Dylan and I got married on the 21st in beautiful Bellingham, Washington! As much as we love you all here, we are out enjoying our honeymoon, so we’ve lined up a couple guest bloggers to take over in the mean time. We’ll be back in a couple weeks!
We did a guest post over on cookingwithsurly.com a couple months ago and now Alissa is stopping by Sweet and Stout to do the same. She writes a great blog about cooking with beer in all kinds of recipes, you should definitely go check it out.
We started chatting back in May about exchanging recipes, and both agreed it was a great idea. Alissa had been wanting to try her hand at beer cupcakes for a while, her recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen and is called “Chocolate and Whiskey Beer Cupcakes”. The title alone makes my mouth water!
Alissa says the only issue with these cupcakes was that she bought a new silicone pan and figured that the paper liners weren’t necessary if you just grease it really well. As it turned out, the cake kind of stuck to the pan, so paper liners would have been more favorable. Even still, she was able to save a few for her photo of these delicious treats. Alissa used Schokolade Bock, from Millstream Brewing, and says it turned out good. Some styles of bock beer are dark and very malty, a great beer to pair with a rich chocolate cake. I think a dopplebock would be a excellent choice. Many thanks to Alissa and Smitten Kitchen for this amazing sounding recipe!
So, want to give these cupcakes a try for yourself? Check out the recipe below:
Chocolate Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes
Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes
1 cup stout (I used Schokolade Bock, but Surly Coffee Bender would be great too!)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream)
Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.
Filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.
Fill the cupcakes: Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Those are your “tasters”. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
Frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.
When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.
Ice and decorate the cupcakes.
I’m always looking for that perfect blend of salty and sweet. You may have noticed that theme in the last few weeks of our cupcakes. This time we will round out the salty-sweet trifecta with these Chocolate Pretzel Cupcakes. These last few cupcakes would be the perfect bar food: potato chips, popcorn, and pretzels.
The cake is a slightly salty chocolate cake infused with Firestone Walker’s Velvet Merlin, a smooth and delicious oatmeal stout. You can definitely taste the chocolate and roasted coffee flavor in this beer. It’s perfect for a chocolate cake. I used coarse sea salt in the cake, and as you take a bite, you get the tiniest bit of saltiness. I wasn’t expecting that, but it worked out in our favor.
I was trying out a new recipe for chocolate caramel ganache for the frosting, but it never stiffened up in the fridge. Being the cupcake innovator that I am (and totally modest, by the way), I tossed in a bunch of powdered sugar and whipped it into shape. The frosting had a really interesting flavor, it tasted like ganache but not heavy at all, it was fluffy and quite enjoyable! I crushed some pretzels on top of each cake after frosting and stuck a whole pretzel in to top it off.
I’ve always loved chocolate covered pretzels, and using the frosting as a pretzel dip was a great idea to do with the leftovers. I love when there’s leftover frosting.
I wanted to mention that next weekend, Dylan and I will be walking with our dog (silly dog photo: click here) in the Spokane Humane Society’s Parade of Paws. It’s a walk that raises money for the shelter, and we’re on team “A Furry Frenzy“. Our team has raised almost $300 so far (online)! We’re really proud to be a part of the team. If you’re in the Spokane area, you should come out and join the fun!
Who knows what we’ll come up with for next week. I think I’m running out of things to cover with chocolate, is that even possible?
- Jackie & Dylan
It’s been quite the whirlwind of a weekend for us here at Sweet and Stout! With our wedding rapidly approaching, we’ve been getting pretty busy taking care of all the fun little details that go along with planning such an event. We were also plenty busy this weekend doing cupcake and beer related activities!
On Friday evening we made a guest appearance at Spokane Real Deals and their Girls Night Out event. We sold some cupcakes, and got to talk with some really great people, including Rachelle and Kris, the owners. We also met Ginger of Peace, Love & Pearls, who does great work revamping vintage jewelry. Ginger actually inspired our idea for this week’s cupcake flavor, but I’ll get to that. To top it all off, we got to meet Dan, of Duo Brewing, who happened to be in Spokane this Sunday. We’ve been following Duo Brewing for a while now, so it was really awesome to meet half of the duo behind the beer. We are definitely looking forward to trying some of their beers in the near future.
Anyways, I know you all really came here to read about our cupcakes, so here they are:
That’s a chocolate covered potato chip on top of a chocolate cake, with chocolate frosting, of course! While I was talking to Ginger on Friday evening, she mentioned that she used to have a business that made chocolate covered potato chips. This sounded like such a tasty idea, I decided that we had to give it a try. Making them was quite easy, just melt some chocolate and dip in your favorite chip. Let me tell you, I’m really upset I haven’t tried this sooner in life. I’m sure they have no health benefits, whatsoever, but, they were the perfect balance of salty and sweet. Definitely worth trying.
