Oatmeal guava pancakes with coconut porter infused syrup, bourbon braised coconut bacon and roasted fingerlings

Yup. Bringing it back, after a an extremely long¬†hiatus. You’re not interested in why, so let’s move on to what I hope will be a fresh start. Lots of ideas in my head and maybe some will even inspire Kevin to complete one of the half-dozen draft posts he’s started ūüôā

So, a little while back The Cinnamon Snail –¬†ever so creative gurus of vegan food truck¬†cuisine – had a special breakfast item:¬†Bourbon hazelnut pancakes with cranberry orange relish, pine nut butter, & dark beer syrup. I KNOW, RIGHT?! WOW! Missing out on the special inspired me to get into the kitchen on one otherwise lazy football-filled Sunday. Here are the results.

I started with the syrup, since it takes some time to boil down. I made syrup infused with¬†Maui Brewing Company’s Coconut Porter, following the same method I used for¬†this¬†glaze. Basically, a 3:1 ratio of maple syrup to beer, boiled down to a¬†consistency that’s right for you.

For the pancakes I once again turned to the Veggie Works cookbook. I used the oatmeal pancake recipe, making a few modifications.

Oatmeal Guava Pancakes

1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup guava juice
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon of Earth Balance spread

Cook the oats in the water for 3-5 minutes, covered. Mix the remaining dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add the juice, almond milk and Earth Balance to the oats and mix well. Pour the oatmeal goop into the flour mixture and beat into a batter. Heat a skillet, oil and cook ‘m up.

I paired the pancakes with some Buffalo Trace-braised coconut bacon¬†(by the way, very lame that¬†Maker’s Mark¬†is watering down their bourbon), made with¬†applewood liquid smoke. I also added a little bourbon barrel-aged¬†Worcestershire Sauce¬†that Kevin hooked us up with. Meanwhile, I chopped up fingerlings I picked up at the Farmers’ Market and roasted them with coconut oil, pepper, smoked salt and some Pain is Good jerk seasoning.

 

The results were awesome. The syrup had the sweet barley flavors of bourbon and a slight burnt flavor that was distinctly like the toasted coconut notes that come from aging in a charred oak barrel.  Combining this with the bacon and the tropical fruit of the pancakes brought the flavors out even more. If I were to make this again I would probably add some actual fruit (pineapple?) and top with some crushed, toasted macadamia nuts. Pair it with Coconut Porter or your favorite breakfast beer and start the day off right. Enjoy.

 

 

The Tipsy Vegan

On more than one occasion, when I’ve told people about this blog I’ve been asked: “have you heard about John Schlimm’s upcoming book The Tipsy Vegan?” John Schlimm is the author of 11 books, including The Ultimate Beer Lovers Cookbook, and is a member of one of the oldest brewing families in America, Straub Brewery in Saint Marys, Pennsylvania. Needless to say John’s latest book¬† on cooking vegan with booze was right up my alley and I was stoked when we were generously provided a pre-release copy to review (many thanks to Lara at Da Capo Press).

The book itself is very well designed: filled with colorful pictures and well organized. The sections of the book are not only broken down by recipe type (e.g., The Guzzler’s Garden of Side Dishes), but also by the type of booze you want to cook with. Recipes using everything from amaretto to whiskey are indexed at the beginning of the book, making it easy to find the beer recipes ūüôā

I had hoped to make a wide variety of dishes before this release-day review, but only had time for one dinner. Let me be clear, though, the recipes couldn’t be much easier…it was my “research” of things boozy that has kept me from cooking & writing. The fact that the recipes use simple ingredients and are very easy to make are a big plus for people who don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Also, unlike so many vegan recipe books and blogs that center on meat analogues, there is an obvious focus on vegetables, something I really appreciate.

