Over the years I have done a lot of experimenting with beer. First of all, one of my favorite things to do in the entire world is search for, and drink beers which I’ve never had before; that’s kind of an ongoing mission. And a delicious one! I’ve also done a lot of cooking with beer: in marinades, barbeque sauces, sweet syrups, in deserts, and more than anything just simply pairing real beer with great food.
One thing that I don’t do a whole lot of is baking with beer. One of my favorite Beer Bars in Toronto, the Beer Bistro, has so many amazing creations which are baked with beer. Thus, inspired by an Iron Chef style cupcake bake-off where the secret ingredient was beer, I went to testing how various beers would treat a cupcake.
My first mission was to hit the LCBO and pick out a wide range of styles so that I could determine which type of beer would be best fit to bake into cupcakes. It was also a great excuse to drink a huge variety of beers! I came back with 8 different beers: Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA (India Pale Ale); Chimay’s White (Belgian Tripel); Affligem’s Doubbel (Belgian Doubbel); Dieu Du Ciel’s Peche Mortel (Imperial Coffee Stout); Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier’s Marzen (Smoke Beer); Innis & Gunn’s Original (British Pale Ale); Dennisons’ Weissbier (Weissbier); and Schneider-Weisse’s Aventinus (Wheat Doppel Bock).
Obviously, with this sort of line of things would get interesting! I should mention, I did bake all of these cupcakes with a very similar recipe, only changing a few ingredients to match the beer, and as well I used a touch less baking powder and baking soda to account for the carbonation in the beer as well as the potential yeast.
See how these beers worked in cupcakes in Part 2…