For the cake we used Rogue Chocolate Stout, a deliciously rich chocolate stout, that paired fabulously with our chocolate cake. If you are into chocolate beers, I highly recommend you give this one a try. The roasted malt flavor combined with the chocolate is sweet and toasty, and there’s just a hint of bitterness that balances it out. For the frosting I used a regular cream cheese base, then just added the leftover melted chocolate that I had dipped the potato chips into. Looking back on the last year+ of this cupcake blog, I don’t think I’ve ever done just a chocolate cream cheese frosting. That’s almost hard to believe, considering how much I love chocolate. It was pretty much the tastiest chocolate frosting ever, and I will definitely incorporate it into more cupcake recipes! (Chocoholic-4-life)
The only thing that bothered me about this cupcake creation was that the part of the chip that was covered in chocolate got a little soft, not necessarily soggy, just not as crispy as I wanted it to be. I’m not sure what would be the fix for it, but I’m willing to eat plenty more until I figure it out. So, let us know what you think– would you try a chocolate covered potato chip (on a cupcake)?
- Jackie & Dylan
Blueberries and chocolate combined is entirely underrated. It is a fantastic combination of flavors, and I highly recommend trying it. This weekend we created a chocolate cake using North Coast Brewing’s Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, and combined it with some frozen blueberries, best idea, ever (maybe). Not only is blueberry and chocolate a great combination, this beer is spectacular. Old Rasputin weighs in at 9% ABV, so even after a half bottle (1 half for cupcakes, 1 half for me), I was feeling pretty tipsy.
The cake itself was a basic chocolate, the only thing different was that we added in about a cup of blueberries and we puréed them in a blender before adding them into the batter. The cake turned out dark and delicious with a hint of stout flavor and blueberry. Perfect. What didn’t work out great for me was the frosting. I was avoiding making a trip to the grocery store, so I used the butter and left over cream cheese I had on hand. Well, I guess the butter wasn’t too happy with my blueberries and lemon I added to it, and the frosting separated before I could even get it on the cakes.
Being that it was a beautiful, summer-like day, here in Spokane, I decided to pair the cake with some Tillamook Mudslide ice cream and forgo the frosting all together. Sometimes, cupcakes don’t need frosting, and this was definitely an awesome alternative! I topped the dish with some thawed blueberries, and now I can’t wait to go back and have more.
- Jackie & Dylan
You’ve seen it every where, red velvet this, and red velvet that. If you have red food coloring, you can have red velvet anything, or so it seems. I’m not sure why this bugs me so much. Go ahead and call me a hypocrite, we sell a red velvet cupcake. It seems red velvet is a very popular flavor right now, which got me to thinking, where did it come from?
From what I’ve read, there was a time that food coloring wasn’t actually used in this recipe. The red was attributed to the reaction of the cocoa powder (not dutch processed) and the acid used in making the cake (in this case, lemon juice). During World War 2 they even used beets to add the red color into the cake. In modern times, we use red food coloring, and it takes a lot to turn the cake red.
I’ve been wanting to try and make a red velvet cake without food coloring, so I set out to do just that this weekend. This weekend is a special occasion, our blog is turning 1 year old! I can hardly believe it’s been a year of cupcake experiments! I think a great way to mark the occasion is to share this recipe with you.
I looked at a bunch of recipes online for a red velvet cake using beets, and took the items I liked best from each and created a recipe from that. I’m actually not a fan of beets, I think they smell and taste like dirt, but I like to try new things, and was willing to give this a go. We had a bottle of Boundary Bay’s Irish Red Ale in the refrigerator and decided it would be perfect for this experiment. It’s a great beer, and really, we just wanted to drink it. (But hey, it is red, so it works, alright?) We love our Boundary Bay beers.
These cupcakes turned out interesting, to say the least. They are definitely moist, and also the beets make it very dense. The color is a deep reddish brown, and the taste is… well, it kind of tastes like chocolate covered beets, but not in a bad way! You get the hint of earthiness from the beets (along with the beautiful color), but you also get this soft chocolate flavor that goes well with it. This is probably the most moist cake I have ever baked, which adds to the whole experience. I’m still formulating my opinion on these, but they are definitely not your average red velvet cake.
Here’s the recipe if you’re brave enough to give this a try:
Red Velvet Beet Cake
1 15-Ounce can sliced beets, drained
1/4 cup – 1/2 cup beer
1/3 vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons natural cocoa powder (NOT dutch process)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line cupcake pan with paper liners
2. In a blender (or food processor) combine can of beets (minus the liquid) and 1/4 cup of beer. Blend well until smooth, probably 2 minutes, depending on how powerful your blender is. Add egg, oil, lemon juice and vanilla to blender, blend for another minute until all is combined. If it’s too thick for your liking, add more beer.
3. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Pour blended ingredients into bowl and combine with a whisk or rubber spatula until mixed well together.
4. Put about a 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake paper, bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Wait until cupcakes are completely cool, then top with desired frosting. We used cream cheese frosting, which is quite delicious!
This will make about 18 – 20 cupcakes. Happy baking!
