A fantastic boozy and chocolate dessert, also great as a gift.
Pretzels and beer are one of those food pairings that just about everyone enjoys. Another pairing is pretzels and chocolate. This recipe for Beer Brittle Chocolate Bark made me channel my inner Homer Simpson and say “Mmmmm BEER!!!!” especially when we added chocolate and pretzels. Combining velvety dark chocolate, sweet beer brittle and salty pretzels, the Beer Brittle Chocolate Bark was a real sinful treat that made this a real favorite in our house.
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When most people think about brittle, they think about peanut brittle, but there is another more grown up version, beer brittle. The beer gives a deeper, lightly sour flavor to the brittle that makes this version of brittle a real old fashioned flavor, almost like the horehound candies.
For our beer brittle we used our current favorite beer, Brickway Brewing’s Coffee Vanilla Stout, which is a nice boldly flavored beer, with big notes of coffee and caramelized malt that work really well when paired up with chocolate.
Substituted in place of the normal water, the carbonation in the beer also acts as a leavening agent to help make the brittle fluff up and get a lighter texture. The natural bitterness of the stout beer also complimented the sweetness that comes from the caramelized sugar used as the base of the brittle.
The dark color of the beer also helped make this brittle a beautiful dark amber color that really looked delicious!
We chose to use a nice bittersweet chocolate for the chocolate bark, wanting the darker, more intense chocolate flavors to make the bark base. The bittersweet chocolate teamed up with the coffee flavors from the Coffee Vanilla Stout, making a bold chocolate flavor that was really sinful.
The chocolate bark’s dark deep flavor perfectly counters the sweet caramel flavors of the beer brittle.
Brittle and chocolate naturally goes really well with salty foods, so we topped the brittle and bark with pretzel pieces to give salty little bits in each bite. The salt of the pretzels brought out the sweet coffee and caramel of the brittle and the rich bitterness of the chocolate. The crunch of the pretzels and brittle was a nice contrast to the smooth chocolate. We layered the chocolate on the pan, then sprinkled the pretzel bits on top of the chocolate as it cooled.
After it had cooled, we drizzled the beer brittle onto the chocolate, the brittle cooling into sugary strings and swirls that gave the Beer Brittle Chocolate Bark a great texture. We paired the Beer Brittle Chocolate Bark with a Black Velvet Cocktail, which is a nice combination of stout beer and champagne, which really brought out the flavors of the brittle.
Like this recipe? Try these below, too!
Other Bark Desserts
French Chocolate Bark – Ina Garten, Food Network
Best Chocolate Bark – Fine Cooking
Dark Chocolate Bark with Dried Fruit – Stupid Easy Paleo
Swirled Chocolate Bark – The View From Great Island
Gluten Free Chocolate Bark – This Mama Cooks
Other Beer Desserts
Chocolate Stout Brownies – Dessert for Two
Pumpkin Spice Beer Cake – Vintage Kitty
Summer Shandy Lemon Bars – Show Me the Yummy!
Stout Caramel Sauce – Garlic & Zest
Beer Pretzel Caramels – Food Network
- 12 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
- 1 Tbls butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup pretzels, broken up
- 1/2 cup beer (we used a stout)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
- pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- For the Chocolate: melt the 12 ounces chocolate in a double boiler, or the microwave with the butter.
- Add in vanilla.
- Pour onto foil covered cookie sheet.
- Place pretzels on the top of the bark.
- Put in freezer to set.
- Once chocolate bark is set, combine beer, sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Once it reaches 310 degrees, pull of the heat and set aside to cool.
- Cool for 7-8 minutes, the drizzle chocolate bark with the brittle mixture.
- Return to freezer to set.
- Once set, break or cut into pieces.
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