The easiest impressive dessert ever: pour stout, add ice cream. Photo courtesy Silver Moon Desserts.




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December 2007
Last Updated March 2016

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Beer

Chocolate Stout Float Recipe

Plus A Recipe For Chocolate Stout Ice Cream



Do you like beer, ice cream and chocolate? Then here’s an easy, festive dessert that requires absolutely no cooking, courtesy of The Chocolate Room of Brooklyn: a Chocolate Stout Float. It also is a light dessert—after a heavy dinner, there’s always room for a float.

A stout is differentiated from a regular ale by its dark, brown-black color and chocolate-coffee flavors and fuller body. This is achieved by brewing with barley that has been dark-roasted to the point of charring (think of espresso beans compared to a medium roast). Chocolate stouts are a sub-category that use different malts, including chocolate malt, a more aromatic malt that has been roasted until it acquires a chocolate color and chocolaty flavor. The beers have a noticeable dark chocolate flavor that comes from the malt.

Chocolate stouts are typically made in the fall and winter, though some brewers make them year round. New York’s Brooklyn Brewery creates an amazing chocolate stout using only chocolate malt. It’s hard to believe there’s no chocolate in the brew, but the chocolate flavors are achieved the old-fashioned way, in the craft of drying the barley during malting.

These days, brewers do add actual chocolate into the brew, in addition to the chocolate malt.


There’s more than one way to make a chocolate beer:

  • Rogue Ales Brewery in Oregon takes a minimalist approach, adding only natural chocolate flavor.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, from the U.K., uses chocolate malt, real dark chocolate and chocolate essence (flavor).
  • Red Oak, an Australian stout, infuses its brew with Belgian chocolate.
  • Bison Brewing of Berkeley (an organic brewer) adds cocoa powder to the mash.
  • Sweden’s Carlsberg makes a Criollo Stout in its Semper Ardens range of hand-brewed beers, using Valrhona criollo beans.
  • Sam Adams produced a chocolate bock with Scharffen Berger Forastero beans from Ghana, aging the bock on a bed of cacao beans (a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week—read our review).

Many brewers make chocolate stouts. Young’s makes a double chocolate! Photo courtesy



Chocolate Stout Float

You can make this dessert in less time than it takes to read the recipe.


  • Chocolate stout
  • Chocolate ice cream (premium brand)


  1. Pour stout halfway into a large brandy snifter or a wine goblet.
  2. Add a scoop of ice cream. Serve with a spoon.

Directions: Pour the stout into a brandy snifter or wine goblet and add a scoop of the best chocolate ice cream you can find—from your local ice cream parlor, a boutique brand (check out all the selections at Whole Foods and Wild Oats) or Häagen-Dazs. Serve with a spoon. It’s that easy—and it’s a winner!

If you want to make your own chocolate stout ice cream to go with it, here’s a recipe:

Chocolate Stout Ice Cream

You will need a two-quart ice cream container to make this one-quart recipe. If you want a different dessert experience, look for a chocolate stout cake recipe to serve with this ice cream.


  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup chocolate stout
    (If you can’t find chocolate stout, substitute a sweet stout such as Watney’s)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate, chopped
    (You can use morsels, but we recommend chopping a good chocolate bar of 50% to 70% cacao, depending on your preference—70% crosses the line to bittersweet)



If serving the ice cream by itself, garnish with chunks of good chopped chocolate (cut up a chocolate bar).
  1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the cream, stout, milk and honey until bubbly. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer on high, beat the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until fluffy. Beat in the cocoa powder until thoroughly combined.
  3. Gradually stir in the hot stout mixture into the egg mixture until just combined. Then pour the contents into the saucepan.
  4. Cook and stir over a medium heat until the mixture is slightly thickened and just beginning to bubble around the edges—don’t overcook.
  5. Place the semisweet chocolate in large bowl. Pour the hot egg mixture over the chocolate and whisk well until the chocolate is melted. Let the mixture cool, then cover and chill thoroughly (two hours or more).
  6. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart ice cream container. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Makes one quart.

For more ice cream and dessert recipes, visit our Desserts Section.

© Copyright 2005- 2024 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. Images are the copyright of their respective owners.

© Copyright 2005-2024 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.