- Chèvre log rolled in cacao nibs with salt paired with Arcobrau unfiltered lager
- Black Hound’s Chocolate Almond Bark paired with Troubador Obscura
- Mast Brothers Chocolate with Serrano Peppers paired with Firestone Walker Double Jack
- Scrumptious Salted Caramel Shortbread* paired with Poperings Hommelbier
- Mast Brothers Chocolate with Sea Salt & Black Truffle paired with St Bernardus Abt 12
- Bacon lardons dipped in chocolate bacon fondue paired with Victory Old Horizontal
*Scrumptious Salted Caramel Shortbread (adapted from this recipe in ReadyMade magazine):
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup minus 1 heaping Tbsp powdered sugar
- 9 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled & cubed
- 1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp fresh-ground sea salt
- 5 oz Trader Joe’s Pound Plus 72% dark chocolate
- 2 oz Callebaut unsweetened chocolate
- Blend flour, cornstarch, powdered sugar and 9 Tbsp of the cubed butter together by hand until dough forms. Form into ball, wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate for 30 minutes-1 hour. Preheat oven to 325. Flatten dough into an 8″x 8″ pan, prick top of dough with fork and place into oven. Bake until dough begins to brown on top (about 25 minutes in my kooky oven).
- Allow shortbread to completely cool and place in fridge. Prepare caramel layer by heating brown sugar and cream in a saucepan over low. Once the mixture is bubbling, remove from heat and add butter. Replace on heat and cook for 5-10 minutes after mixture begins to boil again. Remove from heat and add 1 Tbsp salt, stir to mix. Pour caramel mixture on shortbread crust and place into fridge. Wait one hour.
- To prepare chocolate, melt over double boiler (the original recipe instructs you to temper the chocolate but I didn’t bother and it came out just fine). Pour over cooled caramel, spreading quickly with a spatula. Cool and enjoy!
Although everyone enjoyed the shortbread bars last night, they are very messy as the caramel layer never sets properly. I like the gooey-ness and plan to make these in a silicone mini muffin pan next time, spreading the shortbread up the walls, placing the caramel in the center and sealing the whole thing with chocolate. They should be much easier to handle. Cheers!
Chris Cuzme, me & special guest Clay Gordon serving the final pairing