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Grapefruit Cupcakes

There are so many different kinds of fruit that I want to turn into cupcakes! This week Dylan challenged me to create a cupcake using grapefruit. Challenge accepted! Grapefruit is known for its citrus sweet, yet bitter flavor. If I’m having one for breakfast I usually sprinkle sugar on top to sweeten it up a bit. We’ve made lemon and lime cupcakes, which are also sweet/sour/bitter, and they’ve all turned out delicious, so I figured these would turn out similar.

For the beer, we wanted to use something light, so we went with Deschutes Twilight Summer Ale. This beer was a perfect match for the grapefruit, it has a very crisp, citrus-like taste to it and just enough hops to add some bitter. This beer is great for a very hot day, or for a day of baking (like we so often do at our house!)

The cake is pretty simple, and if you have a good recipe for lemon cake, you can pretty much substitute any lemon ingredients with grapefruit. That’s what I did, and I added a bit more grapefruit zest just to make sure the flavor came through. The cake turned out super soft and the grapefruit flavor was definitely there. For the frosting I made grapefruit buttercream using reduced grapefruit juice and more zest. You still get some of the bitter from the grapefruit, but all the powdered sugar in the frosting balances it out.

To top them all off, I candied some grapefruit peel, which turned out surprisingly good. I’ve never attempted to candy anything, so I was pleased with the outcome (and it tasted awesome). If I candy anything again I’d probably cut the peels a bit thinner, but that’s only for aesthetic  reasons. After putting the entire cupcake together, Dylan and I each took a bite and declared victory. I would definitely make these again, and look forward to it in the future!

Cheers!
– Jackie & Dylan

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Sweet and Stout does weddings!

I’m sorry to report that we don’t have a new cupcake flavor to tempt you with today. Instead, we wanted to share with you our very first wedding cupcakes! Back when we first started doing our Kickstarter campaign to get our business off the ground, our friends Amanda & Jerod contributed to our efforts and we promised them wedding cupcakes. Back in October, it seemed like a long way to go, and finally this past weekend, we got in the kitchen and made 200 cupcakes for their wedding. Half was our Salted Chocolate Caramel and the other half was the Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes.

After 4 hours in the kitchen, we emerged with all 200 cupcakes, not too bad for us! Both flavors turned out really great, and we delivered and set them up this past Saturday. Amanda had found these really great cupcake stands that we used, then we placed the rest on the surrounding tables. Each flavor had an entire table dedicated to it, and we really needed it! 200 cupcakes is a lot!

I over-calculated the amount of batter that we would actually need to produce these cupcakes and ended up with over 10 dozen of each flavor. We ended up having to use the giant mixer in the kitchen (for the first time), it was pretty awesome to be able to produce so much batter all at once.

Congrats to the gorgeous couple, Amanda and Jerod, with our fabulous cupcakes!

The next wedding we’ll be baking cupcakes for is our own, which is coming up pretty rapidly! It’s just a 3 week countdown until Dylan and I become Mr. and Mrs. Sweet and Stout, and we’re pretty excited about that. We have a couple guest posts lined up for the blog while we’re away, looking forward to sharing those. We had quite the weekend filled with baking, this past Sunday we baked another 3 dozen cupcakes for the Manito Tap House. It’s good to be busy!

Cheers!
Jackie & Dylan

Dulce de Leche Porter Cupcakes

If you follow us along on Facebook, you may recall the time that I mentioned that Dylan and I met Dan O’leary, the owner of Duo Brewing. We met up with Dan a while ago and brought him some cupcakes and being that Dan is awesome, a few weeks later he sent us a few bottles of his Twin Ports Porter. Dylan and I shared a bottle that same night (I was really looking forward to trying it, we love getting beer in the mail!) and really enjoyed it. The porter has a nice roasty quality to it and is very easy to drink.

I was really looking forward to using it in a cupcake and wanted to create the perfect recipe to match it. We steered clear of the chocolate and opted for a buttermilk cake that really let the beer flavor shine through. For the frosting we made dulce de leche, which if you’re unfamiliar, is the most delicious thing you could put on cupcakes, ever. It’s made from cooking condensed milk, the sugar gets all dark and delicious and almost tastes like caramel, except it’s much, much creamier. If you’re on Pinterest you may have seen a pin for taking a can of sweetened condensed milk and either putting it in a crock pot for hours, or cooking it in the can on the stove (covered in water). We went with the shorter version and simmered the unopened can in water for 2 hours, then let it cool before adding it to our cream cheese frosting. Best. Idea. Ever. When I opened the can, I was pleased to see that it had worked, and I was equally as pleased that it was frickin’ delicious.

