Pig & Fiddle’s Chocolate-Stout Pudding ($5) came to us in a highball glass, minimalist and unassuming yet undeniably alluring. It had a creamy head atop a chocolate body, and — we moved closer — a caramel-coffee nose. But it wasn’t a dark and stormy ale that had our undivided attention. For starters, it came with a spoon.
When head chef Stephanie Kochlin and pastry chef Katie Elsing developed the opening dessert menu for Pig & Fiddle — located at 3808 W 50th St., Minneapolis — they held the restaurant’s promise of “European country fare” as a guide. Custard was a shoo-in, and since they were using a lot of beer in their cooking, it seemed only natural to toss some into the pudding. However, “toss some in” is probably misleading. The pudding’s current brew is Summit Oatmeal Stout, and it’s hardly treated as an afterthought. To understand its prominence, consider Elsing’s artifice: Take all milk and cream from a traditional pudding recipe and replace it with stout; then add some more stout, and a bit more after that (really). Cocoa powder is blended into the stout, which Elsing heats and thickens with eggs and brown sugar. She strains the mixture before folding in 60% cacao chocolate. The crème anglaise is sweetened with brown sugar to give the custard its toasted tan head.
The process is simple enough, though it certainly doesn’t taste it. Under a deep pool of brown sugar crème anglaise, the corresponding flavors of the two main ingredients meld seamlessly, to the point where you can’t distinguish one from the other. The stout and dark chocolate exert equal force in the bittersweet composite, deferring only slightly to the tempering sweetness of the crème anglaise. The thick and satiny mouthfeel is interrupted only by sporadic bits of unmelted chocolate — a reassuring inconsistency.
Chef Kochlin admits that it took some time for her to warm to a presentation she deemed “too cutesy.” But really, is there a more fitting way to package a stout-based pudding? It’s probably no matter, because once you dip into the dark and enigmatic mass, “cutesy” will be the last thing on your mind.
I took my dad to Pig & Fiddle a few weeks ago and he ordered this for dessert. I’m not a beer drinker and I thought it sounded gross, but it was sooo good. So happy to have this place in the neighborhood!
No where did I see an address for this restaurant. Are we supposed to “just know” where these places are? I hate it when an address/phone number is not included in an article.
It is nice to have the address included.
We ordered this dessert when they first opened and were horribly dissapointed. It came out burned, and when we complained were told “it was just the beer.” Being a fan of stouts, I can tell you it wasn’t “just the beer.” It sounds like they have improved, but I am still shying away until I can be sure they hit their stride.
WHERE is this place???
Pig & Fiddle is located in the 50th and France neighborhood. The address is 3808 W 50th St, Minneapolis MN 55410.
I first came to the restaurant and had such a WONDERFUL meal and was asked if I wanted dessert..I was so full I couldnt even think about it but when the waitress told me about this I had to. I have been back twice since and on the ride there I can’t wait for the food and half way through my meal I can’t stop thinking about this dessert. Thank you Katie and stephanie for being such wonderful chefs!!!! You put the bar way up and you are so talented!!
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