Milk stout doesn’t have the bitter aftertaste found in many stout beers, which makes it a versatile drink for pairing with desserts. Stout beer is a strong, dark brew. Milk stout, also known as sweet stout, contains lactose to sweeten the beer. This sweet twist helps the beer blend well with many desserts. However, like all beers, milk stout tastes different from label to label. Each brand is unique and sometimes you simply have to try the specific beer and dessert together to know if they mix well.
Know Your Stout
The key to pairing milk stout with a dessert is to know the flavors that make up the beer. Echoing these flavors in the dessert usually means the beer and dessert will pair well. For example, if the beer has chocolate undertones, a chocolate dessert is likely to mix favorably with it. You can also try complementing the flavors found in the beer. A milk stout with toffee and coffee flavors tends to pair well with whatever pairs with those two flavors, such as caramel.
Always Time for Cake
Sheet cake or cupcake, many cakes pair perfectly with milk stout. Smear vanilla cake with caramel and pecan frosting for a sweet dessert that helps bring out any caramel flavor in the beer. Cover dark chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate frosting and serve with milk stout for a rich treat. Pair the beer with a chocolate-chip coffee cheesecake for an indulgent dessert with a smooth flavor. Glaze a toffee coffeecake with vanilla icing for an extra-sweet dessert.
Try a Pie
Serve milk stout with a savory pie for a filling dessert with a classic flavor. Spice an apple pie with a hint of cinnamon for a mellow treat that pairs well with toffee and oatmeal based stouts. Top a pecan pie with cinnamon-sugar pecans and serve with any milk stout for an earthy dessert. Pair the beer with a plain raspberry or blackberry pie for a simple, yet satisfying, dessert. Serve the beer with mincemeat pie, which is a spiced mixture of finely diced fruit, for a dessert that holds its own against the strong stout flavor.
Silky Does It
Pudding, mousse and custard provide a silky treat between sips of smooth milk stout. Caramel, chocolate and vanilla puddings work well with any basic milk stout. Garnish milk chocolate mousse with dark chocolate curls for a rich dessert that brings out any chocolate undertones in the beer. Serve milk stout and crème brulee, which is a vanilla egg custard with a caramelized sugar topping, for a sophisticated sweet.
You'll Scream for Ice Cream
Stick with relatively simple flavors when pairing ice cream with milk stout. The more complex ice cream flavors, such as banana split sundae, are so flavorful that they start to overwhelm the beer. Serve the stout with vanilla, coffee or butter pecan ice cream for an unassuming, yet rich, dessert. Pair the beer with chocolate, mocha, double chocolate or chocolate brownie ice cream for a sinfully sweet treat that complements the stout flavor instead of competing with it.
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