The cake turned out so soft, which was a great compliment to the smooth and soft texture of this frosting. The whole cupcake tastes like a deliciously creamy porter, and it’s really hard to resist the 2 dozen of them that are still in our refrigerator. We decided to bake these on Saturday because we’ll be busy baking some fresh cupcakes for the Manito Tap House AND a new location that we will be announcing shortly! We’re pretty excited about it, and we’re looking forward to sharing it with you all!

Does this make your thirsty?

Cheers,
Jackie & Dylan

Tripel Peach and Cream Cupcakes

This weekend did not feel like June, at all. Saturday we were lucky to get into the high 40s, and it was pouring rain most of the day! Sunday has brought a bit of sun so far, but I could really go for 80 degrees right about now. This week’s cupcake is inspired by the weather I wish we were having here in the Pacific Northwest!

Peaches and cream is a classic flavor combination for a reason, it’s amazingly delicious. As always, there’s a Sweet and Stout twist to these cupcakes, I baked the peach cake with Elysian Brewing Company’s Bête Blanche Tripel. I wasn’t quite sure what beer would go with a peach cake, but after perusing the beer section I decided a tripel would be a good choice. Tripel’s have that classic Belgian spicy-fruity taste to them, and this beer went really well with the peaches. It’s incredibly easy to drink, too.

The cake had about a cup of pureed peaches in it, and yet only came out with a slight hint of peach flavor. Next time I will dice up some peaches and put them right in the batter. It did bake up nice and soft though, very tasty. For the frosting I used a whipped cream and cream cheese frosting and, oh my, it’s bowl-devouring good. There is quite a bit of leftover frosting, and I’m imagining myself with a giant plate of peach pancakes later topped with a lot of frosting. Whipped cream is the shiz. For real.

To make sure there was no mistaking these cupcakes for anything but peach, I garnished each with a thin slice of it’s fruity namesake. It’s hard not to shove the entire cupcake in your mouth due to it’s delicious nature, but I’m refraining from eating them all. For now.

As I mentioned last week, Dylan and I participated in the Spokane Humane Society’s Parade of Paws. We got a bit soaked, but it was totally worth it. Our dog went into puppy and puddle overload, and had a great time. Our team, A Furry Frenzy, raised over $700 for SHS, and we’re proud to have been a part of that. For your enjoyment, here’s a picture of our dog, Big, soaked after the event.

Hope you had a great weekend, too!

– Jackie & Dylan

Salty Chocolate Pretzel 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?

Cheers!
– Jackie & Dylan

Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes

I hope your extended weekend was filled with fun, good food & great beer! Dylan and I laid low all weekend, then on Monday we decided we had better make some cupcakes. The idea for this week’s cupcake came from a couple different places. Last Thursday, Dylan happened to meet John Bryant of the newly re-invented No-Li Brewhouse, here in Spokane. He ended up buying a couple of each of their new bottles: Crystal Bitter Ale, Born & Raised IPA (my favorite), and Silent Treatment Pale Ale. There were talks about how we should do a No-Li Cupcake, so after we tried each of the beers, we decided to use the Crystal Bitter Ale in this week’s cupcake, Caramel Popcorn.

The cake flavor came about as I was discussing ones we haven’t done yet, with my coworker, JoNelle. She’s always thinking of new cupcake ideas, and when she started to talk about caramel, I knew we were on to something. We both agreed that the Crystal Bitter would be a great match for caramel. The malty smoothness of this ale compliments the rich caramel flavor these cupcakes exude. I made caramel from scratch, and while it’s kind of messy, you can really taste the difference between it, and store bought caramel. The ingredients are really simple: just sugar, water, butter, and cream. I wanted to add the popcorn in to give the cupcakes the salty contrast that goes really well with caramel.

Before we made the cupcakes, we had to make the popcorn. Using the air popper, we made a ton of it, and spread it out on a cookie sheet (with wax paper lining it – I did not want to clean that mess up). After melting chocolate chips in a double boiler, I drizzled it over the popcorn along with some caramel, tossed in peanuts, sprinkled with a little bit of sea salt and put it in the fridge to cool off.

The cake turned out really soft and delicious. Basically it’s a yellow cake with added caramel and the Crystal Bitter, of course. The frosting was made using browned butter and powdered sugar, and I’m surprised how much it tastes like caramel despite having none added to it. We garnished each cupcake with a good chunk of the chocolate caramel peanut popcorn we made earlier, and voila! Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes were born.

After one bite, I knew that people were going to love these, they are SO good!

Chocolate Covered Potato Chip Cupcakes

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