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23rd Anniversary Old Ale PubCakes

If you’re a craft beer drinker and you’re unfamiliar with PubCakes , we suggest you seek them out and discover what you’ve been missing. For the second year in a row, our Pastry Chef friends Misty and Kaitlin created a special beer-infused cupcake for our Anniversary. This time around, they were inspired by our  23rd Anniversary Old Ale; a beer with rich notes of bourbon, toffee and dried fruit. What they came up was such a  hit at our annual  Changing of the Barrels  celebration, folks have been clamoring for the recipe ever since.

If you’re looking to have your life changed by a decadent dessert and beer pairing, test out this recipe provided by the ladies of PubCakes.  And if you haven’t dropped by for a visit, check out their storefront in San Diego’s College Area, and try the Top 10 Cake made with our Tower 10 IPA.

Karl Strauss 23rd Anniversary PubCake

Ingredients
1 cup Karl Strauss 23rd Anniversary Old Ale
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 bag toffee bits

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bring  beer to a boil, remove from heat,  and cool to room temperature.  While the beer is cooling, add cupcake liners to your muffin pan (you’ll need about 12 standard size cupcake liners).

2.  In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and sift together.  Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar on high until mixture lightens and increases in volume.  Add the egg and beat in well.  Next, set the mixer to low and add dry ingredients and beer in 1/3 increments until fully incorporated.  Finally, add the toffee bits and mix thoroughly.

3.  Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, rotating the pan in the oven half way through the cooking time for even baking.  The cupcakes are done when a stick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove cupcakes from the pan as soon as they’ve cooled enough to touch; this will prevent the bottoms from steaming.

Blackberry Buttercream

Ingredients
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
1 lemon, zested
1 16 oz package powdered sugar

Directions

1.  Beat the first three ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
2. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition.

*David Lebovitz’s Butterscotch Pudding

*Ina Garten’s Shortbread Cookie Buttons

Pubcake Construction

Once the cupcakes have cooled, use the back end of a wooden spoon to put a hole in the middle of each cupcake.  Put the butterscotch pudding into a zip lock  bag and cut off the corner to fill each of the holes with pudding.  Frost in a circle with the blackberry buttercream.  Finally, top with a shortbread cookie, which were rolled about 1/4” thin and in 1 1/2” rounds.  Slice a blackberry in half and place on top of the cookie.

*If you have a bottle of our 22nd Anniversary Vanilla Imperial Stout stashed away, check out last year’s PubCake recipe.

Karl Strauss 23rd Anniversary Old Ale

Super Beer Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday is an American holiday about the important things in life: food, friends, and football BEER. Regardless of one’s football affiliations, the big game has grown into a national Sunday Funday – a wide-spread celebration of indulgence. Whether you plan to watch the Super Bowl or the Puppy Bowl, odds are you’re going to be in the market for some good eats to go with your favorite beers. If this is the case, check out these recipes for Off The Rails-braised beef short ribs and Red Trolley chili. Oh, and if you happen to run into Biff Tannen, ask him when the Chargers are headed back to the Super Bowl…

Off The Rails Braised Short Ribs

What you’ll need:
4 bone-in beef short ribs, about 2.5lbs
1 22oz bottle Off The Rails
1 cup chicken stock
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 celery stocks, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red jalapeno, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs olive oil
Salt
Pepper

What to do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Season short ribs with salt and pepper and dust in flour. In a Dutch oven or large ovenproof skillet, heat olive oil on high heat and brown short ribs for 2-3 minutes on all sides. Remove seared ribs from pan and reserve on a plate.

Add onions, celery, peppers, and garlic to the skillet and sauté on high until onions are golden brown. Season vegetables with salt and pepper, before adding chicken stock and Off The Rails. Bring mixture to a boil and return short ribs to the skillet. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours.

Uncover and continue to roast for 20 minutes, or until the meat falls off the bone. Remove from the oven and skim the fat from the braising liquid.

Red Trolley Chili

Red Trolley Chili Pre-Boil

What you’ll need:
2 lbs ground sirloin
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 red jalapeno peppers, chopped
2 15oz cans black beans, drained
1 15oz can pinto beans, drained
3 14 oz cans diced tomatoes, not drained
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 12oz bottle Red Trolley Ale
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tbs beef bullion
1 tbs black pepper
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cayenne
Salt to taste
8oz white cheddar cheese, shredded

What to do:
In a large stock pot, brown beef over medium-high heat.  Add onions, garlic, and peppers and sauté until onions are translucent.

Add beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, and red trolley ale and bring to a boil. Stir in chili powder, beef bullion, black pepper, brown sugar, paprika, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 ½ hours.

Top with Off The Rails braised beef short rib, shredded white cheddar, and serve.

Red Trolley chili with Off the Rails-braised short ribs

Beer + Salad = New Year’s Compromise

The Holidays are over and, like most years, overindulgence may have played a part in your annual waistline expansion. Now, we’re not card-carrying dieticians but we do know that there’s still room for beer in any healthy diet – it’s purely a matter of prioritizing. Rather than sip on soda water with your cheese fries, why not make room for a beer by having a salad?  Even better, why not use beer to make a flavorful dressing with all natural ingredients?  Try this recipe for Windansea Wheat Raspberry Vinaigrette and think twice before giving up beer. Remember, nobody likes a quitter.

Windansea Wheat Raspberry Vinaigrette:
1/4 Cup Windansea Wheat
1/4 Cup Honey
1 Cup Fresh Raspberries
1 Tbs Italian Seasoning
2/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

Directions: Combine raspberries, honey and Windansea Wheat in a blender and blend until emulsified. You want this mixture to be a little on the sweet side, as the vinegar will balance it. Next, add seasoning, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil and blend on high. Congrats, you’re done!

Salad Featured Below:
Spring Mix
Persian Cucumbers
Cherry Tomatoes
Fresh Raspberries
Red Pear
Goat Cheese
Candied Walnuts

The Pairing: Windansea Wheat is an unfiltered Bavarian-style Hefeweizen with a slightly sweet and fruity flavor profile.  The beer’s fruity flavors are a natural compliment to the raspberry and pear, while its subtle sweetness is a nice contrast to the tangy goat cheese. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the yeast in suspension is rich in complex B vitamins.