If you follow us along on Facebook, you may recall the time that I mentioned that Dylan and I met Dan O’leary, the owner of Duo Brewing. We met up with Dan a while ago and brought him some cupcakes and being that Dan is awesome, a few weeks later he sent us a few bottles of his Twin Ports Porter. Dylan and I shared a bottle that same night (I was really looking forward to trying it, we love getting beer in the mail!) and really enjoyed it. The porter has a nice roasty quality to it and is very easy to drink.
I was really looking forward to using it in a cupcake and wanted to create the perfect recipe to match it. We steered clear of the chocolate and opted for a buttermilk cake that really let the beer flavor shine through. For the frosting we made dulce de leche, which if you’re unfamiliar, is the most delicious thing you could put on cupcakes, ever. It’s made from cooking condensed milk, the sugar gets all dark and delicious and almost tastes like caramel, except it’s much, much creamier. If you’re on Pinterest you may have seen a pin for taking a can of sweetened condensed milk and either putting it in a crock pot for hours, or cooking it in the can on the stove (covered in water). We went with the shorter version and simmered the unopened can in water for 2 hours, then let it cool before adding it to our cream cheese frosting. Best. Idea. Ever. When I opened the can, I was pleased to see that it had worked, and I was equally as pleased that it was frickin’ delicious.
The cake turned out so soft, which was a great compliment to the smooth and soft texture of this frosting. The whole cupcake tastes like a deliciously creamy porter, and it’s really hard to resist the 2 dozen of them that are still in our refrigerator. We decided to bake these on Saturday because we’ll be busy baking some fresh cupcakes for the Manito Tap House AND a new location that we will be announcing shortly! We’re pretty excited about it, and we’re looking forward to sharing it with you all!
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.
I’ll be the first to admit that the idea of eggnog grosses me out. However, I know a few eggnog enthusiasts (Dylan included) that would feel left out if we didn’t attempt this holiday flavor. I will also admit here that I really liked these cupcakes (but I’m not about to pour myself a glass of eggnog).
Friday night Dylan and I went out to check out the newest brewery here in Spokane, Twelve String Brewing Co. Intent on sampling all their offerings, we braved the cold, and found our way there. The tap room was warm and inviting, the atmosphere filled with chatter and laughter, it was a great evening! We sampled 5 brews, including their Don’t Fret Porter. This was probably our favorite beer of the night. We bought a growler of it to take home because we knew that we had to bake with it.
Now, I realize eggnog and beer don’t necessarily sound good together, but it turned out to be a great match. The nutmeg and spice in the eggnog cake paired well with the chocolate and coffee tones that flavor this porter. The smell of the kitchen was pretty enticing while these were baking (Amazingly, the oven decided to cooperate this time!).
For the frosting, we went with a buttercream and used more of the eggnog and nutmeg to flavor it. Dylan frosted them all fancy-like, we’ve been trying to improve our frosting technique, and they look so pretty!
If you live in the Spokane area, I highly recommend you stop over by Twelve String and sample their beers, you’ll be glad you did. Also, to my fellow Spokanites (is that what we’re called?), if you’re looking to get some Sweet and Stout cupcakes before Christmas, get a hold of us soon. Only 2 more bake nights before then!
– Jackie & Dylan
Bacon and beer lovers unite! We decided to take our spin on the ever popular bacon craze and have paired up Alaskan Smoked Porter with the flavor of maple bacon. If you’re into smoked porters, this one is excellent. This beer would be great to drink right along side of these cupcakes. The smokiness is strong, not overwhelming, and is a nice compliment to the bacon.
The funny thing about this recipe is that there is bacon dripping put right in the batter. I found the recipe on Vanilla Garlic and made a few modifications to incorporate the beer and increase the amount of cupcakes it made. If you’re looking to try your hand at plain bacon cupcakes, that would be a good recipe to start with.
I went with a maple flavored cream cheese frosting instead of the one in the original recipe. I added a bit of maple extract and some good ol’ Mrs. Butterworth to the frosting to get that breakfast-maple-fresh flavor. When you bite into these cupcakes it’s like all of the great things you love about breakfast, all rolled into one, and you don’t even need a fork!
We’ll be adding this recipe into our list of keepers. I’m pretty sure I’d like to have this one at the wedding too, I know some of my friends back in my hometown would love to try them. They’re the ones that got me so into bacon to begin with!
Ah, holiday weekend! You were not long enough.
Since Dylan and I didn’t have any plans this weekend (except relaxing and being lazy), I saved my cupcake baking until Memorial Day. We started early in the morning, had the beer cracked open around 10:30 am! Now that’s how holidays are meant to be spent.
I wanted to make red velvet cupcakes as a test run… because in a few weeks we are making an order of 50 for a friend of Dylan’s at his work! That’s right, a paid cupcake-gig. How exciting!
I’ve been wanting to try Stone Brewing Company’s Smoked Porter, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to give it a go. I find that porter and chocolate go great together, so I used this opportunity to try it out. This beer is really good! The smokiness of the porter made it extra delicious. If you can get your hands on some, I highly recommend it.
The recipe I based my own recipe on called for the cupcakes to be baked at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. I put in my first batch and thought that was a really low temperature for baking, but I’d give it a try. After the 25 minutes I took them out and they all kind of fell flat! I was a little scared I hadn’t cooked them long enough (like some cupcakes in the past), but it was too late to do anything about them. For the next batch I upped the temperature to 350 degrees, baked them for 25 minutes and they turned out much better. It’s kind of weird what a difference 25 degrees can make, but it really made them taste much better. Also, I had no idea how much food coloring it takes to get the cake red. It’s a lot! I’ll have to get some more before I bake these again.
I’ve read that cream cheese frosting isn’t the traditional red velvet topper, but I went for it anyway. I had a lot of cream cheese in the fridge, plus it’s pretty much the best frosting ever. I do have a traditional red velvet frosting recipe, and I will have to try it some time (in the future).
I was trying to figure out what exactly makes red velvet cake different from just a non food colored chocolate cake, and I’m still unsure. There were a few ingredients that I haven’t been using in my recipes before, there was vinegar in this particular one, and maybe that makes a difference?
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!
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.