I feel like most people associate a cold beer with a hot, summer day. I know, I know, there are those of you out there who are happy to drink beer any day, any time. I’m not really that person. In the winter, I tend towards red wine and warming cocktails, but in the summer, I always crave something lighter. More refreshing. Cold. Something that will slake your thirst on a hot day.
I never learned to love hops, so I tend towards beers that are lighter, and I really like fruit beers and wheat ales. There’s something about a fruit beer that is extra summery–like drinking whatever fruit is currently in season.
I’d had the Granville Island Brewing False Creek Raspberry Ale in the past. It’s a seasonal beer, and a really wonderful one for the summer.
But, you know me, I’m never happy to just drink something! I have to make something out of it.
Many people use beer with meat dishes. It makes a great stewing liquid for pork or beef, imparting flavour and tenderness to the meat. But I’m not much of a meat eater, and those kinds of dishes feel more like they are for the winter to me.
So I wanted to do something out of the ordinary, and I decided to make a dessert.
I love panna cotta in the summer. Like beer, it’s cool and refreshing, so why not pair it with a sauce that incorporates the beer?
The sauce turned out to be simple, but delicious. There are hints of vanilla throughout the dish, which is nice alongside the raspberries. I added a little cardamom for earthiness, and the hops in the beer keep it from being too sweet. The raspberries are what really sing in this dish, though. They are the seasonal star of the show.
Vanilla Panna Cotta with Raspberry Beer Sauce
For the panna cotta, you have two options:
Vegan Panna Cotta (made with coconut milk and thickened with agar)
Regular Panna Cotta (made with cream and thickened with gelatin)
Raspberry Beer Sauce Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 1/4 cup Granville Island Brewing False Creek Raspberry Ale
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp vanilla beans
- 3 cardamom pods
- In a small saucepan on top of the stove, place all the ingredients and gently bring up to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the cardamom pods.
- Place the sauce in a blender and blend well. Strain to get out the seeds.
- Unmold your panna cotta onto a plate and drizzle with the raspberry beer sauce. Garnish with fresh berries and enjoy.