I’ll admit right now, I’ve got the winter blues. I am craving some warm weather and sunshine, and all Spokane gave me this weekend was snow. It’s just not working for me. Anyways, what does this have to do with cupcakes? Well, I made cupcakes this weekend, but much like the weather, they really didn’t work for me.
Mainly it was the frosting. I found an interesting recipe I wanted to try. Looking back, I probably should have just gone with something I know, but I wanted to be different! The frosting was something of a hybrid between meringue and butter cream, and by hybrid, I mostly meant some kind of weird, gross mutant baby of the two. I don’t even think my description is close to conveying how awkward and flavorless it tasted. Okay, moving on, let’s talk about the cake.
The cake tasted fine. I was going for a coconut raspberry with a hint of lemon, and that’s what I got, mostly. The one great thing that I came up with, and all on my own, was a beer raspberry sauce. My original intent for this sauce was to swirl it with the lemon coconut cake batter, bake amazing cupcakes, and wow you all with my genius. Since I’m not going to wow you with my cupcake skills this week, I thought I’d share the raspberry beer sauce recipe. I think this would be really tasty over some vanilla ice cream. (Now I wish I had some). Since I used all the sauce in the cupcakes, I don’t have a picture of it, but I swear, it looked really tasty.
So, without further adieu, here is my recipe for Raspberry Beer Sauce:
(makes around 1/2 cup of raspberry beer saucy goodness, double recipe to make more)
1 cup frozen red raspberries
1/4 cup beer (we used Deschutes Red Chair NWPA, yum!)
1/4 finely chopped coconut flake
Combine ingredients in sauce pan over medium to low heat. As the berries thaw out, mash them up into beer and coconut. Continue cooking over low heat, I probably cooked it for 10 minutes or more. If you’re not a fan of raspberry seeds, you could strain the mixture & just use the juice, but that’s really no fun. Let it cool a bit before you start chugging it, or put it on your ice cream. Enjoy!
I don’t know why more people don’t love coconut. It’s a great flavor, and it pairs especially well with chocolate (the greatest flavor, ever). This week we made these Mocha Coconut cupcakes based off of a recipe that I found on Pinterest from How Sweet It Is.
Are you on Pinterest? There’s a wealth of creative ideas, just waiting to inspire you over there. You can find me (Jackie) on Pinterest here. (I share all kinds of ideas, including cupcakes, of course!) I’ll wait while you go check it out, but hurry up, I can’t promise there will be any cupcakes left over by the time you get back.
Back to these tasty cupcakes. We had to modify the recipe to incorporate the beer, of course. After a trip to the beer store, (always fun on a Sunday morning!) we decided to go with Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, a fantastic imperial stout. This was the first time I’ve had this beer, and let me tell you, I fell in love with it. It’s a thick, malty stout that hides it’s alcohol content (10.5%) VERY well. Half of the can went into the cupcakes, and the other half went to me. Let’s just say, I was feeling toasty myself before noon, but (as it was pointed out by a friend on Untappd) it’s Superbowl Sunday, therefor holiday drinking rules apply.
The cake batter alone was fabulous, thankfully I did manage to bake it into a dozen cupcakes (instead of eating it all). The frosting was a buttercream with added coconut milk and flake for flavor. The recipe also has a chocolate mocha syrup to drizzle on top, and I toasted some coconut flake to top it all off. I’m not sure what I did, but the frosting started to separate before I could get it on the cupcakes. I did my best to get it back together, and lucky for me, it still tasted fabulous on top of the cake.
After messily compiling all the frosting components, I sampled the whole package, and it was excellent. Imagine soft, dense, chocolate cake with creamy coconut frosting with a hint of toasted chocolate coconut all together in your mouth. Honestly, if any of these make it into work tomorrow, I will be surprised.
– Jackie & Dylan
I will always remember these cupcakes, not only because they were amazingly addictive and delicious, but also because my boyfriend asked me to marry him just after I finished baking them! I promise this post will be about the cupcakes, but I just had to share.
If you didn’t already know, coconut beers aren’t exactly easy to come by. A couple weeks ago Dylan and I discovered this amazing beer store in Spokane called JB’s bottleworks. From the outside it just looks like your average convenience store, but inside there were aisles & coolers full of many beers that I haven’t found anywhere else.
A couple weekends ago we bought a few beers from here, one of them being Maui Brewing Company’s CoCoNut Porter. This beer is delicious! It’s smooth, creamy and highly drinkable. I knew after having that can of beer that I had to come up with a recipe to go along with it. So this past Saturday I found a can of it at Huckleberry’s (for $3, a bit spendy but SO worth it). Just for added fun we ran over to the liquor store and bought a sample sized bottle of Malibu Rum to add to the frosting, a most excellent idea!
In the spirit of creativity, I thought it would be really fun if the cupcakes had a jelly filling. We went to Michael’s and bought a frosting/filling injector to test it out. The filling turned out really tasty, but there were crushed pineapple bits in it and we had trouble getting it to squeeze out of the injector without blowing up the cupcakes. After blowing up a couple cakes we gave up on it and just frosted the cupcakes as usual.
This recipe was interesting in that it doesn’t have baking soda or baking powder in it (a rising agent). The original recipe that I found called for lemon-lime pop and I think (and I’ve read) that carbonation used in recipes helps the batter rise. This must be what was going on, as I only used 1/2 cup of beer in the recipe, and they rose up just like any other one. The batter was pretty sweet (in a great, addicitve way) and you could taste the beer in it, which was nice. I was a little surprised that the cupcakes didn’t turn out a darker color than they did, this beer is seriously dark.
We finished these off with my favorite frosting, cream cheese, with an addition of Malibu rum to get in some extra coconut flavor. I also had some coconut flake in the pantry, so I dipped half of the finished cupcakes in that. What can I say, I love coconut! I think the next time I bake these I’ll find a way to make the filling without the pineapple chunks so I can get them in the cupcakes easier. Despite how deformed the ones I injected looked, they tasted sinfully delicious. I won’t be posting pics of the duds, besides, I already ate them, but I hope you enjoy the pictures of the keepers!
Next week I’m thinking of doing something a little different, as in, I’m going to post my recipe so you all can give these a try. I mean, I don’t want to give away all my prized secrets just yet, but I think you deserve a recipe to try out! Is that a good idea? Would you want to make them? I don’t really know what kind I will make yet… I suppose if anyone had a request, I’d look into it too!