Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Baking with Booze

Incorporating alcohol into one's cooking and baking can make you seem like a lush... or it can be awesome! I am famous for my top-shelf jello shots but I also like baking boozy cakes and cupcakes. Baking also seems daunting and time consuming but it can be just as easy to bake from scratch or modify a mix as it is to bake straight from a cake mix; it just happens to be more delicious, fresher and better for you. I'm more of a savory cook than a baker or pastry chef so these recipes are easy enough for any dude to don an apron and bake away. Feel free to sip on any extra alcohol as you bake.

Chocolate Stout Cake

This is one of my favorites that I make for St. Patrick's day every year - although this cake is a delicious way to indulge any time of the year. I use this amazing recipe which has been foolproof each time. It results in an irresistibly moist, rich and decadent cupcake without being too sweet. Recipe notes:
  • I've made it in the past using only whole-wheat flour which usually makes it denser and poundcake-like. If you want this cake to be on the lighter or fluffier side, you can use cake flour or use half all purpose and half cake flour.
  • I subsitute sour cream with Greek yogurt because I eat a lot of Greek Yogurt.
  • My favorite beer so far is Young's Double Chocolate Stout. It works really well and has a great and smooth chocolatey finish. I love Guinness but I didn't think it tasted as good and I've tried other Oatmeal Stouts and most recently, a Cappucino Stout but Young's has still been the best.
  • This recipe makes A LOT of batter. It will easily make four dozen cupcakes or a bundt cake and two dozen cupcakes so unless you want to make a layered cake like in the recipe, you'll want to half the recipe.
  • If you make a bundt cake, I use the slighty cooled chocolate ganache icing as an icing drizzle over the cake. This year, I drizzled the icing over the cupcakes, then frosted them with a Bailey's frosting using a modified version of this recipe. I added some cream cheese to the frosting because I like the richer taste and texture you get instead of only using butter.
Miracle Margarita Flan Cake

This cake is also incredibly delicious yet deceptively simple. You would think a fancy baker made it but you can enjoy it for Cinco de Mayo along with some margaritas or micheladas. I got the recipe from a great margarita cocktail book I got for my 21st birthday but I also found the recipe online here. It combines two delicious desserts - a caramelly rich flan with a coconut yellow cake - but tastes like a glorious margarita. Making this cake is like pure magic; it makes you seem like a fancy and skilled pastry chef but requires the skill of a drunken frat boy. And if you're taking swigs from the tequila bottle as you're baking, that may very well be you.
Go bake. It will be a fun and delicious alternate way to consume alcohol. If you're further interested in baking with booze, I recommend this book which my cousin Jennifer so generously bestowed upon me one Christmas. My dad isn't much of a dessert person so for his birthday one year, I made him a cake incorporating some of his favorite things: beer and nuts. He adored it and its hefeweizen icing goodness.

1 comment:

  1. It's amazing how when men consume beer they think about their nuts