Sunday, November 8, 2009

Iron Cupcake Earth - Apples

Please take a moment to pause and sniff the air. Go ahead, inhale. That's it... take a big whiff. There. Have you done it? Good. Now, what did it smell like? Smell like time for another cupcake challenge? Yes, yes it did.

I've decided to try my hand at this month's Iron Cupcake Challenge. The theme for this month is Apples.

Last month's challenge was "Music" but I chickened out never quite got myself together in time to submit anything.

This time around, though, I've got some great ideas. Time to start making some sample batches... Tasters, ready your tastebuds!


In the meantime, I've been playing around with a (non-cupcake -- *gasp*) recipe that I've been trying to perfect. It all started with a PartyLite party that I hosted at our apartment earlier last month. No, I'm not a consultant, but somehow I managed to get stuck hosting one. Anywho, PartyLite has teamed up with Two Sisters Gourmet to bring really tasty goodies to the candle-buying public. Here's where the fantastic comes in: Two Sisters Gourmet offers this really, really delicious, Beer Bread Mix. Now, before I got this mix, not only had I never eaten Beer Bread before, I'd never even heard of it. Its simplicity intrigued me, though: literally all I had to do was open up a can of beer, stir it into the mix, then pop it in the oven for 45 minutes. When it came out, I was **intensely** amazed. Outside of this bread, beer doesn't even tempt me. Not a chance. In fact, I somewhat gag a little bit at the smell. INSIDE this bread, though, beer morphed into this intensely tastebud-titillating nectar of the gods. I practically ate the whole loaf myself!

After consuming approximately 3 guinea pigs worth of beer bread (yes, I measured the amount of beer bread I ate in guinea pigs...), I started panicking. How was I going to get more Beer Bread? Should I order cases of the mix immediately? Did they have a limit on how much I could buy? If I didn't buy cases ASAP, was there going to be a run on the mix that might possibly --heaven forbid!!-- delay my consumption of more Beer Bread? WHAT WAS I GOING TO DO?

Then it dawned on me -- this bread couldn't just possibly exist in mix form. In fact, I bet I could find recipes elsewhere and make it myself! And, dear friends, that's just what I did :)

After a bunch of researching online I settled on this recipe that I found at Farmgirl Flare's blog. The first time around I made two loaves: one regular and one Italian style (come on, I had to!). I wasn't satisfied with the taste, though. It seemed really dry and more like English Muffin Bread than the amazing Beer Bread I'd been jonesing for. I made a couple alterations and tried again. This time, I feel like I've gotten closer to the end product I'm trying to achieve. Basically, I want the beer taste to really come through and right now I feel like it's less the main player and more a supporting actor.

Here is the recipe as Farmgirl Fare printed it with my notes in red:

♥Beer Bread♥
Makes 1 loaf

  • 3 c. all-purpose flour (I used 2 1/2 c.)
  • 1 T. sugar (I used 2 T.)
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 12 oz. beer (I used this beer)
  1. HEAT oven to 375°F and grease 1 loaf pan.
  2. COMBINE flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
  3. STIR in beer slowly (dough will be thick and sticky) and spoon into loaf pan.
  4. BAKE for about 45 minutes or until toothpick stuck in center comes out clean (I set my timer for 35 and baked at 2-minute increments from there just in case. Good thing I did, too, because mine was done at 37 minutes.)
  5. COOL in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.
  6. REMOVE FROM PAN and cool 10 more minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Add 1 teaspoon each of dried basil and oregano (or 1 tablespoon each fresh basil and oregano), 2 cloves of garlic (minced), and 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan Romano cheese.

Seeing as the first batch's loaves sat around practically untouched all week long while this second loaf has had four slices eaten from it before it's even had a chance to fully cool down, I'm pretty darn sure that batch two is better than batch one. Though I'm not sure that I've totally perfected it the way that I want it, this is still a really tasty, really easy quick bread to make.


  1. yum! it looks so incredibly moist and delicious !! can't wait to try the recipe, thanks for sharing =)

  2. Oh god don't tell my husband there is a beer bread - i will never hear the end of it. He can be quite demanding sometimes :P

  3. Hmmm this made me wonder how beer cheese would taste on beer bread... it looks wonderful though.

  4. that looks delicious [mouth watering]!!

  5. yummy looks so good! stopping in from SITS!!!

  6. You crack me up!! I am intrigued by this bear bread. There is this amish bakery that is in the next state over, and they make the best bread. Whenever someone comes to visit me and I know they are driving through I make them stock pile the bread for me. I've become a junky.

    What are going to do for the iron cupcake?

  7. Ok, so 3 guinea pigs' worth of beer...that, my friend, is an awesome way to measure. :)

    Visiting you from SITS. Enjoy your week!

  8. It's funny to see this recipe, it brings back tons of memories. I grew up eating beer bread. My grandad would not cart water into our camping trip but he would bring beer, so we had beer pancakes, beer break and well anywhere water would normally go, he put beer. The only difference is that he melted a cube of butter and poured it over the batter and then baked it, it makes this really wonderful crust all the way around the loaf. I love THIS!