured
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (can substitute vanilla extract)
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped
- 4 oz heavy cream
- 1 pint raspberries fresh
- Chocolate curls or other decorations
TO MAKE THE BROWNIE LAYER:
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment and spray well with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Set aside for now.
- Cube the butter and place it in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally as the butter melts. Add the sugar and stir it into the melted butter until combined.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and let it cool to lukewarm. Once it has cooled, add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well between each addition. The mixture will start out grainy, but as you add the eggs, it will become shiny and smooth. Whisk the vanilla in. Finally, add the dry ingredients, and stir them in with a spatula.
- Scrape the brownie batter into the prepared pan, and bake it for 22-24 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool the brownie layer completely before proceeding.
TO MAKE THE MOUSSE LAYERS:
- Prepare your pan. You need a 9-inch pan with sides at least 3 inches tall, and the ability to remove the bottom. Either a cake pan with a removable bottom or a springform pan will work. Line the inner wall with a 4-inch high acetate cake collar or strip of aluminum foil or waxed paper. Make sure the acetate or waxed paper is long enough so that it overlaps itself, and if you are using foil/waxed paper, make sure you cut the strip tall enough to extend at least an inch over the pan’s sides, since the cake is about 4 inches tall.
- Place a cake cardboard in the bottom of the pan, then carefully place the baked brownie on top of the cardboard. Prepare the chocolate mousse layer: combine the chocolate, 3/4 cup of cream, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring every 30 seconds, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour it into a large bowl, and let it cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
- While you wait for the chocolate mixture to cool, prepare the gelatin. Whisk together the gelatin and the cold water in a small bowl, and set it aside to let the gelatin absorb the water. When the chocolate is at room temperature, microwave the bowl of gelatin for 15 seconds, until it is melted. Whisk the melted gelatin and chocolate together.
- Whip the remaining 1 cup heavy cream to firm peaks. Fold half of the whipped cream into the chocolate, and once it’s incorporated, gently fold in the remaining whipped cream. Scrape the mousse on top of the brownie, and spread it into an even layer. Refrigerate the cake for 25 minutes, until the mouse has started to set and is firm enough that a second layer can be added.
- For the raspberry mousse, make a quick puree by blending 1/2 cup fresh raspberries in a blender or food processor. Pour them through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds, and measure out 1/4 cup raspberry puree. (If you have extra puree, save it for another use.)
- Combine the white chocolate, raspberry puree, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Continue to make this layer the same way you made the chocolate layer, by melting and cooling the chocolate, whisking in melted gelatin, and folding in whipped cream. Add a few drops of pink food coloring to boost the pink color, if desired. At the very end, stir in the remaining 1 cup of fresh raspberries and pour the mousse over the chocolate mousse layer. Spread it into an even layer, and refrigerate again.
- Finally, prepare the vanilla bean layer. Combine the white chocolate, 1/2 cup heavy cream, honey, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Continue to make this layer the same way you made the previous two layers. At the very end, stir in the vanilla bean paste and pour the mousse over the raspberry mousse layer. Refrigerate to set the mousse layers very well, at least 4 hours or overnight.
- To finish the cake, push the bottom out from the pan, or unhinge the sides, and unwrap the acetate strip. Transfer the cake to your serving platter. Make a quick chocolate ganache by putting the chopped chocolate in a small bowl and heating the cream to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and whisk gently until the chocolate melts and you have a smooth, shiny mixture.
- Pour the ganache over the top of the cake and use a spatula to nudge it right to the edge and over in evenly spaced drizzles. Don’t worry if the top is not smooth—it will be covered up! Add the fresh raspberries and chocolate curls on top of the cake. Refrigerate to set the ganache.
- For the cleanest slices, cut the cake when it is well chilled. Use a large sharp knife and wash it frequently between cuts. For the best taste and texture, allow the cake slices to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Store Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to a week
THE DESSERT: Key Lime Pie (Source: https://bit.ly/2tSFESc)
- 1 1/4 cups (310 ml) graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) sugar
- 1 cup (250 ml) lime or key lime juice
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cornstach
- 1 can 300 ml sweetened condensed milk
- Grated zest of 1 lime or Grated zest of 6 key limes
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) 35% cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups (430 ml) 35% cream
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) icing sugar
- Grated zest of 1 lime (optional)
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
- In a bowl, combine all the ingredients. Press into a 23-cm (9-inch) pie plate. Bake for about 10 minutes. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, off the heat, mix lime juice and cornstarch with a whisk. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until it thickens. Pour filling into crust. Refrigerate for about three hours or until completely cooled.
- In a bowl, beat all the ingredients with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Garnish the pie with the whipped cream.
THE DESSERT: Berries & Cream (Source: https://bit.ly/2t306zB)
- 3/4 cup vanilla ice cream adjust quantities to suit your taste
- 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries; adjust quantities to suit your taste
- Thaw the berries just a bit. I do this by placing them in a mug and microwaving them for about 15 seconds. They should still be partially frozen, but juicy and easy to mash.