- Jackie & Dylan
Our favorite day in March is rapidly approaching, St. Patrick’s day! We started this blog almost a year ago, and to get into the holiday spirit, we made these Chocolate Potato cupcakes, inspired by the traditional Irish dessert.
For the beer this week, we were lucky enough to receive a bottle of Boundary Bay’s Imperial Oatmeal Stout from Dylan’s dad (who lives in Bellingham, where Boundary Bay is located). I wish we could find Boundary Bay’s beers in bottles here, this beer is fantastic! You can find some of their beers on tap around Spokane, so we’ll have to settle for that.
I know we did a sweet potato cupcake last year, so I was pretty sure that a potato version was going to turn out just fine. I was a little worried after last weeks cupcake experiment, I didn’t want two bad posts in a row. Thankfully, the potato and chocolate cake turned out fabulous. These cakes are dense and hearty, pretty sure it has something to do with the riced potatoes that I put in there. Ricing potatoes without a ricer is a bit time consuming though, I had to run those bad boys over our tiny cheese grater to make sure there were no lumps. They have just a slight hint of chocolate flavor, despite the 2 1/2 ounces of baking chocolate I put in them (also grated the chocolate over the cheese grater, when will we ever invest in a food processor?!).
To top them off I went with a classic cream cheese frosting. I was not going to try and get all fancy this time, and I stuck with what I know. It was a good choice. The frosting doesn’t overpower the cake, which lets the cake flavor be the most prominent.
Next week, if you’re in the Spokane area, you should join us at the #foodie tweetup going on over at Launchpad on Monday, March 12 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm. We’re going to be using you all as test subjects for a new flavor we’re working on, plus there will be all kinds of other cool people there with tasty treats to share (Savor Sweets and Farm Girl Gourmet, plus wine pours from Nectar Wine!). I can’t think of a better way to spend a Monday evening, hope to see you there!
- Jackie & Dylan
These week’s cupcake is brought to you by my love for chocolate, and my plentiful supply of bananas. We used Voodoo American Stout from Left Coast Brewing Company in the cake. This beer has a roasted, almost coffee-like flavor to it, and is great paired with chocolate. A cup of beer went into the cake, and Dylan and I shared the rest of the 22 oz. bottle, at 10 am! Nothing like a little buzz to wake you up in the morning, I say.
This cake recipe has 2 mashed bananas in it, and in the finished cake the banana flavor comes out really well. I love adding fruit into cake because it always turns out very soft. For the frosting we used a peanut butter ganache. I enjoy using ganache as a cupcake frosting, it’s really easy to change the flavor to compliment whatever kind of cake you’re baking. I used the same recipe I always do, just changed the amounts a bit to accommodate the peanut butter.
Truth be told, I didn’t make nearly enough frosting for all the cupcakes today. The frosting gun (what else would you call it?) that we have at home really puts out a lot of frosting. I won’t complain too much, the frosting does look very nice when we use it. I’ve run out of frosting before and I’ve learned from experience, if you just pile on some peanut butter, it’ll do the job.
Dylan doesn’t actually like banana, but I think I may have converted him.
- Jackie & Dylan
After the busy weekend we’ve had here at Sweet and Stout, I wanted to give you all a treat for following us along, and helping in our success. We really wouldn’t be where we are today without fans like you, we are very grateful! Saturday we baked 12 dozen cupcakes for the Steam Plant Grill for their Valentine’s Day Menu. We’re hoping to become a regular dessert over there, so if you’re in Spokane, you should stop by, grab one of their delicious beers, and have a cupcake. We were pretty tired after making 144 cupcakes, but it was definitely worth the effort.
Today I wanted to share with you a little treat that I made for a friend a while ago. These are called Black Bottom Cupcakes, and the recipe is based off of this one from Women’s Day Magazine, with a Sweet and Stout twist, of course.
Guinness Black Bottom Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, melted (1/2 cup)
1 cup stout beer
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp white vinegar
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Put cupcake papers in muffin pan. I believe this made a dozen full size cupcakes, but it’s been a while.
2. Start with the top ingredients. In medium bowl, mix cream cheese, egg, sugar, and salt using an electric mixer until creamy. Set aside.
3. Now for the bottom ingredients: In large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Use a whisk to mix it all together. Place beer, melted butter, vanilla, and vinegar together in a separate bowl and whisk together. Then take the liquid and mix it into your dry ingredients. Use mixer until combined.
4. Drop 2 tablespoons of bottom mixture (chocolate) into prepared cupcake liners. Top with 2 tablespoons of top mixture (white cream cheese). You could swirl them together if you like, or just do half and half. (Either way, they taste delicious!)
5. Bake in preheated oven, 18 – 20 minutes.
I didn’t do any kind of frosting for these, but it is definitely an option. Maybe an Irish cream frosting would be tasty on top. That part is entirely up to you. Thanks again for all the beer cupcake love you guys have given us! Happy baking, as always!
- Jackie & Dylan
I don’t know why more people don’t love coconut. It’s a great flavor, and it pairs especially well with chocolate (the greatest flavor, ever). This week we made these Mocha Coconut cupcakes based off of a recipe that I found on Pinterest from How Sweet It Is.
