The Scotchy Scotch Scotch Cast & By the Pounds
I told you guys last week that I was going to be on the Scotchy Scotch Scotch Cast. We recorded on Saturday afternoon and you can listen to it here. It was so much fun! I am going to tell you a little about my experience and also share the Scotch-tail we made, along with the recipe for a dessert I brought.
I encourage you to listen to all of the episodes (there have been 7 including this one) and subscribe. The Scotchy Scotch Scotch Cast is excellent! Betsy and Ellen know their scotch and educate the rest of us in a non-pretentious manner. They taste a scotch each episode and typically share some scotch knowledge and sometimes a scotch-tail recipe. Their first 6 episodes were about the various regions in Scotland and they tasted a scotch from each. I didn’t even know there were 6 regions in Scotland before listening!
I’d never been on a podcast before and it was a great time! I am fairly new to scotch, so I am not as nuanced when it comes to tasting it. However, Betsy and Ellen made me feel right at home. That’s the amazing thing about their podcast. They don’t expect people to already know about scotch and are happy to share their knowledge to anyone and everyone. I don’t know about you, but scotch always seemed so intimidating before. They have helped me understand what to look for in a scotch and that they do not all taste like bottled peat. I will admit that a lot of scotch is still a bit too strong for me, but these ladies have made me realize it’s something worth growing to like.
First, we talked a little about the distillery of the scotch we would be trying, Balvenie. The ladies shared several interesting tidbits about the distillery. Its Malt Master has been there for 50 years! It was also interesting to hear about the history of the distillery. I’m not going to share everything here because I want you to hear it all on the podcast for yourselves….needless to say, it was fascinating to learn about. The specific scotch we tasted was the Balvenie Doublewood aged for 12 years. It was fun tasting a scotch with people that are more accustomed to drinking it. Betsy and Ellen have a good tip for tasting a scotch- take a small sip and hold it in your mouth for 10 seconds. It really helps you detect more of the flavors and different notes of the scotch and also reduces the “burn” when you swallow it. Most single malt scotches have layers, so what you smell, the initial taste and the flavor left in your mouth can all be slightly different. I was proud of myself for being able to pick out a smell and discuss (oh so briefly) the taste. This scotch has a nice honey scent. I found it to be slightly sweet and a little smoky in taste. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t too peaty! In other words, it didn’t taste like moss had been burned in the bottle and then was in there getting soggy (which is what my first experience with scotch tasted like- blech).
The scotch-tail we created is called a Cherry Fizz. It is a simple mix of scotch, Black Cherry Fresca and bitters. Scotch and dark cherry go really well together, so it was a natural combination. Ellen is quite the scotch purist, so she is admittedly not a fan of any scotch-tails. She did make the concession that of the ones they’ve tried, she disliked this one the least 😉 Betsy and I both enjoyed it. On the podcast we tried it as a shaken drink served up. However, we all agreed that it would be better just served in a highball glass over ice, which is how I will be sharing it. All of the recipes will be at the bottom of the post.
The dessert that I made was Brownies with a Scotch Caramel Frosting. I used the caramel I shared last week in the frosting and it was amazing (if I do say so myself)! There is also some scotch in the brownies themselves. The girls loved it! The scotch taste comes through in the brownies and the frosting, but is not over-powering.
We also spent some time discussing scotch and food. We talked about how to pair scotch with foods and some possible combinations. They also answered some of my questions about entertaining and scotch. They made the point that you don’t need to serve scotch in fancy glasses. Ideally, you want one big enough that the scotch can swirl in a bit and also one that is easy to get your nose in for a good a whiff. However, if all you have is Solo cups go for it anyway! Ellen and Betsy are big proponents of not letting fancy accessories or equipment get in your way and I agree! As far as which scotches are good to have on hand to meet everyone’s tastes, they recommended a scotch with a more bold/smoky/peaty flavor like Lagavulin 16 or Talisker 10 and a scotch with sweeter notes like a Macallan 12. They said that should more than cover the spectrum of scotch tastes. If you wanted to splurge and get a 3rd scotch that has a “middle of the road” flavor, they recommended the Highland Park. This is actually what my husband and I have and I would agree that is a tasty all around scotch (you’ll notice that it’s been featured in several of my recipes).
It was such a pleasure being on the Scotchy Scotch Scotch Cast. Betsy and Ellen are amazing ladies! I hope you all check it out. If nothing else, I hope this has shown that scotch can be approachable and a drink for everyone (of age, of course)! Here are all the places you can find them and me (for you new visitors from the Scotchy Scotch Scotch Cast), so come check us out:
The Scotchy Scotch Scotch Cast
iTunes (you can also find them anywhere podcasts are available)
By the Pounds blog
What has your experience been with Scotch? What was your “first time” like? Do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments, or on any of our other social media pages!
Ok, let’s make some delicious goodies with scotch!
1 1/2 ounces single malt scotch
3 ounces Black Cherry Fresca
1 dash of Bitters
Fill an 8-ounce glass with ice. Add half of the Fresca and all of the scotch. Top with the remaining Fresca and bitters. Stir to combine. Garnish with a Bing cherry ,if desired.
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped finely
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large whole eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon scotch
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup Scotch Caramel, plus more for topping
- If you already have a favorite brownie recipe you like, you can use that. Just substitute the vanilla extract for 1 tablespoon of scotch. I like this recipe because the brownies are perfectly chewy and moist and only one bowl is required.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9x13 inch pan, or coat with cooking spray.
- Whisk the cocoa powder, instant espresso and boiling water in a large bowl until smooth. To measure out the boiling water, make sure you measure it once the water is boiled.
- Add the unsweetened chocolate and whisk until it's melted. Whisk in the oil and melted butter. Add the whole eggs, yolks and scotch. Whisk until smooth and completely combined. Whisk in the sugar. Add the flour and salt and mix with a rubber spatula, just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake 30-35 minutes. It's done when a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the brownies cool at least 2 hours before frosting them.
- Blend the butter and cream cheese with a paddle attachment in the bowl of a stand mixer until blended and smooth.
- Add the caramel and beat until it's thoroughly mixed in.
- Spread over the cooled brownies.
- Drizzle with extra caramel sauce and cut into squares.
- Add the powdered sugar on low. Once it's all added increase the speed to high and blend until incorporated and fluffy.