Where beer and cupcakes unite!

Filling

Guest Blogger: Alissa from CookingWithSurly.com

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

Chocolate 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

Ganache Filling
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)

Bailey’s Frosting
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.

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Blackberry Almond Cupcakes

Before we get into the cupcakes, I just wanted to share a piece of news. Last week we excitedly announced that our beer cupcakes are now on the dessert menu at the Manito Tap House. Last night we were excited to get an email that they had sold out of cupcakes and were in need of some more! We’re heading off to the kitchen tonight (Sunday) to resupply them, what a great problem to have.

On to this weeks cupcake idea. I know that blackberries are out of season, but the idea of a blackberry cupcake sounded like something I required. We were in luck, our favorite grocery store had a fresh blackberries available. We also bought a bag of frozen berries, just to make sure we had enough. Even though blackberry sounds exciting by itself, I wanted to pair it with almonds to keep it interesting.

We used Samuel Adams Blackberry Witbier, which is a wheat beer with just a hint of blackberry flavor. This beer was perfect for our recipe. One of the other additions to this cake was a blackberry compote. I made it by smashing some berries over heat and added just a little bit of sugar and water to it. I cooked it down for a while, then separated the mashed fruit from the juice. I saved the juice to flavor the cream cheese frosting, and used the berry mash in the center of each cupcake. In the end, the fruit settled at the bottom of the cupcake, but it added a great burst of sweetness to the almond cake.

I’m not sure how to fix the issue of the fruit sinking to the bottom. It was suggested that we try and bake a small portion of batter in the bottom first, pull them out after a couple minutes, add the fruit, then cover with more batter before returning to the oven. I think next time we’ll give that a try. I’d rather bake the fruit inside than injecting them after they bake. We thought about that too, but the last time we did that, there were a few cupcakes explosions. (oops!) While I’m sure the best kind of explosion would be one of cupcakes, I just don’t want to clean up the mess.

– Jackie & Dylan


Black Cherry Ale Cupcakes

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.

– Jackie