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
This past weekend we put a twist on the classic margarita, turning it into a beer-rita. If you missed it, we did another beer cocktail a couple weeks ago when we made beer mojitos (and cupcakes). Since they turned out really great, I thought we’d give it a go with beer margarita cupcakes. I’m really starting to dig beer cocktails, and definitely will try more in the future. First things first. You need a BeerRita in your life, and here’s how you make one (or 2):
Maybe I’m wishing too hard for it to be summer, but this Sunday, it was pretty nice outside. We wanted to make a fun cupcake to go with a warm summer (or near spring-like) day. We both enjoy a tasty mojito, so why not flavor a cupcake after one? Plus, I found a recipe for a beer mojito, and could not resist giving it a try. Have you heard of beer cocktails? I don’t think it’s anything new, but I think it’s becoming more popular. Here’s a link I found to the beer mojito, and I know there are plenty of other good beer cocktail recipes out there.
For these cupcakes I wanted to use a pale ale, something that would compliment the lime and mint flavor that mojitos are known for. Dylan recently found the spring release of the Ninkasi four-pack, which included Spring Reign, a delicious pale ale. We decided that would be the best beer to use, plus I was saving the Tricerahops all for myself. (Seriously, if you like double IPAs, Tricerahops is the shizz.) Anyways, the crisp taste and the light hop character of the Spring Reign was a perfect match for these cupcakes.
To get the mint flavor, I steeped some mint leaves in the beer (heated up on the stove). After letting it cool, I added a little lime juice. Tasting the finished cupcakes, I’d go back and add a bit more mint leaves. You can definitely pull a lime flavor when you take a bite of these, the mint is a little subdued. Of course, this doesn’t mean it was a bad cupcake. In fact, they were quite delicious. We used a cream cheese frosting flavored with more fresh squeezed lime juice, and garnished each with a mint leaf.
I think lime would be a really good flavor for us to add on to our lineup for the summer. We did a lime cupcake with meringue last year, and these are much better. I don’t know about you, but I can hardly wait for summer to get here. Patio beers, sunshine, and cupcakes sound really good right now!
– Jackie & Dylan