Tonight I made Blitzed Brussels Sprouts Moutarade, sprouts cooked in a cognac-infused mustard sauce, and Bottom’s Up VegeBean Stew, a hearty bean and vegetable stew cooked in beer broth. All was served over quinoa (not the first time you’ve seen these ingredients together on VeganBrew).

The Brussels sprouts were easy to make and very tasty! I’ve never cooked with ‘yack before, but absolutely love it. The oak and fruit from the cognac are nicely balanced with the strong flavors of mustard and lemon.¬† The slight bitterness of the Brussels sprouts add another layer of goodness. Big fan of this recipe.

The vegetable and bean stew calls for 12 oz of beer of your choice, with the suggestion of either light lager (for cool, summer stew) or a dark beer (for a fall/winter warmer). John also encourages adding homebrew or spices to make the beer unique each time. I did take his advice, using applewood smoked “bacon salt” (thanks Kev), fava beans in place of lima beans and homebrewed dry stout for the beer (more on this beer later.) Definitely a tasty meal, though I probably should have cooked the stew as long as the recipe instructed (2.5 – 3 hours) to get the full flavor experience. No doubt, the perfect recipe for a slow cooker!

My only complaint about the book would be that I expected more beer recipes –¬† more like a veganized version of¬†The Ultimate Beer Lovers Cookbook. Nonetheless, my first experience with The Tipsy Vegan is a success and I look forward to making other recipes. I’ve already bought the ingredients for the Lentils in the Fast Lane and The Boozer’s Smoky-Spicy Baked Beans. This is a great cookbook that would make for a fun gift for the vegan boozer in your life. Get yours today!

ThanksLiving 2011 at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

As mentioned in a previous VeganMofo post, the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary is a small piece of heaven for more than a hundred animals. Though it might be a bit early to think about Thanksgiving, WFAS held its 6th annual ThanksLiving vegan feast on Sunday, October 16th to ensure attendees get a glimpse of the fall foliage without freezing their tushes off in November.

Before the feast was served,¬† we enjoyed some delicious hors d’oeuvres – faux gras from The Regal Vegan,¬†Buffalo Bites and (my favorite!) Cape Cod Cakes from¬†Blossom and “Beef” Medallions with B√©arnaise Sauce using a new flesh-alternative called Savage River. While the appetizers were passed, attendees had a chance to bid on a huge table of silent auction and raffle items, including gift certificates to Candle Cafe, Blossom and V-Note,¬† VIP passes to the Daily Show & Colbert and many other awesome prizes. Also, the bar was pouring stellar drinks, including Smoked Porter, Pale Ale or Arrogant Bastard donated by Stone Brewing Company!

The trays of¬†hors d’oeuvres seemed endless. I had to cut myself off to save room for the main course, prepared by uber-amazing chef¬†Terry Hope Romero. Check out this menu!

Now, onto the entrees….but before we stuffed our own gullets, the guests of honor got to feast!

No guest speakers this year, just Jenny Brown (director/co-founder) “dropping bones of truth on us” and giving many, well-deserved props during the meal. Dinner was brought to your table in one packed plate. The Chipotle Sweet Potato Bisque with Cashew Crema was where I started and may have been my favorite part. Rich and hearty with just enough spice. Perfectly paired with Stone Smoked Porter and a great comfort food for the rainy fall evening, The Cornbread Sofrito Stuffing with Veggie Chorizo was a close second…a very creative Latin touch added to the traditional stuffing. I, like pretty much every vegan, am a huge fan of kale and loved the Massaged Kale Salad with Raisins and Toasted Almonds. Finally, the “bird,” Chicken Rajas in Orange Garlic Mojo made with the new Savage River faux chicken. The faux meat market isn’t something I’m big into these days, but this wasn’t bad. I didn’t find it to be much different (if at all) from Gardein, but definitely a lot better than the May Wah stuff, in my opinion. Anyway, a great alternative if you need something meaty to make the Thanksgiving meal complete.

