The Beer Kitchen (Hardie Grant Books, 2018) by Patricia Niven, is a great option for all beer connoisseurs alike. If you are new to beer, this is a great resource for you to use. Find an abundance of recipes that can be flavored with beer, as well as finding what type of beer to pair with many different foods. This recipe can be found in the chapter, “Show Off.”
I love rhubarb. You may have noticed because this is the second recipe it’s turned up in, which is just as well because you often have to buy it in about the same amounts as both the porchetta and this recipe call for … are you thinking flashy lunch and dessert too? This does require some skill but mostly it requires patience. Putting all the parts together takes time but what I’ve done is make it over a few days, as I’ve been waiting for other things to cook or if I’ve got a bit of time to kill, and it’s worked out quite nicely. You’ll also need a small paint brush or a clean make-up brush. If rhubarb isn’t in season, then you could easily substitute strawberries or maybe apricots or peaches and use the corresponding beer flavours – experiment, have fun with it and enjoy sharing the leftover little meringues with people too.
For the meringue swirls:
- 1/4 teaspoon red food colouring gel (it’s really important it’s gel, not liquid)
- 6 drops sweet orange oil
- 1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
- 2 large egg whites
- 50 g (2 oz/heaped 1/4 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- 50 g (2 oz/heaped 1/3 cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar
For the ice cream:
- 280 ml (91/2 fl oz/generous 1 cup) buttermilk
- 100 ml (31/2 fl oz/scant 1/2 cup) well-chilled rhubarb sour beer
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon matcha green tea, plus 2 teaspoons to sprinkle over the top
- pinch of fine sea salt
For the poached rhubarb:
- 400 g (14 oz) forced rhubarb (save the off cuts for the liquid gel later in recipe)
- 1 tablespoon Belgian wheat beer or rhubarb sour beer
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
For the liquid gel:
- 150 ml (5 fl oz/scant 2/3 cup) rhubarb beer
- 45 g (13/4 oz/1/4 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon agar agar
- knife-point of red food colouring gel
First make the meringue swirls:
- Prepare a large disposable piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle, and turn it inside out. In a bowl, mix together the red food colouring gel, orange oil and vanilla paste.
- Paint 2 stripes of it up the inside of the icing bag, leave for a bit to dry slightly, then repeat (over the same lines) three more times.
- Carefully turn the bag the right way out and place in a tall pint glass or stein, folded over the edge of the glass, ready for filling.
- Preheat the oven to 110°C (225°F/ Gas 1/4) or its lowest setting. Line 2 baking trays (sheets) with 2 pieces of baking parchment cut to the same size.
- Using a stand mixer or electric whisk, whisk the egg whites until they stand in firm, white peaks.
- Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, ensuring it’s well incorporated each time.
- Remove the whisk and add half the icing sugar, folding it in with a rubber spatula, then repeat.
- Gently spoon the meringue mixture into the piping bag. Dot 4 bits of meringue on each corner of the baking tray, stick the baking parchment to them and press down lightly.
- Now time for the swirls: squeeze the bag gently and pipe a small blob of meringue – the colour may take a few seconds to come through but it will eventually.
- Keep doing this in rows, with each blob about 2.5 cm (1 in) apart until you run out of meringue swirl mix.
- Bake for 18–20 minutes, turning your tray halfway through, and if any start to crack then take the tray out immediately.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool, then put in a sealed plastic tub until needed. They will keep for up to a week.
To make the ice cream:
- whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl, then place in the ice-cream maker to churn.
- Freeze in a sealable tub when done. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, put into a container in the freezer.
- Stir every 30 minutes to break up the ice crystals until fully frozen.
Prepare the poached rhubarb:
- Preheat the sous vide to 61°C (140°F). Take a cleaned measuring tape or metal ruler and lay it along the side of the cutting board and take one piece of the pinkest bit of rhubarb, trim the ends and then trim down to 8 cm (31/4 in). This is the guide piece.
- Use the ‘guide’ piece of rhubarb to cut 12 pieces of as equal width as you can manage. (Reserve all the off-cuts as you will need them for the gel.)
- Then cut each even strip into 3 cm- (11/4 in-) wide pieces. You should end up with 24 pretty even pieces.
- Get the sous vide bag and arrange the rhubarb pieces in a row at the bottom; you want them to fit snugly.
- If they don’t all fit, just use another bag and re-work the dimensions so they are snug.
- Pop the beer, vanilla paste and syrup in a small bowl, whisk together, then pour into the bag with the rhubarb.
- Vacuum seal the bag, being careful not to suck all the liquid out, and pop in the sous vide for 35 minutes. Take out, dry the bag and refrigerate or freeze until needed.
To make the liquid gel:
- put all the ingredients in a saucepan, plus 150 g (5 oz) of the reserved rhubarb off-cuts.
- Bring to a vigorous simmer for 3 minutes and then lower to a gentle simmer for another 10.
- Pour into a bowl and pop in the freezer or fridge until set into a solid gel, then spoon into a blender and blitz until utterly smooth and bright pink.
- Decant into a squeezy bottle and refrigerate.
- To assemble, remove all the dessert components out of the cupboard, fridge or freezer.
- Take 4 large serving plates. Gently slide the pieces of rhubarb out of the bag and arrange 6 pieces on the centre of each plate, as shown in the recipe photo.
- Gently, using the squeezy bottle, dot some gel around the rhubarb.
- Place the meringue swirls by the gel, in a pretty pattern.
- Carefully quenelle your ice cream and slide gently onto the rhubarb.
- Sprinkle a line of matcha green tea across the plate then rush to the table to serve – it melts quite quickly!
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Reprinted with Permission from The Beer Kitchen and Published by Hardie Grant Books.