Chocolate and beer is a great combination if done correctly, otherwise you end up with a sweet mess that is neither good chocolate or good beer. I think that the best chocolate beers are the ones that use either really high percentage dark chocolate or cocoa nibs, since you get all of the complex flavors of the chocolate (and the beer) without adding much in the way of sugar. Terrapin, a brewery out of Athens, GA, does this, adding nibs and shells from a wonderful small chocolate maker out of Nashville, TN, Olive & Sinclair (these guys are really great, I highly recommend trying their stuff), to produce their one of their seasonal offerings – Moo Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout. The beer is not available in the Seattle market, but intrepid internet searchers can find it and have it shipped.
The beer pours jet black with a light brown head. Cocoa nibs, malt, roast, chocolate and light vanilla all appear on the nose. The beer drinks lighter than you might expect, starting off with a light malty sweetness before moving into deeper flavors of roast and cocoa nibs with an ever so slight bitter bite (think really high percentage dark chocolate). The beer then moves to a more classic chocolate profile with long dark chocolate bar and vanilla notes before finishing with a creamy, chocolate-like finish in both taste and texture – it reminded me of the mouth feel of melting chocolate. The finish is long, lingering and pleasant and more of the fruity notes of the chocolate begin to show on the finish as the beer warms. Not as chocolate forward as many chocolate beers but well balanced and layered with the complexity of a well-made chocolate bar, allowing you to appreciate both the chocolate and beer notes.
Terrapin Brewing’s Moo Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout comes in from the pasture with a perfect 5 bovines out of 5.
I really stopped caring about the commercials in the Super Bowl years ago when most of them just generally started to suck. Companies then got smart and started releasing their Super Bowl ads before the game on the web to generate buzz by putting them online. Last year, it was the Darth Vader Volkswagen commercial that drew the most attention. I watched it and thought it was one of the greatest commercials ever. I then saw it when it aired and I was confused – it really wasn’t as good as I remembered it being. I decided to do a bit of research and found that the version posted online was over a minute long and it got edited down to fit in a 30 second spot. It may not seem like a big deal, but could you imagine trying to watch a 2 hour version of any of the Lord of the Rings movies if they had to cut out half of the film.
Flash forward to this year. I thought that the milk commercial starring The Rock was brilliant and I essentially laughed out loud most of the time. It got very little reaction from the crowd watching it, and once again, I knew why – the online version was 1 minute long, but they edited it down to a 30 second spot. What was lost was the long shots of The Rock stopping at each disaster and deciding he didn’t have time to deal with it. Here is the version of the ad that aired during the game:
Here is the full version of the ad:
I will leave it up to you to decide, but I really think this is on par with the VW Vader Commercial.
So I am going to show you want to do with the instant pudding recipe. I have modified the original recipe and that change will be described in the notes. This is fairly quick to make and tastes so good when it is done.
1 ¾ cups of pudding mix
4 cups of whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the mix and milk in a medium sauce pan. Whisk together until combined. Heat over medium heat until mixture begins to boil (7-10 minutes) constantly whisking gently. When boil is reached, reduce heat to low and simmer for 4 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove heat and whisk in vanilla. Transfer mixture to a single bowl or individual serving bowls. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding if you don’t want a skin to form. Refrigerate or just eat it warm. Using your finger or a spatula, remove any chocolate pudding still in the pot and consume.
The original recipe called for 2 cups of heavy cream and 2 cups of milk. I replaced the cream with the milk and did not really notice much difference in the texture or flavor. I need to try it with replacing some of the whole milk with skim milk to see how that affects the product. I also tried doubling the recipe. It increased the cooking time from 10 minutes to almost 30 since there was much more cold milk to bring up to temperature.