Maybe I’m wishing too hard for it to be summer, but this Sunday, it was pretty nice outside. We wanted to make a fun cupcake to go with a warm summer (or near spring-like) day. We both enjoy a tasty mojito, so why not flavor a cupcake after one? Plus, I found a recipe for a beer mojito, and could not resist giving it a try. Have you heard of beer cocktails? I don’t think it’s anything new, but I think it’s becoming more popular. Here’s a link I found to the beer mojito, and I know there are plenty of other good beer cocktail recipes out there.
For these cupcakes I wanted to use a pale ale, something that would compliment the lime and mint flavor that mojitos are known for. Dylan recently found the spring release of the Ninkasi four-pack, which included Spring Reign, a delicious pale ale. We decided that would be the best beer to use, plus I was saving the Tricerahops all for myself. (Seriously, if you like double IPAs, Tricerahops is the shizz.) Anyways, the crisp taste and the light hop character of the Spring Reign was a perfect match for these cupcakes.
To get the mint flavor, I steeped some mint leaves in the beer (heated up on the stove). After letting it cool, I added a little lime juice. Tasting the finished cupcakes, I’d go back and add a bit more mint leaves. You can definitely pull a lime flavor when you take a bite of these, the mint is a little subdued. Of course, this doesn’t mean it was a bad cupcake. In fact, they were quite delicious. We used a cream cheese frosting flavored with more fresh squeezed lime juice, and garnished each with a mint leaf.
I think lime would be a really good flavor for us to add on to our lineup for the summer. We did a lime cupcake with meringue last year, and these are much better. I don’t know about you, but I can hardly wait for summer to get here. Patio beers, sunshine, and cupcakes sound really good right now!
– Jackie & Dylan
After taking a weekend off, we’re back with a new tasty treat. Dylan really wanted to do something with pecans, one of my least favorite nuts. (I know I can’t have chocolate every time, even though I would love it!) Dylan started them off by finely chopping the pecans to go in the batter, then candying the rest to use as a garnish.
We decided these cupcakes needed a malty beer to compliment the sweet and nutty flavor we were anticipating. While checking on our beer supply in the fridge, we came across the 2012 Ninkasi Renewale, and deemed it an appropriate match. The Renewale is a dark porter with a bitter, roasted malt flavor. I think it pairs really well with the finished cupcake. The bitter of the porter is complimented nicely with the sweetness of the cake and frosting combined.
Speaking of frosting, we used brown sugar and butter to top these off. The frosting is a bit sweet, and very thick. The longer the frosting sat out at room temperature, the thicker it got. I’m just glad it went through our frosting gun okay, the one we currently have at home is starting to split a little in the plastic. Guess we’ve worn it out with all these cupcakes we’ve created!
Dylan and I each had a finished cupcake, complete with candied pecan garnish, and I might have to admit that I really enjoyed these cupcakes. Perhaps they have opened me up to the idea adding pecans to more recipes in the future.
Here at Sweet and Stout, we strive to be resourceful and creative when it comes to our cupcake flavors. I’d like to think that each time we come up with a new recipe, we’re getting farther away from the average cupcake. I’ve been reading up on food pairings with IPA beers, and the basics of it is this: If the flavor of the food is bold and/or spicy, have it with an IPA.
So, in celebration of the first ever #IPADay, we would like to present these chipotle apple pecan IPA cupcakes made with Ninkasi’s Total Domination IPA (yum!). I got this idea while browsing cake recipes online. The one I based my recipe off of was intended to be a cake, but with some substitutions & additions, I carefully crafted the recipe to fit my beer cupcake needs. I wasn’t really sure what IPA to use, so Dylan and I went to the grocery store, and it just so happened they had Total Domination in a 6 pack for a pretty good price. Since I am in love with Ninkasi anyways, I figured it’d be a good fit. A little beer for the cupcakes, and 5 bottles left for me. Good deal.
This cake was kind of like an apple spice cake, the only big difference was the massive amount of chipotle I threw in there. Here’s the thing that really required some creativity on my part. The recipe called for ground chipotle, so you’d think you could find it either with the spices, or with the Mexican food at the grocery store. Well, we couldn’t find any! Dylan remembered that we had a bottle of chipotle hot sauce at home, so we just decided to use that instead. I wasn’t totally convinced that it wouldn’t make my apple spice cake taste like a burrito, but it actually worked out really well.
The original recipe called for a caramel-chipotle glaze that was to be drizzled over the cake. It’s kind of messy to do that with a cupcake (and not as pretty), but I did it anyways, and boy does it have some heat to it! (in a totally good way). Next time I play around with this recipe I’m going to take that glaze and whip it up into some frosting for a little less mess (and to make prettier pictures!)
After the cupcakes were all made and glazed, Dylan and I sat down with a bottle of Total Domination and ate a few. I’d say the recipe and the pairing were quite successful! Hope everyone has a hoppy IPA Day (sorry, I couldn’t resist)!