Wattle Seed Creme Brulee with Emerson’s London Porter

Kris: I’ve said it many times before, I love cooking with native Australian ingredients. Roasted wattle seed is an amazing product to use in desserts. It is the roasted seed of the Acacia victoriae, which grows in Central Australia. It has amazing coffee, chocolate and hazelnut characteristics. You can buy it pre-gound or as whole seeds. If you buy whole seeds just crush them using a mortar and pestle. It is available at a lot of speciality spice stores or on-line.

Wattle Seed Creme Brulee

(serves 2-4 depending on the size of your ramekins)

3oo ml cream

1 vanilla bean 

25g wattle seed

3 egg yolks

60 g castor sugar


Pre heat an oven to 120 C

Split the vanilla bean 

Add it with the wattle seed to the cream in a saucepan

Bring to the boil slowly

Take it off the heat

Beat the sugar and egg yolks for a few minutes in a mixing bowl

Strain the cream 

Whisk the cream with the egg and sugar, adding the liquid slowly

Whisk for a few minutes

Place the mixture into a pouring jug and pour into ramekins

Place the ramekins in an oven tray and fill half way up the sides of the ramekins with boiling water

Cook in the oven for 40 minutes 

Remove from the oven and allow to cool

Place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving

Sprinkle brown sugar on top

Using a brulee torch, caramelize the sugar

Serve with fresh berries

Kris: I matched the dessert with Emerson’s London Porter. It is a 4.9% Porter from one of New Zealand’s great craft breweries. The roasty chocolate and coffee notes in the beer complimented the flavours of the wattle seed in the Creme Brulee.

Caroline: Delicious. It tastes so good with about a whole punnet of blueberries thrown into the mix as well! I love a good brulee, the crunchy sugar top and the creamy insides, yum. The wattle seed had a coffee bitter-cocoa-hazelnut character, and how can you go wrong with that? I thought the beer was a good match, but since I DO have a sweet tooth (unlike Kris) I thought it might be better with something richer and sweeter like the Hitachino Milk Stout or a Chocolate Stout. But hey, that’s just me.

 Kris: Any excuse for a stout hey Caroline?

Caroline: Pretty much

International Beers Matched with Australian Cheese

Thought cheese matching was just for wine? Well, think again!

Tonight we had 4 Australian cheeses with quince paste and tasted/matched them with 4 international beers.
The cheese were (clockwise starting from back left):

Lochelien Brie from  Victoria

Grandvewe Sapphire Blue from Tasmania

Woodside Edith Ashed Goats Cheese from South Australia

Pyengana Cloth Bound Cheddar from Tasmania

I matched the Brie with Emmerson’s Pilsner from New Zealand. I love the aroma of the New Zealand hops in this beer.The dryness and citrus flavour of the beer cuts through the richness of this creamy, french style brie.

Tripel Karmeliet is a perfect match for the Woodside ashed goats cheese. Hefeweizens also pair really well with goats cheese, particularly Chevre.

The salty, nutty flavour of the aged Pyengana cloth bound cheddar goes really well with a malty English Pale Ale. Timothy Taylors is one of my favourites.

Finally Rochefort 8 with Grandvewe Sapphire Blue. The cheese is a ripe, creamy blue made from organic sheeps milk. It needs a big beer to match it’s rich flavour. These two are a match made in heaven.

Beer is an extremely versatile match with food and particularly cheese. There really is no right or wrong. Part of the fun is experimenting and finding out what works and what doesn’t.

Below is a general guide to get you started:

Marscapone/Creme Fraiche with Fruit Beers

Goats/Fetta with Wheat Beers

Havarti/Colby with Pilseners

Brie/Camembert with Dry Lagers

Aged Cheddar with malty Pale Ales and Brown Ales

Blue Cheese with Strong, dark Belgian beers and Barleywines

Parmesan with Stout or super hoppy Pale Ales and Amber Ales