Stout -v- Stout: Round 3 – Chocolate Cake

The cold winter nights have left me craving stouts so my boyfriend and I decided to conduct a little beer battle – Stout versus Stout. One night after dinner we sat down to a table of three desserts, two stouts, a notepad and a pen (this is what normal people do, right?). This post sees the stouts matching with homemade chocolate cake!

To briefly recap …

The cold winter nights have left me craving stouts so my boyfriend and I decided to conduct a little beer battle – Stout versus Stout.

One night after dinner we sat down to a table of three desserts, two stouts, a notepad and a pen (this is what normal people do, right?)

The Stouts: Coopers Best Extra and 4 Pines Stout

Coopers Best Extra Stout                                        4 Pines Stout
              Coopers Brewing (SA)                                        4 Pines Brewing (NSW)          
        6.3% abv | Foreign Extra Stout Style            5.1% abv | Irish Dry Stout Style

Round 1: Homemade Creme Brulee – the best match was Coopers Best Extra, read all about it here

Round 2: Chocolate Brownie – the best match was 4 Pines Stout, read all about it here

Now it is time for Round 3 – Chocolate Cake.

The chocolate cake was a belated birthday cake from a friend and was homemade – happy days! Now it seems that there are varying degrees of chocolate cake, from the light chocolatey all the way to the extreme “death by chocolate” approach where you might as well have just bitten into a kilo bag of sugar. This cake was more on the lighter side and definitely delicious!

Judging from the lightness of the cake I would have initially picked 4 Pines for my favourite match but when the two came together what most jumped out was the coffee bitterness, it was kinda sharp and unexpected. Perhaps there wasn’t enough chocolate in the body of the 4 Pines to lift those flavours from the cake. The Coopers Best Extra seemed a superior match, mostly in texture as it has a more creamy body which went nicely with the light fluffiness from the cake. There was much more milk chocolate notes in this matching, perhaps the creamy texture of the beer washed over the cake and brought out those flavours. I’m not really much for technical bits and bobs so I’m really just guessing here! Whether I’m way off track with the reason, it tasted good me to!

Whilst it wasn’t a match that set hearts and palates racing it was Coopers Best Extra that tasted like it had the upper hand.

Best Match … Coopers Best Extra Stout. I think the next stop will be cheese!

Stout -v- Stout + Chocolate Cake

Stout -v- Stout: Round 2 – Chocolate Brownie

Cold nights means STOUT and what better way to explore this great style by diving head first into some good ol’ head to head tastings. Going all Aussie, the stouts doing battle are 4 Pines Stout versus Coopers Best Extra. The first round was against homemade Creme Brulee with Coopers Best Extra proving the more exciting match … now it’s round two … bring on the Chocolate Brownies!

The first round of Stout -v- Stout saw 4 Pines Stout match head to head with Coopers Best Extra to see what would be the superior match with my homemade Creme Brulee. I’m not the greatest at desserts, except banana bread – my banana bread kicks ass – but the result was pretty damn good. To read the match ups and see which was the favourite pair, read on here.

Coopers Best Extra Stout                                        4 Pines Stout
              Coopers Brewing (SA)                                        4 Pines Brewing (NSW)          
        6.3% abv | Foreign Extra Stout Style            5.1% abv | Irish Dry Stout Style

Now it is time for Round 2 – Chocolate Brownies.

Normally we don’t have a lot of dessert in the house but winter has been damn cold so we are looking for any excuse to turn on the oven; as a result my boyfriend frequently disappears down the cake mix aisle at the shops.

Baking is always fun and usually a little messy in the mixing process. Like a true gentlemen my boyfriend gave me the wooden spoon to lick; I don’t care how old you are, it is always fun to eat the mix straight off the spoon!

Coopers Best Extra got a little overrun by the chocolate brownie. There was indeed great chocolatey notes from the beer and brownie but it seemed the bitterness and almost liquorice flavours stood out like an awkward pimply teenage at a school dance. The difference was a little jarring on the palate.

The 4 Pines Stout proved to be more complimentary; the sweet dark chocolate flavours from the beer and brownie was nicely balanced. There was still an element of coffee bitterness as in the Coopers but the 4 Pines was a more subtle and delicate touch. The more we tasted these two together, the more delightful the combination. Smooth, balanced and just lovely – perfect for a winter night and the fact the house warmed up whilst the oven was on made it even better!

Best Match with Chocolate Brownies … 4 Pines Stout!

Next Time: The third and final round between 4 Pines and Coopers … good old trusty chocolate cake!

Stout -v- Stout + Choc Brownies