Ye Olde Beer and Cake.

So, I have this thing with combining baking and alcoholic beverages. For a while, I was into making cupcakes that represented various cocktails, such as the mojito, or the piña colada. When I discovered an old prohibition-era recipe for bourbon cookies, I got into making said cookies with other hard liquors (see Honey Whiskey Balls). But now I have a brand new idea, that actually stemmed from a pretty old one. I decided that I was going to make chocolate beer cupcakes this weekend for a Memorial Day Party I was attending. I made similar cupcakes once before, but this time I used a different beer (Harpoon Chocolate Stout) and my standard chocolate cake recipe.

the not-so-secret ingredient.

the not-so-secret ingredient.

The cupcakes turned out great – just as I had envisioned. The beer toned down the sweetness, and the cream cheese glaze icing gave it that little something fabulous. Together, they made the perfect combination.

beer + cake = tlf.

beer + cake = tlf.

However, this is merely the beginning. The success of these cupcakes spawned a discussion – it would appear that beer and cake seem to go together. They’re like, MFEO. And at that moment, I realized what I needed to do: open up a tavern/bakery that features the pairing of the two. And I shall call it: Ye Olde Beer and Cake.

let them eat cake (and drink beer).

let them eat cake (and drink beer).

Now this tavern/bakery (tavernakery?) would specialize in selecting beers and cakes that are the perfect match – flavors and styles that go together like bread and butter.  It’d be like…heaven.

heaven is a cake on earth.

heaven is a cake on earth.

So anyway, there you have it. Keep an eye out for Ye Olde Beer and Cake, coming soon to a town near you. And just think, you can say you knew me when…

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mmmm…beer cupcakes.

So whenever I eat cake, I don’t think “Gee, you know what would go great with this? A beer!” Yet, somehow, the two can live together in perfect harmony in the form of one delectable small indulgence: the beer cupcake.

beer, meet cupcake.

I whipped up these little temptuous treats for a gathering this weekend. I can’t take credit for writing the recipe myself and I don’t know who did – I got it many years ago, and it has no name or website on it and I have no recollection of where it came from. I can say that I did make one minor adjustment, which some could argue led to a major improvement: I used a different kind of beer.

The recipe recommends Guinness, or something similar. I thought, heck, why not try a “fancy beer” – one with an exotic ingredient or unique taste. Or maybe just one that would seem to make the perfect mate to a chocolate cupcake. So, I browsed the aisles of the liquor store down the street, when, there it was, on the bottom shelf, screaming “I was made for your cupcakes!”

the only thing better than beer is chocolate beer.

Chocolate cupcake. Chocolate beer. These two were MFEO (that’s “made for each other” in the popular language known as “texting”). I topped off my little chocolate fellas with a creme mousseline – a topping/filling I’ve become quite familiar with in the recent weeks. The cupcake is on the dense side, so a light, fluffy, buttery mousseline complimented the denseness quite nicely, and was reminiscent of the foam on the top of a real beer.

dense in a good way, like Napoleon Dynamite.

In addition to being dense, the beer boosts the moistness factor up a notch as well. So cupcakes + beer = a moist, dense, delicious treat, to which nobody can deny. Make it a chocolate beer, and I think you may have found  a way to get us off this island, professor.

he wishes he'd thought of that.