Are you on Pinterest? There’s a wealth of creative ideas, just waiting to inspire you over there. You can find me (Jackie) on Pinterest here. (I share all kinds of ideas, including cupcakes, of course!) I’ll wait while you go check it out, but hurry up, I can’t promise there will be any cupcakes left over by the time you get back.
Back to these tasty cupcakes. We had to modify the recipe to incorporate the beer, of course. After a trip to the beer store, (always fun on a Sunday morning!) we decided to go with Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, a fantastic imperial stout. This was the first time I’ve had this beer, and let me tell you, I fell in love with it. It’s a thick, malty stout that hides it’s alcohol content (10.5%) VERY well. Half of the can went into the cupcakes, and the other half went to me. Let’s just say, I was feeling toasty myself before noon, but (as it was pointed out by a friend on Untappd) it’s Superbowl Sunday, therefor holiday drinking rules apply.
The cake batter alone was fabulous, thankfully I did manage to bake it into a dozen cupcakes (instead of eating it all). The frosting was a buttercream with added coconut milk and flake for flavor. The recipe also has a chocolate mocha syrup to drizzle on top, and I toasted some coconut flake to top it all off. I’m not sure what I did, but the frosting started to separate before I could get it on the cupcakes. I did my best to get it back together, and lucky for me, it still tasted fabulous on top of the cake.
After messily compiling all the frosting components, I sampled the whole package, and it was excellent. Imagine soft, dense, chocolate cake with creamy coconut frosting with a hint of toasted chocolate coconut all together in your mouth. Honestly, if any of these make it into work tomorrow, I will be surprised.
- Jackie & Dylan
These past couple months of actually doing business have been amazing! This week, Dylan and I will be in vacation mode. While we don’t have a new cupcake flavor for you, we do want to share a few photos. These are from our collaboration with Savor Sweets, another local Spokane small business. We met them a few months back when the Spokesman Review did an article featuring both of our businesses. We both successfully used Kickstarter as a means to raise start up costs.
This past Monday, we attended a tweetup and brought our peppermint chocolate cupcakes. What made them different this time is that Andrea, of Savor Sweets, created a peppermint candy garnish to top them off. It was really fun to see her create the candy. She tried out a new technique to make the candy look like coral, and it went really well. We topped off the cupcakes, then brought them out the next day to the event.
Watching the positive reacts of those that tried them was awesome. There’s an awesome photo of @1ntheDepths (Christina Deubel) enjoying a cupcake on Design Spike’s blog that I just love. Anyways, here’s a couple photos I snapped right after the decorating with Andrea.
We’ll be back next week with a new flavor. We both sincerely wish you a very happy holiday season!
Jackie & Dylan
After last week’s oven failure, I was a bit worried about how we would be baking cupcakes this weekend. When I got in the kitchen this morning, I crossed my fingers and fired up the oven, just to see if it would go. It has been working randomly, but hardly predictable. Lucky for us, the oven felt like cooperating!
For this recipe, I took our basic orange cake recipe and just added in some cocoa powder to make it chocolate. I also prepared a semi-sweet chocolate ganache ahead of time, and added a bit of orange zest to make it more interesting. I’m actually surprised we haven’t done this flavor sooner, orange + chocolate = one of my most favorite things. (It’s right up there next to pumpkin.)
For the beer, I went with a Belgian style golden ale, another one from Dick’s Brewing Company, called Silk Lady. This beer definitely has a strong citrus flavor, and was a perfect match to the fresh orange juice and zest in our cake recipe. We try to avoid using the same brewing company 2 weeks in a row, but the beer really did pair well with the cake.
In other news, we hit 400+ fans on our facebook page last week! To celebrate that, I sent Dylan out on a cupcake adventure Friday to give away some cupcakes. I had to work that day, but I think Dylan enjoyed making the rounds. He made stops at Arbor Crest Winery (did you know they’re going to start making their own beer soon?), Manito Tap House, The Hop Shop, and Jones Radiator. All cool places to check out, if you’re in Spokane, of course. (We’re looking for a few more places to carry our cupcakes, so if you’re reading this and you want to sell some beer cupcakes at your shop – give us a call!)
We hope you all had a terrific Thanksgiving this past week, and hopefully you survived black Friday without too many traumas! Thanks for stopping by to check out this week’s cupcake.
- Jackie & Dylan
I know, I know … we’ve done Iron Horse Brewery’s Irish Death before. However, Irish Death is frickin’ delicious, so we’re going to use it again. There’s a few things we did different this time. First, this is a chocolate cake made with Irish Death. Second, the frosting is … oh yes … Mocha Death beer frosting! It’s like double the Irish Death fun. (Seems weird to have death and fun in the same sentence, but I reread it a couple times, and I’m okay with it.)
