Cooking with Imperial Stout: Chocolate Chip Ice Cream in a Mason Jar

Need a surprising dessert for the holiday table? Here, rich imperial stout deepens a simple and palate-refreshing ice cream preparation.

Christopher Cina Nov 25, 2021 - 3 min read

Cooking with Imperial Stout: Chocolate Chip Ice Cream in a Mason Jar Primary Image

Photo: Christopher Cina

Serves: 2

  • 2 cups (473 ml) heavy cream
  • ½ cup (118 ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup (237 ml) imperial stout, divided
  • ¼ cup (59 ml) chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and ½ cup (118 ml) imperial stout. Whisk until the base thickens and begins to form medium peaks. Pour the ice-cream base into two 12 oz (355 ml) Mason jars, leaving about 1" (25 mm) headspace. (Freeze any leftover base separately or slurp it down as is.) Add 2 Tbs chocolate chips to each Mason jar and fold in with a spoon. Place the lids loosely on the jars and freeze for 6–8 hours.

To serve, remove the jars from the freezer and allow the ice cream to temper in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Remove the lid and carefully pour the remaining ½ cup (118 ml) of beer evenly over the ice cream in the jars. Serve with a spoon.

Beer Tasting Notes: It’s a sign of the times that big, rich imperial stout probably will be easier to find than a good brown ale or any Irish stout not named Guinness. Even when they’re not barrel-aged or flavored with dessert-like adjuncts, imperial stouts cover a surprisingly broad flavor spectrum; levels of sweetness and roast-bitterness vary widely but are ideally in balance with each other, leading to drinkability that is dangerous at this strength (often 9 to 13 percent ABV).

Contemporary examples are getting increasingly thick and viscous in body, with an almost syrupy impression that associates easily with their deep chocolate flavors—these are some of the world’s most indulgent and flavorful drinks. Additional layers may come from ingredients such as cacao nibs, vanilla, cinnamon, or the warm embrace of a bourbon barrel. It’s not unusual to taste one and think, “I should pour this over ice cream”—and maybe you should. Or include it in the ice cream at the outset, allowing the cream, vanilla, and sweetness to fully absorb these plainly compatible flavors.

Beer Suggestions: AleSmith Speedway Stout (San Diego); Perennial Maman (St. Louis); Surly Darkness (Minneapolis); Toppling Goliath Assassin (Decorah, Iowa).