In my previous post, I mentioned that I needed to get the story about the Blackwater Porter label over a brew. I do love good tweetable trivia and a good beer! Well, I got the story and my previous assumptions made for a pretty embarrassing moment!
This weekend, my friend, Janice, was in town and I wanted to share with her my passion for experiencing local flavor. She’s typically a SoloTraveler, but was excited to catch up after our trip to Mexico and interested in seeing the side of Orlando that tourists usually don’t venture to. So I drove her off the beaten path a bit to the Tap Room at Orlando Brewing so we could taste some local beer.
Our flight included Blackwater Porter, Eminent Domain, Pompous Ass and Pelican Stout. My favorite is still the Blackwater Porter. Light, coffee scented and refreshing. Janice had a hard time deciding which of the later 3 were her favorite.
Just as we were preparing to leave, John Cheek, president of Orlando Brewing strolled up to say hello. This was impeccable timing as Janice had a lot of questions about the brewery that I didn’t know the answers to. Who better to ask than the man that started the establishment?
Since I had sipped a few beers, the “think-before-you-speak” part of my brain had been turned off. I piped in and asked, “So, what’s the story on the crazy looking bearded hillbilly on the label of Blackwater Porter?” John says, “Well, he’s actually standing right over there. He’s one of the partners here at Orlando Brewing.” I immediately bit my lip … sank into the bar stool … and tried to crawl under the counter. (Open mouth, insert foot, chase with a beer.)
His name is Gene and he is a real person, not just clip art used for a label. Gene’s in charge of beer distribution and gave Janice an I the history on all their beer labels. His story about the gold panning was a fun one. About 20 years ago he and some friends decided it would be an exciting camping trip. After buying all the necessary supplies, taking pictures in the depths of some mines, enduring weather so cold that the pillows froze to the side of the tent, they found less than a palm-full of gold nuggets. If this story were a credit card ad, it would have gone something like this …
Camping equipment … $3000
Emergency room visit for frost bite … $1000
Spending time outdoors with your buds and only finding $30 worth of gold nuggets… priceless.
Well, here’s the last little nugget you need to make Biramisu.
Starting with … the cookie …
They create almost everything by hand at The Portobello. Remember the pasta from Biramisu Part 1? I asked Chef Steve to tell me how much pasta they make every day. He said it looked like a 50 1lb piece of chewing gum before they shape it. My running buds and I could certainly put a dent in that. We’ll have to go there for a little pasta-palooza party before our next long distance run. And since we’re getting up to 18 and 20 miles, I think we deserve a little dessert! Dessert! Ah … back on topic …
The last part of the biramisu recipe is the lady finger biscuit which essentially includes eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla, baking power … and … their secret ingredient, orange zest. The orange zest really brings out the flavor of the beer.
Now, I can’t actually *give* you the recipe for their lady finger biscuits. This is the one part that remains a secret. So you’ll have to go to The Portobello to taste the real thing. Chef Steve says you can save some time and substitute with store bought lady fingers.
One tip I can give you is to change the shape. A round lady finger (biscuit) will fit quite nicely into a beer glass for serving. Use a round cookie cutter to make them the size you need.
Next, play with your food and eat the left over o-rings …
Using two different sizes helps the biscuits fit the tapered shape of the glass.
Now … the beer!
Pour the remaining beer reduction into a wide, but shallow, bowl. (Hopefully you didn’t use it all as pancake syrup.)
Place the cookies into the reduction and let them soak for a bit. They should start getting heavy with beer and start to sink.
When they start to sink, flip them over.
I know, I know, you’re jealous of the biscuits that get to swim in beer reduction.
I can only imagine the grunts my beer-loving guy friends are making right now.
Layer the biscuits and cream into the dish you’ll be serving them in. Preferably, since it is BEER-amisu … a beer glass!
Top it off with some whipped cream and skim off the top so that it looks like a frothy beer.
And there you have it. Biramisu made with the incredible tasting Blackwater Porter … slightly coffee tasting … somewhat malty … and definitely delicious.
If you’re in Florida this month and interested in testing what I keep calling the “coffee” beer, then check out Oktoberfest at the Tap Room. It’s the kind of hidden gem that only the locals know about and is a great way to celebrate the Fall season!
I’ll be there! Will you? If you go … tweet me @TravelBlggr
If you want to print this recipe without all the photos … click here: Biramisu
Do you know which brewer does NOT supply beer for Oktoberfest? Comment below …