Pastry stouts are an increasingly popular beer style that combine sweet, rich malty flavours with a luxuriously full body and a high ABV. They’re basically a dessert in a can! But what about making actual pastry with them?
Chef Ian McHale of Vancouver’s acclaimed Wildebeest restaurant has done exactly that with his stout-infused doughnuts. Wildebeest is known for its locally sourced and seasonally fresh menu, and McHale, who developed his love for stouts while living in Ireland, uses Port Moody’s Twin Sails Brewing’s Con Leche Horchata Milk Stout to give the doughnut batter a unique texture. Fire up the fryer — you’re going to want to try this one for yourself!
What makes this recipe special or unique?
IM: I think this recipe is unique in the way that we use the milk stout to make the batter lighter and fluffier. It can be adapted to become a savoury doughnut, which is always different or add more sweetness to it, if you fancy the treat that way.
Why did you choose this particular beer? What sort of foods does it pair well with?
IM: I chose the Twin Sails Con Leche Horchata Milk Stout due to the sweetness and airiness it adds to the doughnut. I think this beer also goes really well with a good game dish that has a chocolate jus, proving to be a truly versatile brew when pairing with some of your favourite dishes that are rich in flavour.
What are some general tips you have for cooking with beer?
IM: I like to add beer to a recipe when I need a bit of carbonation as opposed to using say plain club soda. The flavour of beer enhances the dish and gives it another layer, which comes through really nicely with these doughnuts.
Ian McHale, executive chef of Wildebeest, infuses these delicious doughnuts with Twin Sails Con Leche Horchata Milk Stout for a light and fluffy texture. Photo Dan Toulgoet
5.5 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
37g baking powder
1 tsp salt
250 mL Twin Sails Con Leche Horchata Milk Stout
200 mL milk
3 tbsp canola oil
Photo Dan Toulgoet
1. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Mix wet ingredients well in a separate bowl.
3. Mix dry and wet ingredients together with a hand mixer or a standing mixer until fully incorporated.
4. Spoon dough balls, about an ice cream scoop or one full tablespoon, into a deep fryer or pot of oil at 160 C (320 F).
5. Ensure that the doughnuts fully submerge and rotate them so they cook evenly. Cook for approximately four minutes.
6. Check doughnuts with a cake tester or toothpick to ensure they’re fully cooked.
Toss with cinnamon and sugar and enjoy!