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
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
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)
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.
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?
– Jackie & Dylan
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
Blueberries and chocolate combined is entirely underrated. It is a fantastic combination of flavors, and I highly recommend trying it. This weekend we created a chocolate cake using North Coast Brewing’s Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, and combined it with some frozen blueberries, best idea, ever (maybe). Not only is blueberry and chocolate a great combination, this beer is spectacular. Old Rasputin weighs in at 9% ABV, so even after a half bottle (1 half for cupcakes, 1 half for me), I was feeling pretty tipsy.
The cake itself was a basic chocolate, the only thing different was that we added in about a cup of blueberries and we puréed them in a blender before adding them into the batter. The cake turned out dark and delicious with a hint of stout flavor and blueberry. Perfect. What didn’t work out great for me was the frosting. I was avoiding making a trip to the grocery store, so I used the butter and left over cream cheese I had on hand. Well, I guess the butter wasn’t too happy with my blueberries and lemon I added to it, and the frosting separated before I could even get it on the cakes.
Being that it was a beautiful, summer-like day, here in Spokane, I decided to pair the cake with some Tillamook Mudslide ice cream and forgo the frosting all together. Sometimes, cupcakes don’t need frosting, and this was definitely an awesome alternative! I topped the dish with some thawed blueberries, and now I can’t wait to go back and have more.
– Jackie & Dylan
You’ve seen it every where, red velvet this, and red velvet that. If you have red food coloring, you can have red velvet anything, or so it seems. I’m not sure why this bugs me so much. Go ahead and call me a hypocrite, we sell a red velvet cupcake. It seems red velvet is a very popular flavor right now, which got me to thinking, where did it come from?
From what I’ve read, there was a time that food coloring wasn’t actually used in this recipe. The red was attributed to the reaction of the cocoa powder (not dutch processed) and the acid used in making the cake (in this case, lemon juice). During World War 2 they even used beets to add the red color into the cake. In modern times, we use red food coloring, and it takes a lot to turn the cake red.
I’ve been wanting to try and make a red velvet cake without food coloring, so I set out to do just that this weekend. This weekend is a special occasion, our blog is turning 1 year old! I can hardly believe it’s been a year of cupcake experiments! I think a great way to mark the occasion is to share this recipe with you.
I looked at a bunch of recipes online for a red velvet cake using beets, and took the items I liked best from each and created a recipe from that. I’m actually not a fan of beets, I think they smell and taste like dirt, but I like to try new things, and was willing to give this a go. We had a bottle of Boundary Bay’s Irish Red Ale in the refrigerator and decided it would be perfect for this experiment. It’s a great beer, and really, we just wanted to drink it. (But hey, it is red, so it works, alright?) We love our Boundary Bay beers.
These cupcakes turned out interesting, to say the least. They are definitely moist, and also the beets make it very dense. The color is a deep reddish brown, and the taste is… well, it kind of tastes like chocolate covered beets, but not in a bad way! You get the hint of earthiness from the beets (along with the beautiful color), but you also get this soft chocolate flavor that goes well with it. This is probably the most moist cake I have ever baked, which adds to the whole experience. I’m still formulating my opinion on these, but they are definitely not your average red velvet cake.
Here’s the recipe if you’re brave enough to give this a try:
Red Velvet Beet Cake
1 15-Ounce can sliced beets, drained
1/4 cup – 1/2 cup beer
1/3 vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons natural cocoa powder (NOT dutch process)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line cupcake pan with paper liners
2. In a blender (or food processor) combine can of beets (minus the liquid) and 1/4 cup of beer. Blend well until smooth, probably 2 minutes, depending on how powerful your blender is. Add egg, oil, lemon juice and vanilla to blender, blend for another minute until all is combined. If it’s too thick for your liking, add more beer.
3. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Pour blended ingredients into bowl and combine with a whisk or rubber spatula until mixed well together.
4. Put about a 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake paper, bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Wait until cupcakes are completely cool, then top with desired frosting. We used cream cheese frosting, which is quite delicious!
This will make about 18 – 20 cupcakes. Happy baking!
– Jackie & Dylan
Our favorite day in March is rapidly approaching, St. Patrick’s day! We started this blog almost a year ago, and to get into the holiday spirit, we made these Chocolate Potato cupcakes, inspired by the traditional Irish dessert.
For the beer this week, we were lucky enough to receive a bottle of Boundary Bay’s Imperial Oatmeal Stout from Dylan’s dad (who lives in Bellingham, where Boundary Bay is located). I wish we could find Boundary Bay’s beers in bottles here, this beer is fantastic! You can find some of their beers on tap around Spokane, so we’ll have to settle for that.
I know we did a sweet potato cupcake last year, so I was pretty sure that a potato version was going to turn out just fine. I was a little worried after last weeks cupcake experiment, I didn’t want two bad posts in a row. Thankfully, the potato and chocolate cake turned out fabulous. These cakes are dense and hearty, pretty sure it has something to do with the riced potatoes that I put in there. Ricing potatoes without a ricer is a bit time consuming though, I had to run those bad boys over our tiny cheese grater to make sure there were no lumps. They have just a slight hint of chocolate flavor, despite the 2 1/2 ounces of baking chocolate I put in them (also grated the chocolate over the cheese grater, when will we ever invest in a food processor?!).
To top them off I went with a classic cream cheese frosting. I was not going to try and get all fancy this time, and I stuck with what I know. It was a good choice. The frosting doesn’t overpower the cake, which lets the cake flavor be the most prominent.
Next week, if you’re in the Spokane area, you should join us at the #foodie tweetup going on over at Launchpad on Monday, March 12 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm. We’re going to be using you all as test subjects for a new flavor we’re working on, plus there will be all kinds of other cool people there with tasty treats to share (Savor Sweets and Farm Girl Gourmet, plus wine pours from Nectar Wine!). I can’t think of a better way to spend a Monday evening, hope to see you there!
– Jackie & Dylan