Kiss My Bundt Bakery owner Chrysta Wilson always stocks her fridge with Tecate. Not because she craves the light Mexican beer but because she bakes with it. Her Tecate cake is moist, light and crumbly. It’s the carbonation, she says.
Now that beer culture is exploding in popularity in Southern California, beer is even finding its way into desserts, as pastry chefs use it to make dishes that are not only sweet but also have layered textures and flavors that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. What started with quirky beer and ice cream floats has now spread to shakes, cakes, gelato, fritters and even candy.
Jason Bernstein started making beer and ice cream floats more than a decade ago, just for fun, while he was in college. Now, at the Golden State, the beer-forward Fairfax Avenue cafe that Bernstein co-owns with James Starr, he’s forged a symbiotic relationship with Scoops gelato mad scientist Tai Kim. Their signature collaboration is a float that pairs North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout and “brown bread ice cream” — vanilla ice cream streaked with caramel and loaded with caramelized Grape-Nuts.