Finally, super-talented vegan baker extraordinaire Danielle Konya of Vegan Treats blew our minds with her out-of-this-world desserts. An assortment of everything from pumpkin pie to peanut butter bomb was served up.

It was yet another hugely-successful WFAS event. If you didn’t make it, be sure to come out next year. Stay up-to-date with WFAS announcements, because the tickets are gone in the blink of an eye and…I say this from personal experience…you don’t want to be that sucker who only gets to read about how awesome it is on the internet ūüôā

Vegan in Portsmouth, NH

Another VeganMofo, is here. That’s cool and all, but I have to say every time I read “vegan mo-fo” I think of Vegan Muthafucka, which is just fucking weird.

Anyway, a week in with no posts, we’re off to a bad start! The first few days of October both Kevin and I were outside of Portsmouth, New Hampshire running the Smuttynose Brewing Co. Rockfest Marathon mentioned in the previous post (still time left to donate to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary fundraiser!) The race was pretty horrible for both of us. We each had an illness or injury and the cold, driving rain destroyed any hope of overcoming it. It was quite a challenge, but we both pushed through, crossing the finish line with rather disappointing times. On the bright side, we got to sample some vegan food and beer in and around Portsmouth, which made the experience slightly less painful.

Smuttynose Brewing Company, who sponsored the race, and its sister brew pub, Portsmouth Brewery, are the dominating craft breweries in the area. As you may know, Portsmouth Brewery is creator of the infamous Kate the Great, Russian Imperial Stout. Definitely an awesome beer, but there are so many other great beers poured at the brewery and some stellar vegan options on the menu to boot! We hit up the brew pub the night before and after the race. We had the carb-heavy Smoked Tofu with Rice Noodles, an enormous portion of stir fried noodles, loads of veggies and Tofu Lin style smoked, pressed tofu.

There is also a tempeh wrap on the menu, as well as the usual pub food offerings of hummus and a veggie burger. Note, we did not get a straight answer on whether the Brewery Veggie Burger is vegan. While the ingredients seem straight forward – a blend of tofu, toasted oats, roasted fresh vegetables and spice – when I asked, I was told dismissively “no it’s not vegan, it’s got some stuff in the burger.” Probably worth asking again.

There beers were excellent! Very good timing on our part, as the wet-hop-brewed Hop Harvest II was on tap, which appears to be brewed with fresh Citra hops. This beer is truly outstanding – definitely one of the best wet-hop beers I’ve ever had. Huge fresh hop aroma, lots of tropical fruit flavor. Incredible. I’m not a big Gose fan, but Portsmouth is one of the few pubs where you’ll find one brewed and we were also lucky to be there while it was on.

Also worth mentioning, there is an all vegan raw restaurant called Revitalive Cafe just south in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

I didn’t really enjoy my raw “tuna” wrap so much, but Kevin and Jaime liked their dishes, including the Taco Salad, Raw Vegan Pizza and the Revita-Wrap (shown below).

Finally, I would not leave Portsmouth without an organic vegan pizza cooked in a wood-fire oven at the Flatbread in downtown Portsmouth.

Delicious artisan flatbread pizza with all the fixing and a good number of decent beers. SO good!!

Smuttynose promo to benefit Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary!

Join us on September 8th at The Half Pint in NYC to benefit the animals and the work of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary (WFAS). The Half Pint is generously donating 25% of the tab at an upcoming Smuttynose Brewing Co. promo night to WFAS …and insanely amazing vegan fare will be available for purchase (all proceeds benefit WFAS) from Blossom du Jour!

Brett of VeganBrew is hosting this benefit as part of his upcoming marathon run, October 2nd – World Day for Farm Animals – at the Smuttynose Brewing Co. Rockfest Marathon, to benefit WFAS. You can also help raise funds by donating to the Crowdrise project page. We hope to raise $2,620 for WFAS – anything you can give is very much appreciated!

