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Allagash Black Chocolate Tower

2008 Winner - Dessert Finalist
Recipe by Maria Tanglao

Yields 6 Servings

"I love chocolate and I love beer. I thought about this recipe long and hard and I find that the beer is so perfectly matched with the chocolate and caramel. It's subtle and not over powering. All the flavors are light and not heavy. It's a delicate blend of two things that are traditionally rich in flavor and presented in a not so traditional way."

Allagash Pastry Cream


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split (can substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup Allagash beer


  1. In a small sauce pan, boil the milk, vanilla bean and sugar for the pastry cream. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and cornstarch until blended for the pastry cream.

  2. Temper the pastry cream by adding a one-third of the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Add the tempered mixture to the hot milk and constantly whisk over a double boiler. Whisk until the cream has thickened, and then add the butter. In a slow steady stream, add the beer to the pastry cream, making sure the consistency is still very thick. Once everything is mixed, let the pastry cream chill in the refrigerator until ready for plating.

Caramel Sauce


  • 1 cup Allagash beer
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1½ cup heavy cream

Reduce the beer in a small pot by half; set aside. In a medium pot, heat the sugar for the caramel sauce over medium heat until completely dissolved into an amber colored syrup. Add the butter, turn off the heat, and then add the cream and the reduced beer in a slow steady stream.

Preheat oven to 400 °F.

Chocolate Cake


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup Allagash beer
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted



  • Powdered sugar
  • Chocolate for shaving


  1. Using a hand held mixer, whisk, or standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar for the cake. Add the egg, beer, vanilla extract, milk and whisk for another minute; add the melted chocolate and set aside.

  2. In a different bowl, mix the almond flour, cake flour, cocoa powder and salt; set aside. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

  3. Remove cake batter from the fridge and with a spoon scoop out the batter on to a parchment paper lined sheet tray. The batter at this point will still be a little runny so be careful not to spread the batter out too thinly. Each cake should be about 2 inches in diameter and not more than a ¼-inch thick. Bake cakes for about 5 minutes or until light in texture. Cakes should be light. Set aside to cool.


Tower the cakes and pastry cream into layers (cake/cream/cake/cream/cake) on a sheet tray. Place a spoonful of caramel sauce on the bottom of each plate next to one cake tower. Finish off with powdered sugar and a few shaves of chocolate.

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Allagash Brewing Company