Monday, May 27, 2013

Hefeweizen Cupcakes

Hefeweizen Cupcakes

My husband and I found ourselves with a lot of beer leftover from our reception, which was nearly a month ago. Rather than drinking all the beer (we did give a decent amount away to friends and family), I've been incorporating it into my cooking and baking with mixed results. My beer bread turned out delicious but my blueberry beer cinnamon rolls weren't very cinnamon roll-like. I managed to salvage my second attempt by turning them into a blueberry beer coffee cake. Today I decided to try hefeweizen beer cupcakes! I've made beer cupcakes before using stout and chocolate but not hefeweizen. There were a few recipes out there but I chose one from the Pyramid brewery since I had Pyramid hefeweizen.

I was pleasantly surprised with the cupcakes. They were very moist and only slightly sweet. I personally don't like the super sweet cupcakes or frosting. I didn't have any cardamon on hand so I substituted cinnamon in without any problems. I would definitely make these again with cardamon to see how different it tastes. As for the frosting, I ran out of lemons so I substituted with some orange zest. The recipe from Pyramid is below with my notes in blue.

Cupcake Ingredients
6 tbsp butter, melted
2 eggs, room temperature4 oz buttermilk6 oz Pyramid Hefeweizen2 tsp vanilla1 cup brown sugar2 cups flour1 tsp cardamom (didn't have cardamon but substituted cinnamon)1 tsp baking soda

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Melt butter and set aside to cool down.
3) Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, beer, vanilla in one bowl, and mix together the sugar, flour, cardamom, and baking soda in another.
4) Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two parts, using a mixer to combine. Add the melted butter and combine.
5) Pour batter into cupcake cups and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool.

Lemon Cream Cheese Butter cream Ingredients
4 oz butter (room temp.)
4oz cream cheese (room temp.)
1 tsp lemon extract 
(didn't have lemon extract so I added ~1tbsp of orange juice and zest of 1 orange - husband said frosting slightly remind him of a creamsicle but thought it tasted ok with the cupcake)
3 cups powdered sugar 
(I probably used about 1-1/2 cups since I hate overly sweet frosting)
3 drops yellow food coloring 
(I skipped this since I used the orange zest)

1) Cream butter and cream cheese with mixer until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar about a ½ cup at a time. When mixed add flavor and food coloring.
I originally tried a citrus whipped cream topping but it was a bit too light for the cupcake.
Frosted with orange butter cream with bits of orange zest
Nice moist cupcake... would probably work as a layered cake

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Mango banana waffles

Mango Banana Waffles

I woke up this morning craving waffles but realized I had 1 ripe banana and several ripe mangoes in the house. Would mango banana waffles work? A quick internet search said yes. There were indeed others making mango waffles, some with bananas. The concept was simple - add mango and banana to waffle batter, add batter to waffle maker, and voila! Mango banana waffles!

I decided to use the recipe posted on My Love for Cooking as a starting point. It had good reviews and the waffle batter was similar to those I've used in the past. I did make a few minor adjustments (which I've indicated in blue). This recipe gave me ~4 large waffles using ~1 cup of batter per waffle with my waffle iron.

1¼ cup All purpose flour
½ cup White Whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp Ground Flax Meal (I didn't have flax meal and though almond flour would add a nice nutty dimension but I was out of that too so I substituted an equal amount of oat flour)
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
⅛ tsp Salt
1⅔ Cup Milk (I suggest Coconut)
2 Tbsp Sugar, Brown Sugar or honey (I used raw agave nectar - no particular reason)
3 Tbsp Vegetable oil
2 Large Eggs
2 Champagne Mangoes (or one regular one)
1 ripe banana
butter or cooking spray for waffle iron, if needed
Powdered sugar, syrup, and/or whipped cream for waffles (per your tastes - I thought it was sweet enough with the fresh fruit on top)

1) Heat up your waffle iron per the manufacturer's instructions.
2) Wash, peel and dice both mangoes. Set aside half for garnish. (I diced one mango and sliced the second for garnishing)
3) Dice 1/2 of the banana and slice the remaining half for garnish. Alternatively you can dice the whole banana.
I thought about making a puree for more uniform fruit flavor throughout the waffle but wanted to get bites of fruit chunks instead.
4) Combine the flours, flax meal, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
5) Combine the milk, sugar/honey, eggs and vegetable oil in a separate bowl. I find it easier to mix the eggs first, and then add the other ingredients.
6) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until combined. Do not over-mix. The batter is about the consistency of pancake batter, maybe slightly thicker.
7) Fold in the diced mango (just 1 mangoes-worth) and diced banana.
8) Add the recommended amount of batter to your waffle iron. Waffle is done with golden brown. Mine took ~2 minutes per side. (I use this time to clean up the dirty bowls and make coffee).
9) Garnish with remaining diced mangoes, sliced bananas and whatever you'd like to top your waffles with. I do suggest tasting the waffle before adding any powdered sugar or syrup. I used fairly ripe mangoes and bananas so the waffle was sweet enough for me as is.

Since I was making breakfast for myself, I garnished with extra fruit and ate what I didn't use.
Waffle texture was crisp on the outside and spongy on the inside
I love getting those warm gooey chunks of banana
Tasty bits of mango

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Beer Bread

Beer Bread

Yes... beer bread. We had some leftover Blue Moon Agave Nectar Beer that some friends brought over and since it wasn't the type of beer we typically drink, I decided to bake some bread. The concept isn't a new one (beer bread or baking beer bread to get rid of unwanted beer). My first experience was a loaf of Sam Adams Cherry Wheat Beer which turned out well considering my dislike of cherry-flavored foods. So why beer bread? One bottle of beer makes a single loaf of bread in a little over an hour. Yep, it takes virtually no time to prep and about an hour to bake. Homemade bread without waiting for the dough to rise or any kneading.

I used this recipe from and swapped out the sugar for some raw agave nectar. My modification to the recipe is in blue but it's a nice basic recipe that can be easily modified with ingredients that compliment the flavor of your beer. I substituted 1/3 of the flour with wheat flour when I made the Cherry Wheat Beer bread.

3 cups flour (sifted Don't be lazy, just do it... even if it came pre-sifted)
3 teaspoons baking powder (omit if using Self-Rising Flour)
1 teaspoon salt (omit if using Self-Rising Flour)
1/4 cup sugar (I substituted this with ~3 tbsp of agave nectar)
1 (12 ounce) can beer (warm to room temp first)
1/2 cup melted butter (1/4 cup will do just fine)


1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Mix dry ingredients and beer. (I tried not to overmix this so it was fairly lumpy when I transferred it to the loaf pan)
3) Pour into a greased loaf pan. 
4) Pour melted butter over mixture. (I added 6 x 1/4" squares of butter on top rather than the 1/4 - 1/2 cup)
5) Bake 1 hour, remove from pan and cool for at least 15 minutes. (I baked mine for ~50 minutes and pulled it out of the oven after it passed the toothpick test.)