I drink a lot of beer (as if you didn’t already know) and I love trying something new. But of all the beer I drink and of all the new beers I try, it’s pretty rare that I experience a “stand out” beer — something so good it sets itself apart from everything else.
Perennial Artisan Ales’ Abraxas is one of those beers. Made with ancho chili peppers, cocoa nibs, vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks (I mean, hello!) this beer is seriously a treat. Here’s how Perennial describes it:
“An Imperial Stout brewed with ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and cinnamon sticks. Pouring deep brown with a thick head, this beer has a complex body with a delicious lingering roastiness. Abraxas is brewed with unique ingredients intended to challenge and excite the palate. It may be enjoyed right away or allowed to age in the bottle. Vertical tastings are encouraged. Perennial Artisan Ales is a small batch craft brewery dedicated to producing unique, premium beers. Our beers are brewed with the experimental, seasoned craft beer drinker in mind.”
Yep. What they said.
I enjoyed this beer so much that I decided to save a bit and use it in something, but I didn’t know what that something was. Obviously the flavor profile lent itself to something dessert-y, and eventually I landed on truffles — something equally rich and decadent. I mixed the beer into the chocolatey truffles and played up the brew’s cinnamon and chili notes by adding cinnamon and cayenne pepper to the cocoa powder coating.
Let’s just say it works pretty well.
Chili Chocolate Stout Truffles (makes 30ish truffles)
What you need:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 tablespoons chocolate stout (preferably a chili chocolate stout like Perennial Artisan Ales’ Abraxas)
- 1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- A small pinch of cayenne pepper
How you do it:
- Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbles start to form around the edges. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate — stir until smooth. Add chocolate stout and stir until well combined. Transfer mixture to a rectangular container (something that you’ll easily be able to scoop from later), loosely cover and store in the fridge until firm — at least four hours.
- Once chocolate mixture is set, use a small cookie scoop (a melon baller would also work) to form the truffles. Drop each truffle on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Once all truffles have been made, transfer to the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine cocoa powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
- Remove truffles from refrigerator, and lightly toss them (a few at a time) in the cocoa powder mixture until lightly coated.
- Store in the fridge in an air-tight container. Let the truffles come to room temperature before eating.