In the world of novelty beer ingredients and flavors, it’s easy to find beers that don’t exactly capture their purported flavor. Call it false advertising, but I’ve been burned by beers that don’t taste at all how they’re described. Then there’s the others that concentrate so much on the extra flavor that they forget to actually brew a decent beer. That’s not the case for Saugatuk Brewing Co.’s Neapolitan Milk Stout. This 6 percent ABV beer from Michigan has the full trifecta of Neapolitan ice cream flavors on top of an all-around solid milk stout. Plus the label is pink and I just like looking at it.
I first tried this beer last summer and I was so impressed that the beer had the strawberry and vanilla notes coming through with lots of roasted malt chocolate. It’s surprisingly light, which makes it a great warmer weather stout. When I saw the beer again on the shelves at Richfield Liquor (have to give the municipal stores some love for having a nice craft selection!), I was inspired to use this beer for beeramisu.
What’s beeramisu? It’s a tiramisu, but with a beer. Tiramisu is a traditional Italian dessert made by soaking ladyfinger cookies in coffee or liqueurs. In this case, you replace that liquid with a flavorful milk stout. My version – adapted from I AM A FOOD BLOG – is pretty easy. There’s no baking – just a lot of layering and whipping.
The hardest part about this recipe is finding ladyfingers at the grocery store. To my knowledge, there’s no reason to buy these cookies aside from tiramisu and kitschy Halloween desserts. You’re looking for the soft, foamy ladyfingers that are in the refrigerator or freezer section. For the record, I found enough ladyfingers for this recipe after two trips to Lunds & Byerlys locations.
To emphasize the neapolitan flavor of the ice cream, I also went with three flavors for the mascarpone filling. We’ll start with a plain base and make a few easy adjustments to add strawberry, chocolate and vanilla for the three layers.
Whip up the filling – mascarpone, whipping cream and sugar – and separate into three bowls. Leave one a bit more full than the other two – this is to prevent patchiness on your top layer. I made that mistake and had to cover holes with strawberry decorations.
The best part is giving these lucky little ladies a quick dip in the beer. If only we could all be so #blessed…
I chose to make this dessert in an 8×8 pan since it was technically a birthday cake. But you could easily halve the recipe and put it in a small bowl or trifle dish, or serve as individually portioned desserts in jars, cocktail glasses, etc. When I make it again, I’ll probably add just a drop of food coloring to the bottom layer so I get more of that traditional, bright strawberry pink hue.
Have you ever made beeramisu before? What’s your favorite beer to use?
- 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅓ bar dark baker’s chocolate (60 percent cacao or higher)
- ½ cup strawberries, plus more for decorating or 2 tbsp. strawberry preserves
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 12 oz bottle of Saugatuk Brewing Co.’s Neapolitan Milk Stout
- 2.5 packages ladyfingers
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt the bakers chocolate. Let cool for several minutes.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix the whipping cream on high until it stiffens - two minutes or so. Fold in the mascarpone and sugar. Separate the cheese mixture into three bowls - leaving one slightly fuller than the other two.
- In a blender or food processor, puree strawberries. Skip this step if using strawberry preserves. Fold the puree or preserves into a smaller bowl of the mascarpone mixture. If stronger coloring is desired, add a few drops of red or pink food coloring.
- After the chocolate is cooled, add it to the other smaller bowl of mascarpone. Add 1 tsp. vanilla to the remaining larger bowl of filling.
- Pour beer into a shallow dish or bowl. Give the ladyfingers a quick dip on both sides and be sure they don’t get too soggy. Arrange them in a tight, single layer in the serving dish of your choosing.
- Spread the strawberry mixture over the first layer of ladyfingers. On top of the strawberry layer, add another layer of beer-soaked ladyfingers. Top with the chocolate filling.
- Add the final layer of ladyfingers and top with the remaining vanilla filling. Decorate with a dusting of cocoa, chocolate curls or strawberry slices.
- Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.