In addition to The Half Pint”s regular lineup of fantastic craft beers, Smuttynose beers featured will be:

Farmhouse Saison
Pumpkin
Robust Porter
Star Island Single

Come out for a few pints for a good cause!

Sonoran Hot Dogs and Mexican Lager

Hi, it’s Jaime here with my first VeganBrew guest post.¬† I’m usually lurking behind the scenes as a taster/editor/amateur food stylist, but I was inspired to come out from the shadows when I saw this AP article in my local Albany rag.¬† Brett and Kevin have been falling down on the job, so I figured I’d jump in.¬† I don’t know why the AP wrote this story, but maybe in the aftermath of the royal wedding and Osama’s demise, there’s no news left to report in the world.¬† Anyway, I was simultaneously grossed out and fascinated by concept of a bacon-wrapped hot dog in a soft bun with a million toppings.¬† I decided it had to be veganized, and would make a perfect Cinco de Mayo-themed post for VeganBrew, paired with my favorite cerveza Mexicana, Negra Modelo.¬† Here are some of the basics I started with:

Ingredients

4 veggie dogs
4 slices of veggie bacon (I recommend Lightlife Smart Bacon)
4 bolillo rolls or sub rolls
1 can black or pinto beans
1/2 t Adobo seasoning
1 jar salsa
1 container Wayfare Cheddar Sauce or vegan queso of your choice
1 jar sliced jalapenos
1 tomato
1 onion
2 T cilantro
veganaise

yellow mustard

Let me start by saying that many of these ingredients were not my first choice.  First, I went to my local Mexican market in the hopes of scoring authentic pan bolillo, but I struck out.  I had a fleeting thought of making the bolillo from scratch, but quickly realized that was not happening.  So a pack of sub rolls would just have to do.  The trick, however, was in steaming them.  Just a minute or so in the steamer basket on the stovetop transformed mere sub rolls into a moist, delicious base for fake-meaty goodness.

The next strikeout was in the bacon department.¬† My intention was to use Lightlife Smart Bacon, but our local co-op was out, so I was left to choose between Yves Veggie Canadian Bacon and Lightlife “Fakin Bacon.”¬† I was concerned that the Fakin Bacon wouldn’t be flexible enough to wrap around the dog without breaking, and I was also afraid it would be too tempeh-ish, so I opted for the Canadian Bacon.¬† It wrapped great, but the flavor didn’t quite stand out once the whole behemoth came together.¬† I’ll definitely use the Smart Bacon next time.¬† Finally, SoyBoy Not Dogs are mediocre at best, but SoyBoy is the bomb when it comes to their bulk tofu, which is the firmest and freshest around, plus they’re kind of local being from Rochester and all, so we’re brand loyal.¬† What can I say?

Anyway, on to construction:

I soaked a couple of skewers while I diced tomatoes, jalapenos and onions and Brett fired up the grill.¬† Then, when it came time to do the bacon wrapping, I discovered that Brett had “helped out” by throwing away the sticks in the cup that he thought were garbage.¬† While soaking the skewers a second time, I heated a can of organic black beans in a skillet with 1 T chopped jalapenos, 2 T salsa, and about a half t. of Adobo, my all-time favorite seasoning.

When I couldn’t wait any longer for the skewers to soak (after about 8 minutes) I wrapped the bacon around the dogs, secured it with a skewer, and brushed each dog with a generous coating of olive oil, taking care to keep the oil off the skewers.¬† After a quick 5 minutes on the grill, flipped halfway through, the dogs were ready to be blanketed in a sea of toppings.

