If you follow the release of special edition beer, this post is for you. If you’re here for the gingerbread and the (a)salted vanilla caramel sauce, I won’t tell. Firestone Walker released their Stickee Monkee 2015 bottles the week of Memorial Day.
Getting your hands on this special dessert beer that is also included in Firestone’s cooked desserts is like getting your hands on gold! Only 21,000 bottles were produced in this run. A friend of mine brews craft beer. He had to have this which in turn meant I got my own bottle to cook with. First, I had to find a pairing for tonight’s tasting! Have I mentioned that I’ve never had this beer before? Here goes nothing! I decided on gingerbread because of the molasses content in both the beer and the gingerbread. And if you know me, it’s time to gild the lily. I added (a)salted vanilla caramel to drizzle on the top of the gingerbread. Now that I’ve had the chance to sample it, my mind is off and running on ways I can prepare dessert with this incredibly smooth dessert beer.
For this pairing, I give you Gingerbread and (A)salted Vanilla Caramel Sauce:
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup butter (unsalted preferably)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup unsulphured molasses* (spray measuring cup first with Pam)
- 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 heaping tablespoons of sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). I used a 9-inch spring form pan (you can also use a 9-inch square pan). Line the bottom of the pan with parchment then spray bak-klene in the bottom and on the sides. Bak-klene is fool-proof.
In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter, then beat in the egg, and mix in the molasses.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water, then the sour cream. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake on the middle rack for approximately 1 hour in the preheated oven. Use a knife (cake tester or toothpick) to test until it comes out clean. Allow it to cool before serving. Note, I always set a few timers. It’s important to realize your oven may or may not be exactly the temperature it reads. A stand alone oven thermometer will take out a lot of the guess-work in your oven’s actual temperature. I started checking my gingerbread around the 40 minute mark.
This recipe comes out completely fluffy and moist. It is hands down the best gingerbread I’ve ever made.
*There are three types of molasses and it’s very important you use unsulphured for this recipe. Unsulphured is of the highest quality, made from sun-ripened cane, and it is sweet for baking purposes. Sulphured is made with green sugar cane and is less sweet than unsulphured. Blackstrap is a third boil, strong bitter flavor, and does not have a sweet taste.
(A)salted Vanilla Caramel Sauce
I topped this with Kelsey Nixon’s Salted Caramel sauce but I changed it up a little. First, with a sharp knife, slice down a vanilla bean pod length wise and scrape out the caviar with the tip of the blade. Add the vanilla bean pod’s caviar to the heavy whipping cream and set aside. Second, I used Fleur de Sel instead of grey sea salt. It is important to remove the sugar and water mixture off of the heat before incorporating the heavy cream. Before adding the heavy cream, whisk the hot sugar and water liquid several times to allow it to cool a bit. Note if the caramel seizes up, put it back on low heat and whisk until it’s back to the consistency of a thick heavy sauce. Refrigerate the remaining unused sauce.
The pairing of the gingerbread and (a)salted vanilla caramel sauce with the Stickee Monkee 2015 was perfect! I served Stickee Monkee at the recommended 45 degree temperature. The molasses in the gingerbread really emphasized the molasses in the beer. You can taste the bourbon at the forefront, vanilla and caramel in the middle with a sweet tobacco finish. The 12.5% ABV sure packs a smooth punch! This one is great for sharing. I think I will probably make Stickee Monkee into some sort of reduction sauce and a bread pudding with the remaining “cooking bottle.” Have you had Stickee Monkee yet? What are your thoughts? I can’t wait to taste how it ages in a year or how it will reduce down for dessert purposes.
I hope you had a wonderful weekend!