Maybe you’ve heard of Millionaire Pie? My mom used to make it when I was a kid, and I always remember it being delicious. If you’ve never had it, it’s a no bake pie made with whipped topping, pineapple, and maraschino cherries in a graham cracker crust. I’ve been wanting to do a cupcake inspired by these flavors, and with a little help from my mom, I finally did. (Thanks for the recipe, mom!)
When Dylan and I went to the store today to pick out a beer to go in these cupcakes, we weren’t quite sure what we were going to use. Then we found a beer called Mana Wheat, from the Maui Brewing Company. It’s a wheat beer and it’s brewed with pineapple juice! I can’t see there being another beer that would be better suited for this cake. The beer is light bodied with a crisp pineapple taste to it, and not in an overpowering, or overly sweet kind of way. I’ve got another can in the refrigerator waiting for me, it’d be perfect on a bright sunny day.
The cake is basically a yellow cake with crushed pineapple added to it (and beer, of course). The crushed pineapple keeps the cake moist, and I think the beer flavor comes through really nicely in this one. My original plan for the frosting was to make the pie filling, like my mom used to make. Since we’re going to be offering samples of this cake tomorrow evening at the foodie tweetup (are you going?), I wanted a frosting that wouldn’t melt after being out of the refrigerator for a short time, like a whipped topping might do. I used a cream cheese frosting instead, and flavored it with pineapple juice. It turned out delicious! After frosting a bunch of mini cupcakes, and a few full size ones, each is topped off with a dusting of graham cracker crumbs and half a maraschino cherry.
(On a tasty side note, there was leftover frosting and I may have eaten a spoonful or two covered in graham cracker crumbs. It tastes like cheesecake.)
We are looking forward to seeing you at Launchpad on Monday evening for the tweetup! We won’t be there right at 5 pm when it starts (have to work the day job until 5 pm), but we’ll see you soon after.
– Jackie & Dylan
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.
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!