Dessert and Beer: Raspberry Rum/Imperial Porter Cream

This winter dessert is so simple you’ll be almost embarrassed to admit how you made it. Winter dessert? With raspberries in? Yes! It is made with frozen raspberries, so it could be made all year round. The thing that makes it great is the beer.

Strong porters and stouts are fantastic with desserts, especially if there is vanilla or cream involved. So, how strong is a “strong” porter, and where do I get them? This Saturday, I made up this dessert with a Swedish Winter Porter that is 9.1% ABV. That’s about twice as strong as Guinness, but really it’s not that strong in the scheme of things. If you drank an Aussie Shiraz with your Sunday roast, it was probably in the region of 14%. Way stronger than the porter that goes into this recipe. The trick is, not to drink strong beers in pints.

I know, obvious really, but in the UK, we are practically obsessed with drinking beer in pints. “Fancy a pint?”, “Just going out for a pint”, etc. If you order a half, you are made to feel like a wimp. Or a driver. The 33cl bottle that went into this dish was shared between me and MaltCim. Alcohol measured in units can be misleading, in my opinion, but 9.1% ABV is less juice than your average Kabinett, but so much more flavour. And it’s the flavour we’re after.

The dark chocolate and roasted flavours of porters and stouts meld with the cream, rum and the slight tartness of the raspberries offset by the sweetness of the Muscovado, and the dark flavours that brings; it’s like a birthday cake you can spoon, and it takes 5 minutes to prepare. For a list of suggested beers, see the end of the recipe.

For 2 people:
A small box of frozen raspberries
A couple of rocks of dark Muscovado sugar, pounded into about a tablespoon’s-worth of powder.
A splash of dark rum.
1 dl double cream. Whip it, if you like.
1 33 cl bottle of imperial porter or stout of at least 7% ABV

Heat the raspberries and sugar gently together until the raspberries thaw and the juice starts to dissolve the sugar.
Remove from the heat and add the rum.
Mix gently and try to keep some shape to the raspberries.
Pour the mixture into two serving bowls, preferably glass.
Fold the cream to each dish, so you get a pleasing marbled effect.
Share the porter into two wine glasses, and serve alongside the dessert. You can put some in with the raspberries, but it’s really not necessary.

Here are some suggestions of strong (or imperial) porters/stouts that would work with this recipe:
Thornbridge Saint Petersburg Russian Imperial Stout (UK) 7.7% (Beer Merchants.com)
BrewDog Tokyo* (UK) 18.2% (BrewDog Shop)
The Kernel Brewery Export Stout (UK) 7.7%, or Imperial Stout 9% (Beer Merchants.com)
Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter (USA) 8.7% (My Brewery Tap.com)

If you live in Sweden, you might be lucky to get your hands on Nynäshamns Valvikens Vinterporter, but if not:
Nils Oscar Imperial Stout (Sweden) 7%
Nøgne ø Imperial Porter (Norway) 9%

(All subject to availability)
If you have any more suggestions, please let me know.

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