Starting with the buns fresh out of the steamer basket, I split each one open and removed some of the inner bread to create a little cavern, which I ladled some of the beans into.¬† Then I added a dog, some salsa, Wayfare Cheddar Sauce, chopped tomatoes, onions and jalapenos, Veganaise, yellow mustard, and chopped cilantro.¬† Here’s what it looked like all assembled and ready to be conquered like the French in the Battle of Puebla.¬† (Sorry — obligatory Cinco de Mayo reference)

The results were muy delicioso.¬† I was initially concerned that the mustard would clash terribly with the other toppings, but I was wrong.¬† Everything melded, with each bite highlighting a different part of the mix.¬† The Negra Modelo complemented the dog perfectly.¬† My only complaint, as I mentioned earlier in the post, was that the veggie Canadian bacon wasn’t bacony enough to stand out in the crowd, so I definitely recommend using Smart Bacon.¬† If you try it, please post and let me know how it turns out!

Vietnamese Summer Rolls wtih Mango & Apricot Wheat Beer Dipping Sauce

Very sorry for the long lag in posts. Life has been a bit crazy for me, with a recent move to NYC. Lots going on – including a stolen laptop and shitty wireless connections – that has kept me from the blog. Kevin will have to provide his own excuse for being lame ūüôā

Anyway, while visiting Albany two weekends ago, I was inspired by the (temporary) break in bad weather. With the first signs of a thawing out, I had summer on the mind and wheat beer in my glass. I’ve been looking for a way to use up a million-sheet pack of rice paper wrappers I’ve had for a while. With many filling options on hand, Jaime and I got to work making summer rolls based off of this recipe. To incorporate the fruit and wheat beer flavors that go so well with everything summer, I came up with a recipe for a fruit and American wheat beer infused dipping sauce.

First,  get the dipping sauce together:

Mango and Apricot Wheat Beer Dipping Sauce

1 12 oz bottle apricot wheat beer (I used Ithaca Apricot Wheat. Dogfish Head ApriHop would work nicely too)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 mango, chopped
lemon and orange peel
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
2-3 dried red chilies

Add everything to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium-high and boil for 12 minutes. Remove chilies and puree the mixture. Let cool.

While the sauce is cooling, get started on the rolls. We didn’t really measure anything and you don’t have to use what we used. Some basics to have on hand, though: rice paper wrappers, vermicelli noodles (cooked), lettuce,¬† cilantro and thinly sliced carrots. We also added thinly-sliced red pepper, flavored tofu (Soy Boy Tofu Lin) and half of a mango.

Prepare the wraps as Sala at Veggie Belly suggests. When the dipping sauce has cooled, place the rolls around the sauce and serve with some American wheat and/or fruit beer.

I cannot take any credit for the tightly-wrapped fatties. That was all Jaime. The flavors were super fresh and citrusy. The sauce had a complimentary tropical fruit burst that reminded me of Amarillo hops. Plenty of spice in the sauce, but did not dominate the flavor. Very yummy stuff.  For many reasons, looking forward to making these again whenever Spring/Summer finally arrives here in the Northeast.

Organic lambic one year later

With VeganMofo over, time for quick homebrew update.

On November 7th of last year, I brewed my first lambic.¬† About three weeks before the deadline for the National Organic Brewing Challenge, I bottled up 1/2 gallon of the nearly 1 year-old organic lambic, with the intention of entering it into the comp. Before I sent it out, however, I sampled a bottle with Kevin the weekend of our Stone IRS tasting. I was very disappointed to find the beer was flat, vegetal tasting, hazy…a drain pour. Needless to say, it did not get entered.¬† As the samples from the fermenter tasted awesome, I felt it must have been a shitty bottling job and/or it just needed more time.¬† It was probably too soon to open a carbonating bottle.¬† I left the other bottles to sit for a few more weeks, then, on the beer’s birthday, I gave it another try. Wow! I was simply blown away. VERY happy with the results.

The appearance is amazing. Brilliantly clear, golden straw-colored body, with a delicate head of tiny bubbles. The aroma and flavors are very similar: funk/mustyness, lots of grape notes and a touch of pineapple/citrus. Definitely sour/tart, but not overwhelmingly so. Dry finish,  that makes it very enjoyable to drink.

