In Part 2 I experimented making cupcakes with eight different beers, and by the end the consensus was that the best two cupcakes were the Aventinus Pumpkin Spike cakes, and the Dennisons Weissbier Vanilla Citrus cakes.
Several hours after I had started, I was now filled with cupcakes and ready to make a decision as to what would be the best beer to enter into this cupcake competition; it really only came down to the Dennisons and the Aventinus. And in the end, I chose both! A two layered cupcake with Pumpkin Spice cake on the bottom, and citrus vanilla on top, all topped with a goat cheese icing.
On top of that, I wanted an extra edge in the competition, so I went to the States to seek out similar flavors in more exciting beers. Not that the Dennisons and Aventinus are not great, but my competition and the audience have potentially seen them before. I wanted to bring something that nobody had ever seen!
Come the day of the contest I had a two layer cupcake made with three different beers: Pumpkin Spice cake on the bottom with the Ommegang Three Philosophers; Citrus Vanilla cake on top with the Brooklyn Local 1; all topped with a goat cheese icing made with the Lindemans Pomme. I was thrilled with the way everything turned out, and the cupcakes clearly exhibited the flavor characteristics of the beers in a unique and melodious manner.
This whole experience was a great teaching tool for me. I learned a lot about how various beers react when baked, and I also learned how specific characteristics can affect the final product. A couple important things to note: The yeast in the beer did not have any effect on how the cupcakes would rise; extreme carbonation does create a very fluffy product; only use beers with very rich and distinct flavors which are inherently sweet and will match well with what you are baking.
Beyond that, if you are unsure than just try it out! It’s an easy excuse to have a beer, spend some time in the kitchen, and entertain your friends!