This week, I challenged Dylan to come up with a cupcake we could make without having to go the store to get anything special for it. Dylan agreed, and we came up with this coffee-inspired cupcake. We took a basic cake recipe and added in strongly brewed coffee and Dick’s Imperial Stout. The beer was dark and malty, seemingly a good match for the coffee flavor we were going for.
I was hoping to get the baking done early in the day, so I fired up the oven around 11 am, cracked a beer, and got to mixing. Usually our oven takes a while to heat up, but an hour later it still had not reached 200 degrees. I knew something was wrong. [Insert giant sad face here] How can we work without an oven? Luckily for us, our toaster oven stepped in to save the day. I could go on a long spiel about how awesome toaster ovens are, but I’ll spare you [they’re awesome, everyone should own one]. I’m glad we have one, but I did have to make these cupcakes 6 at a time. My hopes of baking the cupcakes early, getting them frosted and done by early afternoon was gone.
After the long bake-a-thon, and a skype chat with my mom, we were ready to make frosting. Our idea was to make a meringue frosting (looking like the foam on top of a coffee? maybe…) and then top it with a small pool of caramel. Apparently I wanted to make these as messy as possible, and was quite successful at it. My meringue turned out pretty good, that stuff can be tricky sometimes. I tried to create a place for the caramel to sit without oozing all over the place (you can kind of tell from the pictures) – then broiled them to hold their shape. Once they were out, I used the stickiest caramel on earth, and poured some on top. What. A. Mess.
After all that drama with the oven dying, it was finally time to sit down and do a taste test. Now, maybe I’m biased because I gravitate towards chocolate desserts, but these cupcakes were just alright to me. It’s not that they were bad, I just don’t think the coffee flavor came through enough for my liking. The meringue was tasty, the caramel was messy. I’d say if we attempted to make these again, I’d probably change up the recipe a bit and add espresso instead of just the strong brew. I’d also skip the meringue and go for a whipped cream frosting, seems that it would be more fitting for a coffee-type cake. Okay, and I’d probably make them chocolate, too. [Don’t judge me.]
My apologies to any coworkers that get sticky fingers tomorrow after trying one of these!
– Jackie & Dylan
Today was a rare chance where I was let in the kitchen to make the cupcakes for this week, all alone. This time I was able to show off my baking skills to Jackie once again. For this week’s cupcake, I settled on a cinnamon yellow cake and decided to put Quilter’s Irish Death from Iron Horse Brewery in them. This was a easy choice with the brewery calling this beer their “beer candy.”
For a topping to go with this delightfully light, but sinfully rich cake, I created a Kahlua butter glaze. The glaze gave me some grief when I was making it though, it kept thickening up on me at the strangest times. After making it a second time I had it down.
I ran into some of the same problems as we came across with the Black Cherry Ale Cupcakes, mainly the fact that it was in the high 90s and working with chocolate and glazes is nearly impossible without the constant use of the fridge. All in all, I feel that this cupcake turned out well, and am definitely looking forward to having one of these again soon.
On a different note, I wanted to share with all you beer cupcake lovers an update on where we’re at with our kickstarter campaign. We currently are 66% funded thanks to all of you and your generosity. We still have 27 days left to get the remaining 34% or $565! If we are able to reach our goal in the next 27 days we will be bringing our beer cupcakes to the Inland Northwest. We want to thank you again for all your support, we couldn’t do it without you, and if you are looking to donate to Sweet and Stout you can click here.
What happens when you take a flavor that all north westerners truly love and decide to turn it into a beer? You get Rogue Brewery’s Mocha Porter. This beer is a wonderful blend of malt and hops that leaves you with a creamy mocha flavor that stays with you long after you put that first taste down. A little history of the beer from Rogue states that the: “Mocha Porter was once known as New Porter, in honor of the town of Newport, Oregon and home of Rogue Ales.” They also say the beer was made to be: “dedicated to the chocolate lover in each of us.” The Mocha Porter per Rogue Brewery is said to pair well with desserts and that’s exactly what we did.
Taking this Mocha Porter, some instant coffee and our talent of creating wonderful cupcakes, we made these tasty looking treats. Combining what would be a seemingly innocent idea of a mocha cupcake and adding this wonderfully flavorful beer to the mix made these moist and intoxicating treats. After we had the batter mixed up we both tasted it and decided that we needed to come up with a frosting that matched the richness of the cupcake, so we turned to our liquor collection.
After much consideration and debate we decided to really play up the coffee flavor that the cupcakes where hinting at. The cupcakes themselves tasted much like a chocolate coffee cake with the robust flavor of the Mocha Porter peaking through the cracks, so how could we boost the coffee flavor? We decided that the best way to do this was to make a frosting that was a mix of Kahlua and Bailey’s Irish Cream. As a final touch we added coffee beans to the tops of the cupcakes as a garnish. We could not be happier with how these came out. Hopefully you found these pictures as mouth watering as we found the cupcakes to be.