Over the last year, I have grown to love IPAs. I seek them out whenever we’re trying new beers, some may say (ahem, Dylan might say) that I’m obsessed with them. Don’t get me wrong, I still love stouts and porters, but IPAs have me smitten. They are perfectly refreshing, and the ones I love have a great hoppy bitterness that makes them perfect for me.
I know IPA day is in August, but I don’t need a special day to enjoy the beer I love. We picked up a bottle of No-Li Brewhouse’s Born & Raised IPA this weekend and I wanted to give it a try in a new cupcake flavor. IPAs are notoriously not favorable to bake with because they can be bitter, but I embrace the bitter! This week I matched it with a strawberry lime cake, the perfect contrast to the floral, hoppy, and bitter Born & Raised IPA.
The first thing I did was put the beer in a blender and mixed it with frozen strawberries, lime juice and a little bit of vanilla. After that was good and frothy, I mixed it into a basic yellow cake batter. The batter tasted a bit tart, and you could definitely taste the beer in it. IPAs and lime go really well together, it’s one of my favorite combinations. The cake turned out very soft and moist, but didn’t rise up that much. (It didn’t sink either, so that’s good!)
I used a buttercream frosting and used strawberry preserves and a little bit of lime zest and juice to flavor it. The frosting turned out sweet enough to be able to eat it (by the spoonful), but the lime gave it a bit of tartness that was really pleasant. After frosting these I had to set them in the refrigerator for a little bit so they wouldn’t melt. It’s a bit of a hot one here today (My computer tells me it’s 96 degrees out right now!).
After we are all done with cupcakes we’re planning on having a couple frozen strawberry lime margaritas to beat the heat. The perks of left over ingredients!
Last week I posted a question on our facebook page about what flavors you guys think we should add to our commercial set up. Have you had a chance to weigh in on that? After our wedding (less than 2 weeks now! woohoo!) I’m planning on adding 1 or 2 flavors commerically and I’d love it to be a flavor that you’re interested in trying! Your feedback is greatly appreciated.
Oh, and if you’re in Spokane, you should head over to No-Li Brewhouse and have a Salted Chocolate Caramel cupcake made with their Imperial Stout! This week the Manito Tap House has our Red Velvet, Salted Chocolate Caramel, and Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes.
Until next time, cheers!
- Jackie & Dylan
Our blog will be 1 year old in 2 months. I can’t believe we’ve been baking a different type of cupcake almost every weekend for the last 10 months. That sounds like a lot of cupcakes! We’ve come up with 36 different flavors and posted them up here (there were a few duds that we haven’t posted). Someone asked me a couple weeks ago if we ever run out of cupcake ideas. While we haven’t yet, it got me thinking. I think we’ve gone through a lot of basic cupcake flavors, now it’s time to get into some new flavor combinations.
To start off our new flavor pairings, we bring you these Lemon Pomegranate IPA cupcakes. I sent Dylan off to the store to find a nice hoppy IPA to match with the lemon cake I wanted to bake. He came back with 4 different bottles (it was difficult to choose)! This round we decided to use Hopworks Urban Brewery’s IPA, a balanced blend of hops, bitter, and a bit of a citrus flavor. A perfect pairing for the zesty lemon flavor in this cake.
The cake itself has the zest of 2 lemons, plus a bit of extra lemon juice, along with a full cup of IPA. I reduced a bit of pomegranate juice and added it into a cream cheese frosting, stirred in some more lemon zest, and piped it on the cakes after they had cooled. As a garnish, I placed a small spoonful of pomegranates seeds on top. Not only did they look pretty, they added a lot of flavor to the whole package. As you take a bite of the soft lemon cake, you get a rush of pomegranate juice from the seeds, it’s quite delicious.
We’re hoping to add a few more flavors to our official flavor list soon. It’s been a little crazy in our house lately, planning a wedding and all. If you have any suggestions on what you’d actually like to be able to purchase (here in Spokane, sorry, no shippy yet), we’d love to here from you. Let us know!
- Jackie & Dylan
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.
Here at Sweet and Stout, we strive to be resourceful and creative when it comes to our cupcake flavors. I’d like to think that each time we come up with a new recipe, we’re getting farther away from the average cupcake. I’ve been reading up on food pairings with IPA beers, and the basics of it is this: If the flavor of the food is bold and/or spicy, have it with an IPA.
So, in celebration of the first ever #IPADay, we would like to present these chipotle apple pecan IPA cupcakes made with Ninkasi’s Total Domination IPA (yum!). I got this idea while browsing cake recipes online. The one I based my recipe off of was intended to be a cake, but with some substitutions & additions, I carefully crafted the recipe to fit my beer cupcake needs. I wasn’t really sure what IPA to use, so Dylan and I went to the grocery store, and it just so happened they had Total Domination in a 6 pack for a pretty good price. Since I am in love with Ninkasi anyways, I figured it’d be a good fit. A little beer for the cupcakes, and 5 bottles left for me. Good deal.
