I know it hasn’t been terribly long since my last batch of tasty treats featuring other tasty treats baked inside. But between work and play, let me suffice to say I have several articles in “draft” form. Which is to say, legitimate articles will be forthcoming soon. In the meantime, allow me to tempt your palate with more cupcakes. As always, to recreate your own, just take an existing recipe you love and add craft. Not just “craft beer”, but presentation, flair ingredients, and that little touch of creative magic that can only come from you, oh talented reader.
“Bananenkuchen” (German for: Banana cake) is banana-nut bread cake, in cup form. For reasons obvious to any run-of-the-mill beer geek, I used a hefeweizen to accentuate its own banana and clove-like tones. For mine, I opted for my local super tasty Dry Dock Hefeweizen, though your personal favorite will also suffice. Mashed ripe bananas and cinnamon are a must, though your personal taste/allergies will dictate nut presence. Topped with cinnamon-cream cheese icing, more nuts, and a garnish of fresh banana, and what we have here is a banana bread with a wheat-y and clove-like finish.
“The Patriot”, a light yellow cupcake utilizing the over-advertised, yet respectably delicious Samuel Adams Boston Lager, a delightful amber Vienna-style brew. Yellow cake is the easiest to let beer shine through, but also, it’s yellow, which can pretty well restrict your beer selection. But with the sweet, caramelly, nutty and dare I say buttery qualities inherent in the Boston Lager, the pairing was a no brainer, and just in time for a July 4th celebration. The cake played up the sweetness while the beer played up some earthy lager tones, all while retaining that sweet amberish malt flavor. (Side note: Boston Lager was my silver medal. This cupcake was inspired by Revolutionary Rye, and I was going to name it “4th of JuRye”. But its seasonal status had come and gone. Shame)
“Hopscotch!”, which is a butterscotch cupcake with New Belgium’s Fat Tire all up in it, as well as some butterscotch chips and a vanilla icing, topped with butterscotch sauce. A really sweet cupcake in the end, but the subtle magic of Fat Tire’s caramel maltiness and subtle Target hop bitterness bring out a certain beery earthiness to counteract the butterscotch sweetness. Meanwhile, the soft chewy bits of butterscotch chips really popped a sweet explosion a midst all the beer tones, in a pleasant way, not in a distracting way. (Side note: it’s impossible this year to grab a Fat Tire with the label showing the bike…really throws off the presentation. Bitter shame)
“Squeeze My Lemon”…Led Zeppelin fans had better be giggling at this name. Anywho, I aimed for a cupcake you could eat on your front porch, in a rocking chair, as you wore naught but white linen as you watched the sun set on a warm summer evening. And I think I got it. Using the delightful summer seasonal BridgePort Summer Squeeze, I crafted a lemon cupcake out of the beer, lemon juice, lemon zest, and some lemon extract just for good measure. Then I whipped up some lemon cream cheese (with a dollop of store-bought lemon icing) for the topping. I think you get the picture of what I was going for. Yes, it’s slightly difficult to taste beer through all those zesty ingredients, particularly a sessionable golden ale. But I’m pretty sure some of that characteristic beery pale malt and/or lemongrass comes through on the end of the cupcake taste, so long as there wasn’t too much frosting on that particular bite.
Any particularly crazy or interesting cupcake ideas you’d like to see done? Sound off below!
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