My friend Terri made this cupcake. This cupcake is made with beer, and let-me-tell-you-something, readers: it is delicious.
Boston Breweries’ Naked Mexican, their Corona-esque pale lager, is in both the sponge and white icing, and although it was just the result of a late night experiment in a kitchen with too much beer in it – as if that’s a real problem – it’s actually really good. It turns out that the ubiquitous pale lager lends itself surprisingly well to baking, but, oddly enough, it’s in the icing that the beer’s pronounced bready and yeasty notes shine though. Topped with lime zest, it’s a little summertime cake that cheered up a cold winter’s night.
P.S.: If you’ve been thinking of baking with beer, you should go right ahead! It’s great! Just a word of warning though: cupcakes made with beer tend to go stale and hard really quickly. (Unless they’re made with Guinness, which, for some reason, tends to stay moist and rich. Caveats galore!)
These are chocolate stout cupcakes that were made last weekend. Here they are fresh out of the oven. They were delicious.
And this is my friend Claire. In this picture she is the process of baking those chocolate stout cupcakes, which were delicious. She is very cool and it was her birthday yesterday. (Happy birthday again!)
Claire is also a part-time baker, and runs a little home-industries-style-bakery-thing with another friend, who is also called Clare. Since they’re both Cla(i)res, the bakery is called Clare & I (link). Together they make delicious cakes and cupcakes with a good sprinkling of humour and charm. (Flat-topped gray liquorice Le Corbusier cupcakes, anyone?)
Now, I’m not going to tell you exactly how Claire made these delicious cupcakes, just in case she plans on selling them out of the bakery one day, but I can tell you that it’s a variation on a simple beer cake recipe, of which you can find a dime a dozen online. The beer that we used for this batch was Darling’s Black Mist, of which I had a few sitting in my fridge from the week before. Other recommendations for baking would be Hook Norton’s Double Stout or, if you can’t get that, you can go for Castle Milk Stout. The choice is yours, although I wouldn’t use Guinness if I could help it - ideally, go for something less bitter or with a bit more character.
What’s great about baking with beer is that it acts both as a flavouring and a rising agent, which means anything you bake with it comes out super light and fluffy. For some reason, the beeriness of the cupcakes increases the longer you leave them before you eat them. From personal experience, however, I doubt you’d be able to resist eating all of them for too long.
The cupcakes were topped with chocolate butter icing, caramel and cherries. Irresistibly light and fluffy, morish and malty from the beer, they were finished off between five of us within half an hour.
So, I guess the point of this post is that you should: (i) bake with beer for deliciousness and fluffiness; (ii) eat lots of cupcakes because they are tasty; and (iii) buy the Cla(i)res’ baked goods.
Have a great weekend, and enjoy Rocking the Daisies if you’re heading out that way. And please don’t drink and drive.