- Add the ice cream and stir and mash until the berry juices are running through the ice cream and any large chunks of berries are broken up. Eat immediately.
THE DESSERT: Crème Brûlée (Source: https://bit.ly/30VjbjG)
2hrs & 15m
Minimum 2hrs / up to 3 days
- 1-quart heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 quarts hot water
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes.
- Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.
THE DESSERT: Chocolate Covered Strawberries (Source: https://bit.ly/3aRwVkb)
50m (includes settling time)
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- 1-pound strawberries with stems (about 20), washed and dried very well
- Put the semisweet and white chocolates into 2 separate heatproof medium bowls. Fill 2 medium saucepans with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat; set the bowls of chocolate over the water to melt. Stir until smooth. (Alternatively, melt the chocolates in a microwave at half power, for 1 minute, stir and then heat for another minute or until melted.)
- Once the chocolates are melted and smooth, remove from the heat. Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip the fruit into the dark chocolate, lift and twist slightly, letting any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. Set strawberries on the parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the strawberries. Dip a fork in the white chocolate and drizzle the white chocolate over the dipped strawberries.
- Set the strawberries aside until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.
THE BEER: Nut Brown Ale From Black Oak Brewing Co.
THE DESSERT: Chocolate Covered Almonds (Source: https://bit.ly/2GxYmkJ)
- 1 cup almonds whole, unsalted, roasted (optional)
- 14 ounces dark chocolate (70%) 400 grams
- Line a standard baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Break the dark chocolate into little pieces and place in a heatproof bowl.
- Set bowl of chocolate over pot of water. Ensure water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
- Bring a pot of water to a simmer.
- When chocolate is almost completely melted, remove from heat and stir to finish melting.
- Combine and stir to completely coat the almonds with the melted chocolate.
- Using 2 forks, pick up one almond at a time and transfer to the parchment lined baking sheet. Remove as much excess chocolate as possible.
- Continue this manner until all the almonds have been transferred. When placing the chocolate covered almonds on the sheet, keep them separate otherwise they will stick together when the chocolate dries.
- Allow to air dry for about 1 hour. Once dry, peel them off the parchment paper and enjoy. For longer storage, place in an airtight jar and keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
THE BEER: New Lang Syne From Beau’s Brewing Co.
THE DESSERT: Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies (Source: https://bit.ly/2GqCqbc)
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, (You can use Ghirardelli 60% cacao baking chips)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 large eggs
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13×9 inch baking pan and set aside.
- In a 3-quart saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Once chocolate mixture is cool, whisk in the sugar and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until combined and smooth.
- In a separate bowl sift together cocoa powder, flour, and salt. Combine flour mixture with chocolate mixture and whisk thoroughly.
- Spread brownie batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting. Enjoy!
THE DESSERT: New York Cheesecake (Source: https://bit.ly/2tY4ro7)
1hrs & 20m
- 1 and 1/2 cups (150g) graham cracker, digestive biscuits, or vanilla wafer crumbs (pulse in a food processor until finely ground)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 and 1/2 tablespoons (65g) unsalted butter, melted
- 32 ounces (900g) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 and 1/8 cups (225g/8 oz.) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Grated lemon zest from 1 small lemon (1 teaspoon)
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan (bottom and sides) with a large piece of foil.
- In a medium bowl, mix together crumbs, sugar, and melted butter and mix until combined and moistened. Press mixture into the bottom of prepared pan to form an even layer of crumbs. Bake for 8-9 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
- Increase oven temperature to 425°F/220°C.
- In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium-low speed until smooth and lump-free, 1-2 minutes. Add sugar and beat until blended. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Add cornstarch and mix until blended. Add the eggs and beat until fully combined. Add cream, vanilla extract, and lemon zest and beat just until combined and smooth. Pour batter over cooled crust and spread evenly.
- Bake cake for 10 minutes, then lower temperature to 225°F/110°C and continue to bake for 60 minutes until golden brown around the edges, the sides are set but the center is still slightly wobbly (some comments suggested this was not enough baking time. I baked this so many times and it works. If you’re not sure if your oven temperature is accurate or if your baking time is usually longer than those called for in a recipe, you can add an additional 10-20 minutes, and avoid opening the oven door too many times). Turn off oven, open the oven door slightly or halfway to let in cold air, and leave the cake in the oven for 60 minutes. This will help prevent the cake from cracking and the cake will remain creamy. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and allow it to cool to room temperature. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least 12 hours.
- Cheesecake will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
There you have it. Our list of 10 tasty pairings for Valentine’s Day. And don’t forget to scoop up your #TOBeerFest tickets below while supplies last. That’s #BeerLove baby! See you love birds on July 24 to 26 at Bandshell Park!