Chocolate Raspberry IPA cupcakes
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.