Hello lovelies, today it is all about beer! Recently Grimbergen Beer* offered me the once in a life time opportunity to travel to Belgium to spend an exciting day in the abbey where the Grimbergen beer is originated. The abbey is about 30 minutes away from Brussels. I was impressed by the large and cultivated facility that is located in the middle of a small town.
Some of the Norbertiner monks still live in Grimbergen abbey and they were the ones showing us around. The conversation with them and being able to look backstage was really exciting. I specifically liked how open and dedicated the monks were. They always have an open door for the citizens of Grimbergen and are very involved into the local youth work. Such an abbey with a large church is definitely very impressive. The abbey was founded in 1128 and destroyed by a horrible fire in 1142; the same thing occurred again in 1566 and 1798.
But it was rebuilt after every destruction. After that the monks chose the phoenix as their symbol, a sign for the cycle of eternal recurrence. At its honor they proclaimed the motto: Ardt nec consumitur, burned but not destroyed. Of course you can find this symbol on the beer bottles, glasses and labels. Also fascinating to me was the fact that the monks still have a say and a right of decision relating to the Grimbergen beer and they still use it in order to preserve the tradition.
Needless to say we were able to taste the delicious Grimbergen abbey beer during a beer tasting among other things. There are 4 kinds available in Switzerland: Blonde, Blanche, Ambree and Rouge. Depending on the meal they all tasted very good to me, but Ambree was my favorite if I had to choose.
Today I don’t only want to tell you about my trip to Belgium. I also created 3 delicious recipes for you that contain the Grimbergen beers.I brought them to a BBQ with friends and they were all thrilled. We had beer hummus, beer sticks and beer cupcakes with beer sirup!
This may sound a little exotic in the beginning, but trust me, it’s worth trying. Especially the cupcakes were super tasty. And now here are the recipes:
1 glass chickpeas
1 garlic clove
1/8 l Grimbergen Rouge
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp Tahini
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cilantro
1/2 tsp paprika
Drain the chickpeas (keep the water for this chocolate mousse recipe here), put all ingredients into a mixer or food processor and blend until it’s creamy. Put the hummus into a bowl – and serve with some fried onions, olive oil, cress and paprika sprinkled on top.
Beer bread sticks (approx. 8-10 sticks)
30 gr chia seeds (soak them in 100 ml water for 10-15 minutes)
400 gr spelt flour
150 gr rye flour
2 bottles Grimbergen Blanche
2 tsp dried yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tsp poppy seeds
4 tsp sunflower seeds
4 tsp flax seed
4 tsp pumpkin seeds
50 gr fried onions
Soak the chia seeds in water. Mix flour, beer, yeast, salt and the seeds and knead well. Add the chia seeds and knead some more.
Put the dough into a slightly greased bowl and allow to rise for 1 – 2 hours. Add the fried onions and mix well.
The dough will turn out pretty runny but it’s supposed to be that way. Preheat the oven to 230°C (446 °F) and place a bowl of water on the bottom of the oven. Place the dough on a well-floured surface and gently slice into 8 – 10 pieces. Place them on a baking tray with baking paper (slightly twist them if you like) or on a baguette tray. Sprinkle them with a mix of poppy seeds, flaxseed, sesame and sunflower seeds. Allow the dough to rise some more until the oven is fully preheated.
Bake for 25 minutes and then turn the bread sticks around, take the water bowl out and bake for 5 – 10 more minutes until the sticks are crispy.
Beer cupcakes with beer sirup (12 pieces)
1 bottle Grimbergen Ambree
150 gr brown sugar (raw cane sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 bag vanilla sugar)
250 gr spelt flourl
100 gr sugar (i.e. raw cane sugar or coconut blossom sugar)
2 Tbsp cacao
100 gr dark chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 bag baking powder
1 bottle Grimbergen Ambree
100 ml neutral oil (i.e. canola)
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
100 gr cream cheese (vegan)
100 gr butter (vegan)
250 gr powdered sugar
Add beer, sugar and vanilla into a pot and boil up for the beer sirup. Let it boil at medium heat until it thickens to a sirup (approx. 10 – 15 minutes), stir from time to time. Let it cool off.
Melt the chocolate for the cupcakes and preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F).Put flour, sugar, cacao, vanilla and baking powder in a bowl and mix well. Then add beer and oil and mix again. Stir in the melted chocolate and finally add the cider vinegar. Put dough into 12 cupcake molds and bake for 30 minutes.
Cut butter and cream cheese into small pieces for the icing, put them in a bowl and mix well. Slowly stir in the powdered sugar and keep stirring until it becomes a fluffy cream. It’s important that all ingredients have the same temperature (take them out the fridge early enough). Now cool the icing until the cupcakes are ready to be decorated. Pipe the icing on the cupcakes and sprinkle with the beer syrup.
We had a wonderful evening with friends and shooting outdoors was a lot of fun. Everyone patiently waited until I took all the pictures and then they started eating the set up and toasting with the Grimbergen beers! The different kinds of flavors are perfect for an evening with friends, because everyone can pick their favorite. But they are also delicious with a special dinner – you can find some tips for food pairing on the Grimbergen Homepage.
Thanks to my lovely models and of course test eaters that evening. And a big thank you to Grimbergen for allowing me to be a part of this event in Belgium and to have an exclusive backstage experience. Now I’m really excited which of the 3 recipes you like the most and which ones you will actually try. I’m sure your friends and family will be astonished when you bring beer cupcakes to the next BBQ. But also the beer sticks and the beer hummus will be highly praised. I’m looking forward to your pictures and feedback.
*This blogpost was created in cooperation with Grimbergen beers and I was invited to Belgium. The recipes and opinion are my own.
This post is also available in: deutsch