Right off the bat, I found it to be a lot like the flavors of Cuvee de Castleton, without the sweetness and complexity of Cuvee’s muscat grape addition. Yesterday, I brought a bottle to a sour beer tasting with some friends that are all very familiar with the Cuvee de Castleton. They too got the same impression. Among the 20+ sours we had (including some of the greats, like Lambicus Dexterius and¬† Isabelle Proximus), it held its ground. Everyone seemed to enjoy it.

A few notes about this beer worth mentioning. First off, I think the complicated mash schedule is worth the effort. It seems to me, this gave the microbes a lot to chew up and resulted in a very nice fermentation. Also, I did not use any primary saccharomyces strain, with the exception of the Belgian ale yeast in the Wyeast Lambic Blend. Traditional lambic is not made with a primary saccharomyces strain, so I choose to ignore the advice of some expert homebrewers like JZ, who say to start the fermentation with a neutral yeast strain. Instead, in an attempt to mimic what would happen when wort is added to inoculated barrels at lambic breweries, I simply pitched the pure culture lambic blend and the dregs at the start of the fermentation process. It took a bit longer to get going, but it definitely did not have a problem attenuating. The beer is already below 1.000 and is basically living off of the unconverted starches at this point. I believe this gave the beer the signature aged lambic complexity earlier on in the process.

Finally, once the beer was fermenting, it never moved. Again, like traditional lambic, it was never moved off of the yeast cake, as this provided a food source for the microbes as well. A year of aging and absolutely no off flavors from autolysis. During the bottling process, I did move it into a keg. With the increased headspace and fallen pellicle, I want to be able to keep the oxygen out of the beer by purging the keg with CO2.

I intended to brew another lambic this year to, eventually, blend into a geuze. However, I don’t know how much longer I can take living in Albany. I need to return to the civilized world, where a vegan who doesn’t drive isn’t considered a complete weirdo (i.e., Portland). As I can’t move a carboy of aging lambic, I probably will not commit to the geuze and will bottle this lambic up in the next few months.

At some point – perhaps the next Organic Challenge – I’ll enter it into a competition for more objective feedback. Anyway, I think this is a solid recipe, perhaps my best so far.

Beer Braised Brussels Sprouts with Shiitake Bacon & Quinoa Pilaf

Onto the last entry for Vegan Mofo. It’s been a lot of fun and definitely a motivator for Kev and I to keep the blog updated. We’ll try not to let the momentum die off, keeping these updates coming often.

Recently a vegetarian friend of mine, who has been on a long quest for a good alternative to bacon, passed on a recipe for shiitake mushroom “bacon” that she had picked up from a graduate from the Natural Gourmet Institute. I was a bit skeptical when she told me it only involved salt, olive oil and shiitakes. No liquid smoke?? Well, after a quick search on the google I found this recipe and instructional video from a chef at the Natural Gourmet Institute. Perfect. I made the bacon, following the instructions on the site. I had to cook a bit longer (about an hour) and could have actually gone a bit longer, as the crispier pieces came out more bacon like. Here are the shiitakes before and after baconizing:

I wouldn’t say you are going to fool an omnivore with this recipe, but no doubt, the “bacon” has an awesome salty and savory flavor, with a greasy touch that makes for a good substitute. There’s even a bit of smokeyness in the pieces that got a little blackened. Extremely flavorful and relatively simple.

I had some Brussels sprouts leftover from the harvest that I had stored in the freezer, which seemed like a good match for the bacon. I also had a bottle of Leffe Blond in the fridge (purchased with a friend on a 4 am drunken stroll through Manhattan last weekend, after closing The Ginger Man), so I decided to braise the thawed sprouts in 1/2 cup of Leffe Blond for about 10 minutes (avoid overcooking), then sprinkled them with some smoked salt and smoked black pepper.

Most of the beer was absorbed by the sprouts, which gave them a caramelized sweetness. This sweetness complimented the salty “bacon” perfectly.