In case I’ve never said this before, I love chocolate. Any chance I get to make chocolate cake, I do. Dylan is always the voice of reason and says things like “well, you made chocolate last time” or “don’t you think we should do something other than chocolate?”. Well this time, I must have been pretty convincing, because he was all about the chocolate. (lucky me!)
One thing that we’ve been thinking about experimenting with is beer frosting. We needed a way to get the beer in it, without actually having the alcohol in it too. So, we ended up taking a cup of Irish Death and reducing it, on the stove top, to about a tablespoon. All the heat removes the alcohol, and leaves us with a concentrated (almost syrup-like) amount of beer. While I contemplated pouring it over a bowl of vanilla ice cream, Dylan quickly took it away and added it to the buttercream frosting.
The result were these True Irish Death cupcakes, or you could call them Double Death cupcakes (that’s what I wanted to call them, Dylan picked “True Irish Death”). Whatever you want to call them, they were pretty tasty. We’re definitely going to experiment with more beer in frosting, I think it’s the next logical step up for us to take. Just thinking about all the different beer possibilities in frosting is pretty exciting. We’re evening thinking about doing a beer ganache frosting too. mmm!
Thanks for stopping by and checking us out today! In case you missed it, Dylan and I were on one of our local morning shows on Friday. To say being on TV is pretty cool is an understatement. It’s scary and awesome at the same time! You can check out our appearance here. We were so happy to be on the show, and I think the anchors really enjoyed the cupcakes we brought by.
- Jackie & Dylan
Sweet potatoes in cupcakes? Heck, yes.
To say I was a picky eater when I was younger would be an understatement. Sadly, I never realized the goodness that is a sweet potato, until my adult life. All those years I could have been enjoying them! Well, at least I realized in the last couple years, that they are amazing. Dylan & I have been talking about using sweet potatoes in a cupcake recipe for the last few weeks, and we finally did it.
I got the recipe from a coworker. She’s always picking out recipes for us to try, this one was really easy to figure out where to add the beer in. The batter turned out REALLY thick, so I just tossed in a cup of Dogfish Head Punkin Ale to thin it out a little. If you’re into pumpkin beers, this is one of my favorites. I was a little reluctant to use it in the recipe, only because I wanted to drink it instead. But I made the sacrifice for you, dear beer-cupcake lovers. That’s how much I’m committed to this cupcake thing.
For this recipe, I had to roast a pound of sweet potatos, then mash it up and add it to the batter. It looked kind of weird when I mixed it in, but the results were well worth it. As an added bonus, each cupcake has a Hershey’s kiss right in the center of the cupcake. The sweet potato, the spices, and the pumpkin beer blend perfectly in your mouth when you take a bite. The chocolate is (literally) the icing on the cake. When you pick one of these cupcakes up, you can feel the weight of it. They are dense!
I’d say these are like a thanksgiving day dessert party in your mouth. SO good. So good, that I could eat them all tonight, and leave none to take into work tomorrow … Just kidding, coworkers!
In other news, our kitchen is all paid for & eagerly awaiting our arrival to start baking. If you’re around on Thursday night, there will be a sneak preview of cupcakes over at Brews on Washington. The catch is that you have to come play trivia, and you could win them as a prize. Totally worth it. Plus, if you win trivia night, you get $25 off your tab.
If you’re busy on Thursday, make time to come see us on Saturday over at Brews on Washington – it’s our official kick off party! Our wonderful and amazing donors can stop by and get their cupcake prizes. Everyone else is invited to join us too, there will be plenty of cupcakes, in plenty of flavors for sale! Dylan and I will be there, so that’s pretty cool too. Oh, and we’ll have a few pint glasses, recipe books, and t-shirts, if you’re interested. Come have a pint and a cupcake with us!
Hope to see you there!
- Jackie & Dylan
This week’s cupcake idea is brought to you by Dylan. He’s been dying to show me the secrets to his black forest cake recipe. Lucky for us, we recently received a lovely package of beer from my best friend (Mrs. 100 Beers), and in it contained a bottle of Derailed Black Cherry Ale from Erie Brewing Company. What a perfect opportunity for Dylan to showcase his kitchen skills!
These cupcakes are really fun. Each cupcake has a gooey cherry center. Dylan shared with me, after they had all been filled, that there was also a bit of rum in each. Not being one to shy away from alcohol in a recipe, I congratulated him on sneaking that in. We topped each cupcake with whipped cream frosting, shaved chocolate flakes, and a cherry.
The only issue we ran across when making these cupcakes, was the fact that it was about 94 degrees outside. The kitchen was so hot from the oven being on so we had to take a lot of refrigeration breaks to help our frosting hold it’s shape. I’ve made whipped cream plenty of times, but never really considered it to frost a cupcake. I’m glad we went with it, the cream definitely complimented the cherries and the chocolate quite well. The thing I love about this frosting is that it’s not overly sweet. It lets the flavor from the cake and cherry filling take over. We each had to sample 2 cupcakes, just to make sure we got it right. I’d say this was a success.
