A lifestyle blog about life and living in Southeast, Alaska.
Black Fang Cupcakes
May 22, 2016
Now if you have ever been to Haines you know that one of the most popular attractions is our local brewing company. The Haines Brewing Company started in 1999 and owners Paul Wheeler and Jeanne Kitayama are the reason for it's outstanding success. For years the brewery resided in historic Dalton City where tour buses of people off cruise ships would come and sip Paul's fine brew creations. It's not just a tourist attraction it is the local hot spot as well. Now at their new location in the heart of downtown you see the brewing parking lot fill up about 5:05pm as many are just getting off work to have a friendly place to have a drink and unwind from their day. My favorite Haines Brewing ale is the Spruce Tip Ale. Paul and Jeanne harvest local spruce tips and infuse it in their beer to give it a sweet and citrus like flavor. My husband's favorite Haines beer is the Black Fang. The Black Fang taste exactly as it's name sounds. An imperial stout that tastes of dark chocolate and coffee. If you ever get a chance to visit the brewery, try the Black Fang, it will be a sure favorite!
Last weekend a local non-profit group called the "Ugly's of Haines" put on a pig roast BBQ with a dessert auction to raise money for cancer patients in the Haines area. This "brotherhood" of sorts is made up of fisherman, bar owners, and local vets. They are a group of rough and tough characters that really love their community and love to raise money for people in need. During Christmas they host a community toy drive in exchange for dinner. I'm sure I'll right more on that later. Now when I heard that the Ugly's needed desserts for a dessert auction I thought what kind of "manly" dessert can I make? I immediately looked on Pinterest (who doesn't for recipes?) and found a Guinness cupcake recipe. But thinking local and remembering that Black Fang does remind me of a hefty chocolate dessert, I thought maybe instead of Guinness, I'll use Black Fang? I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out but I knew it was something I must try.
When I cook I try to use as many fresh ingredients as possible, but when it comes to baking I'm not afraid to go semi-homemade. I knew to infuse the Black Fang flavor into my cake mix I needed to reduce the beer to evaporate the alcohol and water to be left with a more concentrated Black Fang Flavor. I did this by pouring 4 cups of Black Fang into a sauce pan and bringing it to a boil. Then I simmered it for 15-20 minutes. Now my Devil's Food cake mix called for 1 cup of water and instead of that I used one cup of my reduced Black Fang concentrate. I also added 1/2 cup of sour cream, tsp of vanilla, and a pinch of salt. The sour cream really traps in the moisture in the cupcakes and I've been using this trick for years in my desserts!
Now the topping I was torn between a salted caramel buttercream or just plain chocolate buttercream. I think either would have been awesome on top of the cupcakes. However, I really wanted these cupcakes to taste like they sound, Black Fang Cupcakes! So I made a simple buttercream with 2 sticks of butter softened, 4 cups of powdered sugar, 1 tbsp of cream, and 3 tbsp of my Black Fang concentrate (make sure it's cooled)!. I whipped that for 2 minutes so it was nice and fluffy and dolloped that on top of my Black Fang infused cupcakes. When I was frosting them my friend Ella stopped by and I had her be my first tester of this new creation. She loved them and said the chocolate and coffee notes really came out in the cake. She suggested putting a little sprinkle of fine ground coffee on top! I agreed and they really did turn out great! A for sure local Haines treat if you make them at home.
My cupcakes sold for $40 at the dessert auction and the Ugly's of Haines raised over $10,000 for local cancer patients. I hope whomever bought them enjoyed them as much as I did making them. I'm also glad I got to contribute to a wonderful fundraiser in our community!
Black Fang Cupcakes Recipe
1 box Devil's Food Cake mix
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup Black Fang reduction (you could use any coffee/chocolate infused ale)
1/2 cup butter softened
Black Fang Buttercream
1 cup butter softened
1 tbsp cream
3 tbsp Black Fang reduction
4 cups powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix cake mix, eggs, vanilla, black fang reduction, and butter on medium/high speed for 2 minutes.
3. Spoon into cupcake tins and bake for 13-15 minutes.
4. When done, flip tin over and put cupcakes on cooling rack.
5. For buttercream, mix butter, cream, Black Fang Reduction (cooled), and slowly pour in powdered sugar. Mix on medium/high for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
6. Spread buttercream on cooled cupcakes.
7. Dust with coffee grounds
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!