Another chocolate cupcake to add to my list of favorites. This one is made with a Vanilla Bourbon Stout and is flavored with espresso and dark chocolate. I think this is the first local beer we’ve used! It’s from the Coeur d’Alene Brewing Co. and we successfully acquired a growler of it this past Sunday at the Steamplant Grill (Be sure to check out their Beer Menu, yum!). This beer is the nectar of the god’s. Whenever I go to the Steamplant, I have to get a pint, it’s my favorite of their beers.
I started these cupcakes off a little late last night. We met up with a new friend at the Steamplant to talk about beer and life. Then we ended up coming home with a growler of Vanilla Bourbon Stout. If you know me, you know I’ve been on a quest to obtain one since I was denied a few weeks ago. I did not leave disappointed.
Instead of just using regular Hershey’s unsweetened baking chocolate, I opted to use a couple of really dark chocolate (like 72% I think) candy bars that were flavored with espresso beans. I probably used 6 ounces of candy bar (and had a little left over for myself to enjoy) and it added so much flavor to the recipe. This beer is great all on it’s own (and also great with some vanilla ice cream in a beer float), but when I was melting the chocolate into the beer, it smelled extra amazing!
For the frosting, I used my regular cream cheese mixture, and added a little cocoa powder and about a shot of espresso. It turned out really good, not overpowering, but definitely a noticeable mocha flavor.
I think I’ll be adding these ones to the list of cupcakes I want to make for our wedding!
This weekend was busy! Dylan was a court monitor at Hoopfest and wasn’t around all weekend. The house was getting pretty messy so I spent Saturday deep cleaning and clearing out clutter. I pulled together 4 big garbage bags of clothes and shoes that I donated to Goodwill, and it felt pretty good. When Sunday came around I had it in my head that I was going to go get a growler of Vanilla Bourbon Stout (so delicious!) from The Steamplant Grill in downtown Spokane. I met Dylan there after he was done at Hoopfest. My dreams were quickly deflated when the waitress told me they weren’t selling growlers of it because they were near the end of their keg. She said they didn’t want to run out of it before the next batch was done, and I understood, I was just pretty bummed about it.
I should have planned ahead, or at least had a backup plan, but I didn’t. Dylan and I talked it over (while I had a pint of Vanilla Bourbon Stout, seriously, so good!) and decided to use the Sam Adams Cream Stout that we had at home. Sam Adams Cream Stout is pretty darn good too, so I thought it’d be good in my vanilla-not-sure-what-flavor-frosting-yet cupcakes.
The recipe I used was one that I had drastically modified from the original and had attempted once before when I made pistachio rosewater cake. I think I mentioned it a couple posts ago, but the cake (while it tasted very good) sunk when I pulled it out of the oven. I attributed this to it just not baking long enough. Using this recipe a second time, I vowed to leave the cupcakes in longer. Well, not 1 minute after I pulled them out of the oven, they all had a giant crater in the middle.
So here’s what I think went wrong. Originally in making the pistachio cupcakes, I couldn’t find pistachio paste anywhere, so I found the next best thing… pistachio pudding mix. I thought I could get the pistachio flavor I was looking for and get a decent cupcake out of it. The flavor was there, and it was good, but I think the pudding made the batter a lot more dense than a batter without pudding in it and caused it to fall after being removed from the oven. Yesterday I went into this knowing that I needed to counteract the sinking so I put in a little extra baking powder, but I had used vanilla pudding too, and I think this was my downfall.
I just wasn’t really happy with how these turned out, so I’m not taking the leftovers with me to work. I did take a couple pictures to share with you guys. I guess you can’t get it right every weekend. Now I know to take that recipe out of my book, and I will work on a better vanilla cake recipe for the future. Besides, I still am going to get my growler of Vanilla Bourbon Stout… just going to have to wait a few weeks I think.