[Sca-cooks] Biersuppen

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Tue Jan 30 05:24:25 PST 2007

On Jan 30, 2007, at 4:37 AM, ranvaig at columbus.rr.com wrote:

>> From Rumpolt.  27. Biersuppen mit Eyerdottern
> su:eß gemacht/ vnnd mit Butter auffsieden
> lassen/ machs gelb oder nicht/ vnd wenns auffgesotten hat/ so  
> saltzs ein wenig.
> (my translation, I could be wrong)  Beer soup
> with egg yolks make sweet/ and with butter
> (auffsieden = boil?)  /make yellow or not/ and
> when it has (auffgesotten =boiled?)/ salt a
> little.
> Has anyone tried this?  Would "make yellow" mean saffron or perhaps  
> safflower?
> How much alcohol is left in the soup, is it
> something we could serve at feast?  What happens
> to the cook standing over the pan breathing the
> fumes? :)
> Modern recipes are quite similar, but usually
> have flour, milk, and cinnamon too.
> Ranvaig

The modern "cook's eye" would probably be looking for this to be a  
smooth, fairly thin, buttery version of zabaglione. Sweet, either by  
using a sweet beer or adding sugar, yellow, probably from saffron,  
but depending on how much egg yolk is used and the type of beer, it  
might be well on its way already.

This looks like a fairly recognizable version of what the  
contemporary English would have called a caudle, so I may be drawing  
some aesthetic inferences from that, but assuming that this is in the  
family of zabaglione, stirred custards, caudles, and Bearnaise,  
Hollandaise, and sauce beurre blanc, I'd do it that way.

You'd probably want to bring your beer to a boil (with or without  
saffron, and as Bear suggests, you probably don't want to boil any of  
this for any period of time), pour it in a thin, steady stream into a  
bowl (or another pan) containing your eggs, beating them with one  
hand while you pour with the other. The idea is to gently thicken and  
cook the eggs as you mix them in to the hot beer, without causing  
them to curdle. You may want to return the combined pot back to the  
[very low] flame and continue stirring it until it has thickened a  
bit more (it should probably coat the back of the spoon). Then you'd  
beat in your butter in small increments as for Hollandaise, letting  
the ambient heat of the soup melt the butter and completely  
incorporating it before adding more.

I'd start experimenting with a pint of beer, maybe a double bock,  
which is pretty heavy and more conducive to emulsions and such, and  
you might not even need to sweeten it much, but any added sugar will  
also thicken it just that tiny bit more that may make the difference.  
Bring it just to a boil, then pour it in a thin stream into a bowl or  
another saucepan containing about six large, beaten egg yolks (maybe  
a small saucepan with a pouring lip might be useful here), beating  
with a whip with the other hand. You may have to return it to the  
flame -- very low heat, stirring constantly with a whip or a wooden  
spoon-- to get it fully thickened, and then you start adding cold  
butter, cut into small chunks of about a half-teaspoon each, probably  
for a total of about two ounces, whipping in a piece or two at a  
time, letting each increment melt and mix in before adding more. You  
could add more, but eventually it'll become counterproductive, and  
nobody will be able to eat more than an ounce or two of the stuff, I  

I think this would be great over sippets, but I have no idea if  
Rumpolt would have done that.


"S'ils n'ont pas de pain, vous fait-on dire, qu'ils  mangent de la  
brioche!" / "If there's no bread to be had, one has to say, let them  
eat cake!"
     -- attributed to an unnamed noblewoman by Jean-Jacques Rousseau,  
"Confessions", 1782

"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?"
     -- Susan Sheybani, assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry  
Holt, 07/29/04

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