To round out the meal, I decided to make quinoa. I chose quinoa mostly because it acted as the protein for the dish, but also because I’ve been meaning to try to make it in my Zojirushi rice cooker. I’ve read that quinoa can be made in it exactly as you would make white rice. I set it to medium hard white rice and it was ready – evenly cooked and delicious – in about 20 minutes. To add a bit more flavor, I made a pilaf with the cooked quinoa.

To make the pilaf, toast 1/2 cup of sliced almonds (I used almonds that were coated with maple and cayenne) and set aside. Then, saute 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic in 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add 3 cups cooked quinoa. Stir for a few minutes, then add 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme and 1 tablespoon of cumin. Mix in the almonds and 1/4 cup of raisins or currants. Finally, mix in 1 tablespoon Bragg’s liquid aminos.

This was relatively easy to make and was bursting with flavor. Sweet, salty, savory and even a touch of spice from the cayenne coating on the almonds. All this went well with the peppery flavors in the Leffe. I will definitely be making this one again soon!

Pumpkin Bread with Porter Maple Glaze

After mentioning my plans to brew a pumpkin barleywine to some friends, they generously gave me a pair of pumpkins from their garden. Unfortunately, I never got around to brewing the barleywine. Instead, the pumpkins were used as decorations for Halloween. A few days after Halloween, I noticed that one of the pumpkins was starting to rot. Rather than see them both go to waste, I decided I needed to do something with the remaining pumpkin. I haven’t had the time to brew lately, so I decided to use the pumpkin in a bread recipe.

Last fall, I brewed a pumpkin porter and added roasted pecans to the secondary. The beer turned out great, I think. The roasty, chocolate flavors of the porter went nicely with the nutty flavors of the pecans and the velvet texture of the pumpkin. With that beer in mind, I came up with the following pumpkin bread recipe, which uses a homebrewed porter (similar to this one, but without the smoked malt) as an ingredient in the bread and in a sweet, maple glaze.

Pumpkin Bread Ingredients:

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Ener-G Egg Replacer
1/2 c water
16 ounces pumpkin (canned or fresh)
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2/3 cup porter

Porter-maple glaze

2 teaspoons Earth Balance
3/4 c porter
1/4 c maple syrup
1 tablespoon sugar
pecan pieces, toasted (optional)

If you are using fresh pumpkin, begin by cutting off the top of the pumpkin, remove the “guts,” then cut the flesh of the pumpkin into 1″ cubes, removing the skin as you do this. Place the chunks into a steamer basket and steam for about 25 minutes until the pumpkin is soft.

Preheat the oven to 350. When the pumpkin is ready, puree with a hand blender or food processor and set aside. Mix the oil and sugar together in a bowl. Add the egg replacer to the water and mix well, then mix this into the sugar mixture along with the pumpkin puree.  In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Blend the porter and sugar mixture into the dry ingredients, making sure to get all of the lumps out (obviously, a mixer would help with this.)

Divide the mixture in half and place into two, well greased and floured 9 x 5 bread pans. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. When the bread is done, let cool while you get started on the glaze.

To make the glaze, heat the Earth Balance in a sauce pan.  Add the beer, sugar and maple syrup to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat and allow most of the liquid to boil off, stirring often. The idea here is to get the malted barley sweetness from the beer, as well as some caramelization of the sugar. The glaze should be thick, but runny enough to coat the bread.

Do not allow this to cool. With a pastry brush, coat the loaves of bread immediately. Let the glaze cool and harden on the bread.

I think topping this with crushed, toasted paeans would be the perfect final touch. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any on hand and Jaime is not into baked goods that have nuts in them, so I didn’t bother running to the store to get some. Anyway, this came out really well. The bread is very moist and fluffy, not overly sweet and has some nice caramelized sugar flavors from the glaze. The spices are delicious –¬† pumpkin pie spice without being too aggressive. A great way to use up some Halloween pumpkins!