After we garnished each with a cherry on top, I couldn’t resist the cuteness of these cupcakes! I could have taken many more pictures than I did. (I also could have eaten many more than I did) I think these will be added to the wedding cupcake list. These were very enjoyable all around.
Every now and then, I have an idea that sounds awesome, but when it’s actually made, it’s kind of awkward and strange. That’s what happened this past weekend. I got it into my head that smoked chocolate would be a new flavor we could implement in some of our cupcakes. I made a chocolate ganache for the frosting over my little charcoal grill and used hickory chips to smoke it. (Looking back, hickory was probably not the best choice) I let it fully cook in the smoke and heat, then put it in the refrigerator to cool.
I did this all on Friday night, Saturday morning I made some chocolate cupcakes to go with it. I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe, which usually calls for a stout. I happen to have a growler of Great Divide’s Rumble Oaked Aged IPA, and wanted to use that instead, so I did. I won that growler last Thursday evening while playing trivia over at Brews on Washington, look how pretty it is!
If you’ve never had the Rumble before, I highly recommend it, it’s so delicious. I’m a sucker for anything oak aged, and you can definitely taste it in this brew. When I mixed it up with the chocolate, it had a very appealing aroma, like chocolate-woody goodness. This is why I thought the smoked chocolate would be a great idea. On paper it looked great …
I ended up putting some raspberry jam in the middle of half the cupcakes because when I said “smoked chocolate raspberry IPA cupcakes” it sounded really amazing. Well, after they were all baked, I got out my ganache, and frosted one up. It was okay, but it was more like tasting a barbequed cupcake, and just kind of weird. I was taking these out to a friend that afternoon, and I didn’t want to subject her to my strange cupcake experiment, so I resorted to plan B: raspberry cream cheese frosting.
I had just enough ingredients around the house to pull this together, and was so happy I didn’t have to go to the store. I even added some raspberry jello (the powder, not already made jello, that’d be weird) to the frosting to give it that extra raspberry taste. As a bonus, the frosting came out this tasty looking pink color, a nice contrast to the dark chocolate cupcake.
I frosted the cakes, boxed them up and took them out to my friend’s place. They loved them! I’m so glad I went with raspberry. I may try to smoke some chocolate again, perhaps with apple wood, or something a little more sweet. It won’t be for a while though.
Another chocolate cupcake to add to my list of favorites. This one is made with a Vanilla Bourbon Stout and is flavored with espresso and dark chocolate. I think this is the first local beer we’ve used! It’s from the Coeur d’Alene Brewing Co. and we successfully acquired a growler of it this past Sunday at the Steamplant Grill (Be sure to check out their Beer Menu, yum!). This beer is the nectar of the god’s. Whenever I go to the Steamplant, I have to get a pint, it’s my favorite of their beers.
I started these cupcakes off a little late last night. We met up with a new friend at the Steamplant to talk about beer and life. Then we ended up coming home with a growler of Vanilla Bourbon Stout. If you know me, you know I’ve been on a quest to obtain one since I was denied a few weeks ago. I did not leave disappointed.
Instead of just using regular Hershey’s unsweetened baking chocolate, I opted to use a couple of really dark chocolate (like 72% I think) candy bars that were flavored with espresso beans. I probably used 6 ounces of candy bar (and had a little left over for myself to enjoy) and it added so much flavor to the recipe. This beer is great all on it’s own (and also great with some vanilla ice cream in a beer float), but when I was melting the chocolate into the beer, it smelled extra amazing!
For the frosting, I used my regular cream cheese mixture, and added a little cocoa powder and about a shot of espresso. It turned out really good, not overpowering, but definitely a noticeable mocha flavor.
I think I’ll be adding these ones to the list of cupcakes I want to make for our wedding!
I’ve been wanting to try Young’s Double Chocolate Stout for a while now and I was not disappointed. This beer reminds me a lot of Guinness, it’s nitrogenated, very dark and very delicious. There’s a hint of chocolate, but it’s not over powering, a very tasty brew!
I know I’m a chocoholic, so I swear I won’t do another chocolate cupcake next week, I just couldn’t resist this time. The funny thing is that a coworker found me this really cool recipe to make these, and I left it at work over the holiday weekend. I still really wanted to make them, so I improvised. I used my go to chocolate cake recipe, see the ESB Chocolate with Salted Caramel (minus caramel and salt), and created a cookies and cream type of frosting to go with it. The frosting was basically cream cheese with a little Bailey’s Irish Cream (instead of vanilla) and some crushed up Oreos. It turned out really good (and I’m so happy there is extra in the refrigerator!).
I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again, one of the best parts about baking with beer is drinking it while you’re baking. My chocolate beer cake recipe calls for 1 cup of beer, so there was still half a can for me to enjoy. We started baking kind of early in the morning, so I felt a little bit naughty drinking before 11am. However, since yesterday was a holiday, I think that makes it okay. After baking, Dylan and I enjoyed another beer, a game of cribbage and watched our dog, Big, splash around in his puppy-pool. It was a really nice – and relaxed – holiday.
