Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Mar 20, 2012

Blue Moon Cupcakes

Libations used: 2/3 cup beer
Libations left over: more than half a bottle of beer, so polish it off while those cupcakes are baking...
This past weekend was an epic celebration—a friend in from Hong Kong, St. Patrick's Day and Blue Moon's 30th birthday.  Instead of whipping up some Irish-inspired cupcakes, I decided to make Blue Moon cupcakes to honor the birthday boy.  I had seen a couple of recipes floating around the food blogs, and ultimately opted for Spoon Fork Bacon's version.  The cake has a light orange, vanilla and light beer flavor, while the orange cream cheese frosting adds some decadence.  We busted these out for breakfast before our pub crawl on St. Patrick's Day, and they pair excellently with Blue Moon or any light beer.

Blue Moon Cupcakes - makes 16 cupcakes and over 24 minis
Ingredients for the cake:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest from 1 orange (save that orange to make juice for the frosting)
  • 2/3 cup Blue Moon beer
  • 2 Tbs whole milk
Ingredients for the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 Tbs freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Orange zest for garnish

To make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 375 and line your muffin tins.
- In a mixing bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for about 1 minute.
- Add the sugar, and cream with the butter for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time and scrape the batter down the sides of the bowl after each.
- Add the vanilla and orange zest and mix until just combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the beer and milk together.
- Add 1/3 of the beer mixture, then 1/3 of the flour mixture, alternating until done and everything's full incorporated.
- Fill muffin liners 2/3 full with the batter.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes and allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting:
- Cream the butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer.
- Add the confectioners sugar 1/2 cup at a time and be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the orange juice and mix until everything's fully incorporated.
- Pipe frosting onto cupcakes and garnish with orange zest or peel.