This cake was kind of like an apple spice cake, the only big difference was the massive amount of chipotle I threw in there. Here’s the thing that really required some creativity on my part. The recipe called for ground chipotle, so you’d think you could find it either with the spices, or with the Mexican food at the grocery store. Well, we couldn’t find any! Dylan remembered that we had a bottle of chipotle hot sauce at home, so we just decided to use that instead. I wasn’t totally convinced that it wouldn’t make my apple spice cake taste like a burrito, but it actually worked out really well.
The original recipe called for a caramel-chipotle glaze that was to be drizzled over the cake. It’s kind of messy to do that with a cupcake (and not as pretty), but I did it anyways, and boy does it have some heat to it! (in a totally good way). Next time I play around with this recipe I’m going to take that glaze and whip it up into some frosting for a little less mess (and to make prettier pictures!)
After the cupcakes were all made and glazed, Dylan and I sat down with a bottle of Total Domination and ate a few. I’d say the recipe and the pairing were quite successful! Hope everyone has a hoppy IPA Day (sorry, I couldn’t resist)!
This past week Dylan and I were up in Bellingham, WA visiting his family. We wanted to make cupcakes while we were there since his family hardly ever gets to try them, so we baked a (rather large) batch this past Saturday. We wanted to use a local beer and one of our favorite places to go while we’re in Bellingham is Boundary Bay. Their beer is a necessary Bellingham experience whenever we’re over that way. We used their Ski to Sea ESB in a cupcake before, so why not try another one?
We headed over there and got a sampler of beers when (through some tweets & some pints) we got the idea to use Boundary Bay’s IPA in one of our cupcakes. Apparently a lot of people assume that their IPA is too bitter to bake with, but I wanted to prove them wrong. The cake flavor idea came about the next day while we were in a grocery store (can’t remember the name of it) and I picked up a couple bars of Theo’s Spicy Chile. It’s a dark chocolate with that little bite of spicy chile. I used the chocolate to make a delicious ganache and paired it with a basic yellow cake made with the IPA.
I have to add in here that Dylan’s folks have the most amazing oven (a convection oven) and it heats up to temperature in about 10 minutes. My oven at home sometimes takes about 30 to 40 minutes to get fired up to 350 degrees … a little sad in comparison! Anyways, I baked them in the convection oven and I think they turned out slightly overdone, so I will have to make them again (oh darn).
Despite the oven stuff, these actually turned out really well. The basic yellow cake (the batter was SO delicious, by the way, Dylan’s mom can attest to that) really complimented the little bit of heat you got from the frosting. I also sprinkled a little cayenne pepper on the top for added kick.
These cupcakes were a great idea, and I look forward to baking them again. Likewise, I look forward to getting some more Boundary Bay IPA because it is very delicious and one of my favorites that they have on tap. If you’re in the Bellingham area, make sure you stop in and have a pint, it’s so worth it!
As I’ve continued down the enlightened path of craft beer drinking, I have come to realize that I really do enjoy a good India Pale Ale. I like a beer with a little bite, it keeps things interesting. This week Dylan decided he wanted to do a lime cupcake and we both agreed that the Southern Tier 2xIPA we had in the fridge would be a perfect fit. I opened the first bottle and put almost all of it in the cupcake batter, so clearly I had to open another to enjoy while I was baking. One thing I always forget about this beer is the ABV is 8.2%, it kind of sneaks up on you!
Another reason I may have picked this beer is because the label is lime green and it totally matches my new cupcake liners I bought on ebay. I mean, really, how could this have been any more coordinated? It doesn’t hurt that they tasted pretty good too!
After the cupcakes were done baking, and before I topped them with meringue, I made a mixture of lime juice and powdered sugar and put about a 1/2 teaspoon of it over each cake. I stabbed each with a fork first, so the liquid had somewhere to go. It was really messy and as I was doing this I wondered if it really would make a difference in the flavor. Well when all was said and done, it was worth the mess. I probably did this to 75% of the cupcakes I made today. When you bite into one of them, it’s like a little extra burst of lime flavor, very good!
This was my first time making meringue, and it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I just used a basic recipe and it tasted pretty good. I like how meringue is fluffy and easily spreadable. I piled it on the cupcakes and popped them back in the oven for 10 minutes and they all looked like little toasted piles of joy.
These were the perfect thing to brighten up my rainy day today. Oh, and the beer helped too!