I hope your holiday was just as enjoyable!
Ah, holiday weekend! You were not long enough.
Since Dylan and I didn’t have any plans this weekend (except relaxing and being lazy), I saved my cupcake baking until Memorial Day. We started early in the morning, had the beer cracked open around 10:30 am! Now that’s how holidays are meant to be spent.
I wanted to make red velvet cupcakes as a test run… because in a few weeks we are making an order of 50 for a friend of Dylan’s at his work! That’s right, a paid cupcake-gig. How exciting!
I’ve been wanting to try Stone Brewing Company’s Smoked Porter, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to give it a go. I find that porter and chocolate go great together, so I used this opportunity to try it out. This beer is really good! The smokiness of the porter made it extra delicious. If you can get your hands on some, I highly recommend it.
The recipe I based my own recipe on called for the cupcakes to be baked at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. I put in my first batch and thought that was a really low temperature for baking, but I’d give it a try. After the 25 minutes I took them out and they all kind of fell flat! I was a little scared I hadn’t cooked them long enough (like some cupcakes in the past), but it was too late to do anything about them. For the next batch I upped the temperature to 350 degrees, baked them for 25 minutes and they turned out much better. It’s kind of weird what a difference 25 degrees can make, but it really made them taste much better. Also, I had no idea how much food coloring it takes to get the cake red. It’s a lot! I’ll have to get some more before I bake these again.
I’ve read that cream cheese frosting isn’t the traditional red velvet topper, but I went for it anyway. I had a lot of cream cheese in the fridge, plus it’s pretty much the best frosting ever. I do have a traditional red velvet frosting recipe, and I will have to try it some time (in the future).
I was trying to figure out what exactly makes red velvet cake different from just a non food colored chocolate cake, and I’m still unsure. There were a few ingredients that I haven’t been using in my recipes before, there was vinegar in this particular one, and maybe that makes a difference?
I think I need to start coming up with more creative names for my cupcakes. This one is a peanut butter lovers dream.
These cupcakes were Dylan’s idea. We had a few different bottles of Samuel Smith’s in the fridge, one being their oatmeal stout. (I should add that this beer gets very high mark’s on Beer Advocate. You should try it if you’ve never had it, it’s a very good beer.)
These were fun to make. About 45 minutes before I heated up the oven, I made this sort of chocolate peanut butter ganache and put it in the refrigerator (to be used later in the recipe). I made a basic chocolate stout cupcake to start with. Then after my ganache was cold, I hand rolled it up into little balls and plopped 1 in the middle of each freshly batter-filled cupcake liner.
I fear I may have baked these a little too long, but they still turned out great. I made some pistachio rosewater cupcakes with a nut brown ale a couple days ago for Dylan’s dad’s birthday and I didn’t bake them long enough, and now I’m paranoid about my baking times! I ended up figuring out a (tasty) workaround on those cupcakes, but they weren’t very pretty looking, so that’s why I won’t be posting them up here on sweetandstout unless I make them again some time.
These were just slightly over cooked, but the gooey peanut butter center and the peanut butter buttercream frosting definitely made up for it. Oh yeah, and Dylan thought we should top them with chopped up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups … how could I disagree?
Aside from baking a little too long, the only thing I regret about these cupcakes is that I didn’t make more of them. My recipe worked out to making only about 15 cupcakes. It’s tough when you’re wildly mixing ingredients in the kitchen sometimes! The batter turned out pretty thick and looking back I think I could have increased the amount of beer I used and I would have gotten a few more cupcakes out of it. Oh well, there’s always next time!
You should see all the different craft beers I have in my refrigerator right now. I almost need another fridge to accommodate them all. Usually every week Dylan and I venture out and pick out a new beer, then think of what type of cupcake I could bake it into. This time I knew I wanted to make a s’more cupcake, but wasn’t sure what kind of beer would go with it. Looking through our stockpile, I found a bottle of Pike Brewing Company’s Kilt Lifter, a scotch ale, and I knew that was just what I needed.
I don’t know about you, but I love a man in a kilt. Maybe it’s because I’m Scottish, maybe I just love plaid. There is that one question though that everyone thinks about when you see a guy in a kilt… What’s under there? Okay, maybe not everyone wants to know what’s under there, but you know you’ve thought about it. Anyways, what’s special about these cupcakes is that underneath their toasted marshallow and chocolatey frosting exterior, there is a graham cracker crust with some melted Hershey’s milk chocolate. (Everybody knows you can’t have a real s’more without the Hershey’s chocolate bar.)
The cake was delicious. The batter was very thin but they turned out almost like a brownie consistency rather than cake, I was a little surprised. The graham cracker on the bottom anchored the cupcake and gave it an interesting look from the side.
