I love baking with stout (as seen by my stout cake donut recipe) it gives chocolate a deeper more luxurious flavor and tastes beer-y without being toooo beer-y. Two things make this recipe truly great: you only need one bowl and a cast-iron skillet to prepare it, and it only requires 10 easy-to-find ingredients.
Stout Skillet Brownies
8 oz (two 4oz bars) semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup stout beer (sweet stout or milk stout are best)
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon butter or cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl.
In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, warm butter and stout until butter is completely melted. Bring mixture to a simmer, set a timer for 10 minutes, and simmer while stirring occasionally. (This reduces the amount of liquid from the stout and eliminates any carbonation from the beer.)
Pour the mixture over the chopped chocolate. Allow to rest for about a minute. Then whisk until thoroughly combined. All to cool slightly.
Add sugars and whisk until the mixture has a uniform texture.
Add egg and egg yolks and whisk to combine.
Sift cocoa powder and flour directly into the bowl and sprinkle with salt. Stir with the whisk just until the mixture becomes uniform. Do not over mix (you’ll get tough brownies, yuck!).
Use cooking spray or 1 tablespoon butter to coat skillet (it will still be warm) and pour in batter.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Rotate the skillet after 15 minutes. When the brownies are done the edges will appear thoroughly baked but the center will look just set and still steamy.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes (the skillet will be VERY hot) on a wire rack.
Slice and serve carefully, minding the hot skillet. Top with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, shaved chocolate, or your favorite candies.
Secrets to Stout Brownie Success
Use a milk stout, sweet stout, or a flavored stout. I often use Trader Joe’s Boatswain Chocolate Stout because it has cocoa powder in it and it is CHEAP (no worries about wasting beer in brownies there.) I also enjoy Left Hand milk stout in this recipe and Founder’s Breakfast Stout. Stouts that lean very roasty can give a bit of metallic flavor to this recipe, so save those for drinking.
Do not over mix once the flour has been added. Have you ever had a gummy brownie? The culprit is gluten development. As soon as flour hits the wet batter, gluten begins to form and mixing encourages more, faster gluten development. Mix just until you have a uniform batter and to avoid gummy a texture.
This is a rustic dessert, and it may not come out of the skillet perfectly.
Stout Brownie Beer Pairing
The obvious pairing, the stout you used in the brownies! When you eat the brownie with the same stout baked into it the stout flavors become more apparent and dark beers always feel like an end-of meal beverage.
Kriek works surprisingly well with this dessert. The hit of fruit and vibrant carbonation breaks up the richness of the decadent brownie and provides a counterpoint to the bitter-sweet flavors. This pairing brightens up the dessert course and leaves you feeling lighter than other beer pairings.
Belgian Dark Strong like Chimay Grand Reserve works well with the chocolate flavors of the brownie and adds some dark fruit flavors to the mix. When I drank this beer with the brownies I got a lot of dark brown sugar flavor I hadn’t noticed before. I also think this beer is an excellent meal-ender, almost like a port or dessert wine.