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Saison Caramelized Pineapple Beer Shortcakes

Beer people are so often missunderstood and stereotyped.

Don’t mistake our inherent low maintenance for a lack of opinion. Don’t think that our love of indulgence translates to a lack of self-control. Just because we have a adoration for a high calorie beverage, doesn’t mean that we aren’t concerned with healthy living. And our love for a good ole fashion dive bar doesn’t tarnish out Mensa standings.

And as much as we would love for you to understand exactly why we drive 20 minutes out of our way on Friday afternoon to make sure that we have an exciting stash of Craft Beer for the weekend, we also want you to drink what you want. If you love wine, or whiskey, or even a famous Macro brew, that’s ok. More of the good stuff for us.

And if everyone else in the world stopped drinking Lost Abbey Carnevale Ale, or if it became so fervently distributed to every home in America that it was dubbed the new King of Beers and the Beer Snobs decided it was no longer desirable, it wouldn’t matter one bit. I would still drive to Northridge on Fridays to make sure I could find a bottle or two for the weekend, if need be.

I’m pretty sure that it was just a coincidence that the first time I was able to get my hands on this Special Release from Lost Abbey, was also the same day that I saw fresh pineapple at my local market for the first time this year, but it could also be fate. The flavors mixed so beautifully that I’ll have a hard time ever baking with pineapple again and not having the urge to reaching for this beer.

Saison Caramelized Pineapple Beer Shortcakes

For the Beer Shortcakes:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup Saison Beer(Los Abbey Carnevale recommended)

For the Saison Caramelized Pineapples:

4 cups fresh pineapple, chopped

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 stick butter

1 cup Saison beer (Los Abbey Carnevale recommended)

For the Ale Chantilly Cream:

1 1/3 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup powdered sugar

2 tbs Saison Beer (Los Abbey Carnevale recommended)

(6-8 servings)

Preheat oven to 425

In a food processor, add the flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup sugar, pulse to combine. Add the butter and process until it resembles coarse meal. Add the beaten egg and the beer and process until just barely combined, abut 30 seconds. Don’t over process or your shortcakes will be tough.

The shortcakes will be very moist, and have more of a "drop biscuit" style than those that you roll out.

Place a sheet of parchment paper over a baking sheet. Using your hands, or two spoons, place about 1/4 cup of the dough onto the parchment paper and form into a loose ball. Dough should make between 6 and 8 shortcakes, depending on the size you want.

Bake for 12-15 minutes of until the shortcakes have turned a light golden brown and a tooth pick in the center comes out clean. Slide the parchment paper off the baking sheet and onto a flat surface and allow to cool.

Add all of the Caramelized Pineapple ingredients to a pan over high heat. Stir frequently (or continuously) until the liquid has reduced so much that the pan seems to only contain pineapples and frothy bubbles, about 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Just prior to serving, make the whiped cream.

Add all of the ingredients to a stand mixer and beat on high until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.

To assemble, just split the shortcakes in half down the center, add the whipped cream, then the pineapples. Serve with a cold glass of Lost Abbey Carnevale.

Competitive baking

I have a strong resolve to actual WIN a recipe contest some day. I only enter the big ones, Cooking channels, big time cooking magazines, national competitions, I don’t bother with the little guys. Possibly a very flawed strategy, but if I win, I want to win big. This year, I was a finalist in the Scharffen Berger/Tootii Foodie/Food Network Magazine Cupcake Adventure contest. Not exactly a win, but I am working my way towards the top. Here is the link as proof of my upward climb:

I know, I AM towards the bottom, but making the list made my week! Next, I’ll be attempting to "Make the List" for three other contest this year, more about that at a later time. For now, here is the recipe for my "I made the list" Cupcakes:

Churros Con Chocolate Picante Cupcakes


1 Stick of butter

½ cup filtered water

½ cup whole milk

¼ tsp salt

1 tbs sugar

1 cup all purpose flower

2 tbs cinnamon

5 eggs

Butter flavored cooking spray

Metallic Cupcake Papers

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp fresh ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp chili powder

Chili Chocolate Mousse:

¾ cup butter

2 tbs chopped red chili peppers, seeds removed

6oz of a Scharffen Berger 70% Bittersweet Dark Chocolate Bar, chopped

¼ cup coffee, brewed with Sumatra beans

¼ cup Chocolate liqueur

4 eggs, separated

3/4 cup sugar plus add. 2 tbs, divided

Spiced Whipped Cream:

1 tbs chopped red chili peppers, seeds removed

1 ½ cups heavy cream

¾ cup sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp fresh ground nutmeg

2 tsp Scharffen Berger Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder

Make Churros:

Put the oven rack at the lowest position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a good quality saucepan, bring the butter, water, milk, salt, and sugar to a slow boil then turn heat to low. Add the flower and stir until combined. Move the flower mixture to a stand mixer and add cinnamon then each of the 5 eggs one at a time, mixing until well combined between each egg. Line muffin tins with cupcake papers (remove the paper liner and just use the metallic part), lightly pray each paper with the cooking spray. Drop two tbs of the dough into each cup. Mix the next 4 ingredients together in a small bowl. Add 1 tsp of the sugar mixture to the top of each dough filled cupcake paper. Bake until the top of the cupcakes have puffed completely, about 30-33 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Make the mousse:

Put the butter and the chili in a saucepan over medium low heat and heat until hot but not boiling, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 20 minutes, then strain the butter removing the chilies and discarding them. Put the chocolate and the coffee in the top of a double boiler and heat until the chocolate is melted. Stir in the strained butter until well combined and then set aside. In a double boiler, beat the eggs yolks, chocolate liqueur and ¾ cups of sugar beat until the mixture is pale yellow and well combined. Remove from heat and continue to beat until thickened and cooled. Slowly add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and stir until well combined. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then slowly add the 2 tbs sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Gently and slowly fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture using about ¼ of the egg whites at a time. Cover the mousse and chill for at least two hours.

While the mousse is setting, make the whipped cream. In a sauce pan, heat the chili and the cream until hot and steamy but not boiling. Stir over low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Strain cream, removing and discarding the chili, and then chill in the refrigerator until completely cool, at least two hours. Combined the cream, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and coco powder in a bowl and beat on high until set, about 4 minutes. Set aside.   Gently spoon the mousse into a piping bag with a metal tip. Most of the cupcakes should have holes in the top, revealing a large cavity in the center of the cupcake (like a popover). If no holes appear, make a small slit in the center. Pipe in the mousse into the center of the cupcakes, filing the cavity, refill the piping bag as needed. Top cupcakes with the whipped cream.