Lerwick Brewery and Tushkar Brownies
by Abby -
The other week I had a fab tour of Lerwick Brewery - it's a hard life but someone has to do it! Lerwick Brewery manager, Rhanna guided me around the premises and showed me the brewing process - all very technical, temperature controlled and quite scientific. No hissing, whirring or bubbling concoctions - just Rhanna and her co-brewer Jon keeping a beady eye on everything, mulling over mathematical equations; creating new craft beer recipes and bespoke ranges for different organisations, including Kjøl (made with Cluster hops and pure Shetlandic water) - commissioned by the the Centre for Nordic Studies to celebrate the annual Bergen to Shetland yacht race. It's very exciting to see this successful innovative business (established in 2012) expanding so quickly and there's fantastic news for vegans: the range of Shetland bottled beers (all available UK-wide and via LB's online shop) do not contain Isinglass. This is a very attractive selling point and therefore armed with the aforementioned information I decided to enjoy several glasses (or maybe more?!) of LB's refreshing pale golden lager - 60°North, the other evening - because I knew it was the healthy option.
Talking of healthy options - dark chocolate is good for the heart, or so I've been told. It was therefore a no-brainer that I had to share Rhanna's incredibly delicious Tushkar chocolate brownie recipe. Now, in all my chocolate infused days I have never enjoyed such moist delicious brownies and this was further confirmed by my colleagues at work, including A who said he could definitely taste the Tushkar Oatmeal Stout (recently awarded a Guild of Fine Food, Great Taste Award Gold Star). He was obviously savouring the chocolate and coffee top notes and the slight bitterness from the Mittelfruh Hops. Me - I was wolfing brownies down at an incredible speed and the ‘restrained level of bitterness and slight sweetness’ just passed me by. It all got quite messy. I have to admit I became a CBG overnight - a 'chocolate brownie greedbag'. I'm happy to say, as far as I know, there's no cure involving a 12-step programme, self-help books or a CBG retreat in New Mexico with in-house Shamans. Enjoy, savour - if you have the willpower or join me in the CBG club - all welcome (as long as you bring plenty of brownies).
Tushkar Chocolate Brownies
Servings: large tray - at least 12 servings
Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
- Tushkar Oatmeal Stout - two bottles
- dark chocolate - 230g
- white chocolate - 130g
- butter (unsalted) - 90g
- plain flour - 120g
- cocoa - 80g
- salt - ¼ teaspoon
- caster sugar - 200g
- eggs - 4 large
- chocolate chips - 150g
- vanilla essence - ¾ teaspoon
- Pre-heat oven to 200C/180C fan. Line an oven safe, high sided baking dish roughly 3x9inch with tin foil and grease well.
- First transfer the two bottles of Tushkar to a pan and simmer gently for around 15 minutes or until the beer has reduced by half, aiming for around 300ml of liquid for the brownies. Once reduced leave to cool. While the beer is reducing melt the dark chocolate, white chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Be careful not to allow the bowl to touch the simmering water. Remove from heat once combined and leave to cool. Combine the dry ingredients, the flour, cocoa and salt. In a large bowl beat together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy then fold in the cooled, melted chocolate. Next fold the dry ingredients through the mix followed by the Tushkar reduction and vanilla. Mix gently but thoroughly, the final batter should have quite a runny consistency.
- Pour this mix gently into the lined baking dish, sprinkle over the chocolate chips and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. The brownies are ready when the mix has risen slightly and set. Leave to cool if you have the willpower!
PS If you'd like to have a guided tour around Lerwick Brewery - get in touch with Rhanna. Contact details are available via the LB website and, by the by - a Tushkar is a spade with a feathered blade for cutting peats.
Posted in: Recipes