For the frosting I went with a mix box from Jiffy and I don’t think I would use it again. Maybe it was just me, but I couldn’t get the frosting to fluff up how I wanted it to be, so I added some powdered sugar to help it out. While it tasted good, it was a bit too sugary for my liking. To top it all off we went with the toasted mini marshmallows, my favorite. At first I tried to roast some under the broiler, but they just melted to the pan. Dylan has a small butane lighter so we just placed some marshmallows on top of the cupcakes and fired them up. It worked out really well, plus it was fun to do.
There are a few things I might change the next time I make these, first of all being the frosting. I was thinking it might be more fun to use marshallow fluff as the frosting. Can you toast fluff? I’m not sure, but it’d be worth trying. Or maybe I would use a big marshmallow and melt it over the top of the cupcake. All good options I think.
Do any of you have suggestions for what I should make next? I’d be open to beer or cupcake suggestions!
What happens when you take a flavor that all north westerners truly love and decide to turn it into a beer? You get Rogue Brewery’s Mocha Porter. This beer is a wonderful blend of malt and hops that leaves you with a creamy mocha flavor that stays with you long after you put that first taste down. A little history of the beer from Rogue states that the: “Mocha Porter was once known as New Porter, in honor of the town of Newport, Oregon and home of Rogue Ales.” They also say the beer was made to be: “dedicated to the chocolate lover in each of us.” The Mocha Porter per Rogue Brewery is said to pair well with desserts and that’s exactly what we did.
Taking this Mocha Porter, some instant coffee and our talent of creating wonderful cupcakes, we made these tasty looking treats. Combining what would be a seemingly innocent idea of a mocha cupcake and adding this wonderfully flavorful beer to the mix made these moist and intoxicating treats. After we had the batter mixed up we both tasted it and decided that we needed to come up with a frosting that matched the richness of the cupcake, so we turned to our liquor collection.
After much consideration and debate we decided to really play up the coffee flavor that the cupcakes where hinting at. The cupcakes themselves tasted much like a chocolate coffee cake with the robust flavor of the Mocha Porter peaking through the cracks, so how could we boost the coffee flavor? We decided that the best way to do this was to make a frosting that was a mix of Kahlua and Bailey’s Irish Cream. As a final touch we added coffee beans to the tops of the cupcakes as a garnish. We could not be happier with how these came out. Hopefully you found these pictures as mouth watering as we found the cupcakes to be.
I was in the baking mood this past weekend and had a new recipe to try out. This one just called for 1 cup of any kind of beer, so I chose New Belgium 1554 Enlightened Black Ale. The thought of dark chocolate, cherries and the Black Ale sounded like it would blend well together.
What was really interesting about this recipe is that there are whole cherries baked right in the batter. I used a lighter version of cherry pie filling instead of using fresh cherries. It’s definitely not cherry season here yet. The pie cherries worked out really well, giving the chocolate batter a tint of red. The cherries remained soft and flavorful, blending well with the chocolate batter. This recipe called for walnuts and I did add them, but next time I think I will omit them. They didn’t take away from the flavor but I don’t feel that they added very much either. I used a store bought white frosting, mostly because I wanted the bright white to contrast well with a cherry garnish on top. The frosting turned out pretty well and it had the consistency and taste of a soft marshmallow.
I would say these cupcakes were a success. I brought a few of the extras into work and I got all compliments. I think next time I need to just make half a batch as there are at least a dozen of these left sitting on my kitchen table. I also have 4 Enlightened Black Ale’s leftover, but I’m not complaining!
Although I’m not Irish (I’m Scottish), Dylan is quite the Irishman and I really wanted to create something special for St. Patrick’s day. We both share an undying love for Guinness, so when I came across a recipe for Chocolate Irish Stout cupcakes with Irish Cream frosting, I had to try them.
Let me tell you, baking with beer is twice as fun as baking without, whether it goes in the recipe or not.
This recipe called 1 cup of beer so I went with the 24 ounce bottle of Guinness Extra Stout we had in the fridge, poured out 1 cup for my recipe and we shared the rest. The batter was very dense, like scooping fudge into the cupcake trays. They smelled amazing while they were baking and 21 minutes later they were done. I went with the extra stout because I wanted the flavor of the beer to be noticeable in the finished cupcake. Although I haven’t gone back and made this recipe with Guinness Draught, I think this was a good choice. The final cupcakes had a distinct stout flavor which tied in well with the chocolate and Irish Cream flavors.
I had a recipe for the frosting, but it wasn’t getting the consistency that I wanted so I improvised on it a little bit. Instead of a fluffy frosting, it turned into more of an Irish Creme icing, which was fine by me. It was made with powdered sugar, Bailey’s Irish Creme and I threw in a little Kahlua just for fun. In the end it was somewhere between frosting and icing, but it didn’t really matter what you called it, it was delicious.
These cupcakes turned into an alcoholic’s dream. The dark chocolate and the Guinness blended perfectly together and the Bailey’s frosting was a great compliment. You could taste the alcohol, but it wasn’t overpowering. I brought in 85% of these cupcakes to work (so I wouldn’t keep all those calories to myself) and they were well received. They also went REALLY fast. Imagine that!
I would make these cupcakes again, so far these are my favorite.