I was in the baking mood this past weekend and had a new recipe to try out. This one just called for 1 cup of any kind of beer, so I chose New Belgium 1554 Enlightened Black Ale. The thought of dark chocolate, cherries and the Black Ale sounded like it would blend well together.
What was really interesting about this recipe is that there are whole cherries baked right in the batter. I used a lighter version of cherry pie filling instead of using fresh cherries. It’s definitely not cherry season here yet. The pie cherries worked out really well, giving the chocolate batter a tint of red. The cherries remained soft and flavorful, blending well with the chocolate batter. This recipe called for walnuts and I did add them, but next time I think I will omit them. They didn’t take away from the flavor but I don’t feel that they added very much either. I used a store bought white frosting, mostly because I wanted the bright white to contrast well with a cherry garnish on top. The frosting turned out pretty well and it had the consistency and taste of a soft marshmallow.
I would say these cupcakes were a success. I brought a few of the extras into work and I got all compliments. I think next time I need to just make half a batch as there are at least a dozen of these left sitting on my kitchen table. I also have 4 Enlightened Black Ale’s leftover, but I’m not complaining!